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Councils must set out Traveller services plans
Pic: RollingNews.ie

08 Dec 2022 / human rights Print

Councils must set out plans for Traveller services

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has asked seven local authorities to prepare and implement Equality Action Plans on the provision of accommodation and services for Travellers.

The commission is using its legal powers under section 32(1) of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 to request the plans.

The latest request follows equality reviews requested from each of the 31 local authorities in the State in 2019.

These reviews were aimed at assessing whether councils were fulfilling statutory obligations to ensure equality of opportunity, or an absence of discrimination.

IHREC says that they focused on “repeated failures nationally to draw down ring-fenced capital budgets in order to meet human-rights obligations on Traveller-specific accommodation”.

Specific actions

The human-rights body has now selected seven local authorities, and invited them to improve their Traveller accommodation service through the preparation and implementation of an Equality Action Plan.

The local authorities are: South Dublin; Limerick City and County; Tipperary; Donegal; Mayo; Cork City; and Wicklow.

IHREC has told these authorities that their plans should identify specific actions that ensure the effective implementation of the findings in the equality reviews – including recommendations made by the commission.

Consultation ‘essential’

The body has also stressed that consultation with members of the Traveller community, the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee, and local and national groups representing members of the Traveller community, is “an essential part of the implementation and success of these plans”.

Sinéad Gibney (Chief Commissioner) said that the process would provide “valuable learning for the future” – including new practices to better meet the needs of the Traveller population.

“Equality law must identify solutions in areas like this, which are, for myriad reasons, resistant to change,” she stated.

Gazette Desk
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