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Ó Snodaigh calls on all Oireachtas members to sign Traveller petition

11 December, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on all TDs and Senators to sign a national petition which was launched today to grant ethnic status to travellers. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Government to mark Traveller Focus Week by reversing its policy of non recognition of travellers as a distinct ethnic group.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Government's current policy limits the protections available to Travellers under national, European and International law.

He said, "A national petition to grant ethnic status to Travellers was launched today on World Human Rights Day, by the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM). I would urge all Oireachtas members to sign this petition.

"The government should mark this year's Traveller Focus Week by reversing its policy of refusal to recognise the Traveller community as a distinct ethnic group because travellers continue to experience significant discrimination.

"The refusal to officially recognise their ethnicity limits the protections available to travellers under national, European and International law and denies Travellers protection for their cultural rights and access to basic services.

"This is evidenced, for example, by the failures of local authorities to provide transient accommodation and the disproportionately poor health outcomes amongst the community." ENDS

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