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Discrimination and travelling communities

View profile for Maria Chadwick
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What is sexual harassment and what can be done about it?

According to a report by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups and Anglia Ruskin University, nine out of ten Gypsy, Traveller or Roma children in the UK have suffered racial abuse.

For example, as well as the day-to-day comments made, it has been alleged that many holiday campsites now operate a “Traveller Blacklist”.

Dr Pauline Lane, Reader in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Anglia Ruskin University, said “in order to improve the lives of people from Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, there is an urgent need for the UK to address discrimination against these communities. At the moment, it is the last bastion of ‘acceptable’ racism and that needs to stop”.

What are your rights?

The Equality Act says that it is only unlawful discrimination if you’re treated unfairly because of a defined protected characteristic. Under section 6 of the Equality Act 2010, race is a protected characteristic.

An individual is subjected to race discrimination if they are treated unfairly because of one of the following attributes:

  • Colour
  • Nationality
  • Ethnic origin
  • National origin

Some Gypsies and Travellers are protected against discrimination on the basis of their ethnic origins, for example if they are of Romany or Irish Traveller Heritage.

What should you do if you have been discriminated against?

If you have believe that you have been discriminated against you should firstly, raise a formal complaint to the organisation that has discriminated against you. You may also be able to bring a claim in the courts under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, and should seek legal advice in this regard without delay. Any claim brought in the County Courts in respect of discrimination must be filed within 6 months less than one day of the act of discrimination.

Please get in touch with our discrimination team on 0175 321 6399 for specialist advice.

Contributed to by discrimination advisor, Gemma Wilson

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