IN A NEW report out today, the Children’s Rights Alliance has awarded the Government an ‘E’ grade for its “unsatisfactory” performance on the issues affecting Traveller children.
In its annual Report Card, the CRA notes that Traveller children are “almost universally worse” than their settled peers and they live in conditions that are far below the minimum required for healthy child development.
The Report Card also highlights the government’s particularly poor performance with regard to Traveller children and education. It found, on average Travellers ﬁnish full-time education 4.7 years earlier than those in the general population and the percentage of Travellers with no formal education in 2011 was 17.7 per cent, compared with 1.4 per cent in the general population.
Martin Collins of Pavee Point said it was shocking that in this day and age Traveller children continue to face these levels of inequality.
The disproportionate cuts to Traveller education will only serve to reinforce and condemn another generation of young Travellers to exclusion and marginalisation.
We are calling on the government to urgently outline what steps it will take to support and protect the rights of Traveller children rather than furthering inequalities. The government must ensure that every child can enjoy all their rights equally.
According to Census 2011, there are 14,245 Traveller children in Ireland, an increase of 30 per cent on the 2006 Census ﬁgures. Travellers have a very young population with 42 per cent of Travellers under 15 years of age, compared with 21 per cent of the general population.
Overall, the Government has been given a ‘C Grade’ for it’s treatment of children– a slight drop from its C+ last year.
The full report will be available on the Alliance website today.