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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

State is failing to protect vulnerable Roma children, says Pavee Point

A new report says that last year’s removal by gardaí and the HSE of two children from their family has stopped mothers from getting their children vaccinated.

Travellers and Roma protest in Dublin last year to mark International Roma and Traveller Day.
Travellers and Roma protest in Dublin last year to mark International Roma and Traveller Day.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

ROMA CHILDREN ARE being put at risk because of the State’s systemic failures to protect them, according to advocacy group Pavee Point.

Serious concerns about the welfare and rights of the Roma community’s children were raised at a conference attended by Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday.

“It is a daily struggle to put your child through school with no child benefit, no medical card and no support,” said Gabi Muntean from the Roma Project.

“Our children are missing out on the opportunity to be who they can be – to reach their full potential. Ireland is our home now and the state needs to include us.”

Another speaker, Iulius Rostas from Budapest said it is time for the State “to stop being complicit in discrimination and stand up for Roma children”.

The conference heard that the serious child welfare issues faced by Roma children include child poverty and a lack of access to medical care.

Poverty was identified as the key factor stopping children participating in school.

A new report has also said that last year’s removal of two children from their families in Tallaght and Athlone has exacerbated the situation, reports RTÉ News.

According to the publication, more Roma mothers are failing to turn up to public health nurse appointments out of fear and distrust of authorities. As a result, children are missing out on vaccinations. 

Read: Ombudsman upholds complaint about article on ‘parasitic’ Roma beggars

More: Tallaght Roma girl’s family victims of racist attacks

Related: Child removed, then returned to Roma family in Athlone

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