Belfast Telegraph

Action urged on Traveller 'bias'

More needs to be done to tackle discrimination against the Traveller community in Northern Ireland, campaigners have said.

The call for action came after the publication of research into the levels of integration in the region.

The report was part of a wider study into the experiences of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds living in Northern Ireland

The EU backed research was conducted by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM).

Today's report, the second of two published on the research, focused on responses from more than 150 members of the Traveller community.

Mark Donahue of the Traveller and Gypsy Network (NI) called for discrimination to be addressed at the launch event in Belfast City Hall.

"After 30 years living in Northern Ireland, I still feel oppressed and scrutinised when accessing services or buying goods because I am a Traveller," he said.

"There needs to be coordinated working at local and national government levels to strategically promote equality and challenge racism, particularly in the context of a revised Racial Equality Strategy (at Stormont) and the community planning engagement for the new super-councils."

Activist Bridget McCann from the Traveller community said: "In the future I want respect for my grandchildren, as for any other young person growing up here."

NICEM Executive Director, Patrick Yu, added: "Today's Traveller Voices for Change report focused on 151 responses from the Irish Traveller community and is part of our wider study on integration in the context of the EU and the need for a strong Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland."

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