Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) have poorer health, worse educational outcomes and a high level of infant mortality compared with many other groups. They also face high levels of hostility and discrimination, with GRT children particularly vulnerable to bullying in school.
Effectiveness of Government policy
In 2012 a ministerial working group published 28 commitments to tackle inequalities faced by Gypsies and Travellers (PDF 208 KB). This inquiry will look at these commitments and the progress made by the Government in achieving them.
Committee Chair Maria Miller said:
"Gypsies, Roma and Travellers experience poorer health, under achieve at school and can find it difficult to access public services. We have launched this inquiry to look at the effectiveness of policymaking and what action the Government can take to tackle these and other inequalities. The committee is particularly keen to hear directly from Gypsies, Roma and Travellers about their own experiences."
According to research by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (PDF 245 KB):
- Although the educational attainment of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in England has improved in recent years, the attainment gap for Gypsy and Roma children has widened, while the gap between Travellers of Irish heritage and white pupils has remained unchanged.
- Only one in five Gypsy and Roma children and fewer than one in three Traveller children achieve ‘a good level of development’ in their early years, compared to six out of ten other white children.
- A lower proportion of Gypsy and Roma children (13.8%) and Traveller children (17.5%) achieved the GCSE threshold in 2012-13, compared to 60% of other white children.
Hostility and harassment
Call for written submissions
The Committee is now seeking written evidence on the following issues:
- What progress has been made in achieving the commitments of the Ministerial Working Group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers?
- Have these commitments delivered a tangible improvement in the position of Gypsy and Traveller communities?
- How well has this work been led, managed and monitored across Government? Has sufficient funding been provided, and has adequate funding been identified for the future?
- What mechanisms have been put in place to achieve the Ministerial Working Group’s commitments and other policy aims for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities?
- Is adequate data available to underpin policy-making? Where are the most significant gaps in the evidence base, and what are the reasons for those gaps?
- How effectively has policy taken into account the diverse needs of different Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and a developing context including greater use of social media?
- How effective are mechanisms for engagement and dialogue between national and local policy-makers and members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities?
- In what areas of public life are inequalities against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities evident? How do these affect access to services, outcomes and life chances for people in those communities? How well are these reflected in policy priorities?
- Are there particular challenges faced by groups within GRT communities, for example women and LGB&T people?
- Send a written submission to the tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities inquiry
The deadline for written submissions is Friday 27 January 2017.