National strategy launched to tackle traveller inequalities

The announcement comes as communities across the country celebrate the start of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month.

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Communities Minister Lord Bourne has today (6th June) launched a national strategy in bids to tackle “entrenched inequality” and improve the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is to lead the national strategy, working with several government departments and the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit to improve outcomes in areas including health, education and employment.

The announcement comes as communities across the country celebrate the start of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month which began in 2008.

In order to address the serious disparities highlighted by the Race Disparity Audit, MHCLG has provided £200,000 of funding between 6 projects aiming to improve outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the areas of educational attainment, health and social integration.

As reported by 24housing earlier this year, Sajid Javid has announced plans to give police new powers to crackdown on illegal traveller sites, with the MHCLG announced to provide local authorities with practical and financial support to handle “unauthorised encampments.”

However, today’s announcement comes in recognition by Lord Bourne that members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities continue to face some of the “steepest challenges in society.”

“Despite ongoing government work in this area, it’s clear that more needs to be done. Health, education and housing inequalities are considerable, and we know that that there are disproportionate levels of violence experienced by some women and girls within Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

“To bridge these divides and tackle these vital issues, we are launching an ambitious programme of work, to be undertaken across government, which will aim to tackle the serious disparities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities”, he added.

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