The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61622 Message #3394906
Posted By: Jim Carroll
25-Aug-12 - 10:52 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: No Irish Need Apply
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: No Irish Need Apply
"It is illegal here to display such a sign."
Although race relations legislation has been in force in the United Kingdom since 1965 and has developed considerably to protect against increasingly subtle forms of discrimination, Gypsies and Travellers are still experiencing discrimination of the most overt kind: '˜No blacks, no Irish, no dogs'™ signs disappeared decades ago, but the '˜No Travellers'™ signs, used intentionally to exclude Gypsies and Travellers, are still widespread, indicating that discrimination against these groups remains the last '˜respectable'™ form ofracism in the United Kingdom. This is supported by the findings of a 2003 Mori poll conducted in England in which 34 per cent of respondents admitted to being personally prejudiced against Gypsies and Travellers.
In 2004, Trevor Phillips, the former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and now the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), compared the situation of Gypsies and Travellersliving in Great Britain to that of black people living in the American Deep South in the 1950s and, in 2005, Sarah Spencer, one of the CRE'™s Commissioners, drew further attention to their plight in an article entitled '˜Gypsies and Travellers: Britain'™s forgotten minority'™:
The European Convention on Human Rights '¦ was a key pillar of Europe'™s response to the Nazi holocaust in which half a million Gypsies were among those who lost their lives. The Convention is now helping to protect the rights of this community in the United Kingdom '¦ The majority of the 15,000 caravans that are homes to Gypsy and Traveller families in England are on sites provides by local authorities, or which are privately owned with planning permission for this use. But the location and condition of these sites would not be tolerated for any other section of society. 26 per cent are situated next to, or under, motorways, 13 per cent next to runways. 12 per cent are next to rubbish tips, and 4 per cent adjacent to sewage farms. Tucked away out of sight, far from shops andschools, they can frequently lack public transport to reach jobs and essential services. In 1997, 90 per cent of planning applications from Gypsies and Travellers were rejected, compared to a success rate of 80 percent for all other applications '¦ 18 per cent of Gypsies and Travellers were homeless in 2003 compared to 0.6 per cent of the population '¦Lacking sites on which to live, some pitch on land belonging to others; or on their own land but lacking permission for caravan use. There follows a cycle of confrontation and eviction, reluctant travel to a new area, new encampment, confrontation and eviction. Children cannot settle in school. Employment and health care are disrupted. Overt discrimination remains a common experience '¦ There is a constant struggle to secure the bare necessities, exacerbated by the inability of many adults to read and write, by the reluctance of local officials to visit sites, and by the isolation of thesecommunities from the support of local residents '¦ But we know that theseare communities experiencing severe disadvantage. Infant mortality is twice the national average and life expectancy at least 10 years less than that of others in their generation.'™
Race Relations Act
English Gypsies and Irish Travellers – Today, both English Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised as distinct ethnic minority groups in law because they are recognised as members of a community with a share history stretching back over hundreds of years. As such they are granted the full protection of the Race Relations Act.
New Travellers - New Travellers are not a legally recognised ethnic minority group because their history only goes back to the early 1960'™s. However, all individuals and groups are granted protection under The Human Rights Act.
Types of Discrimination
The Traveller community faces harassment and discrimination on a daily basis as a result of negative stereotypes and deeply ingrained cultural prejudges. Unfortunately, many instances of harassment and discrimination go unchallenged because they are subtle and indirect. However, there are ways to counter harassment and discrimination and there are specific instances when it can be successfully challenged.
Direct Discrimination – Direct discrimination happens when and individual or body (such as a brewery, shop or a service provider, etc'¦) openly discriminates against an individual or group because of who they are. Examples of this would be things like a pub or shop putting a sign on the door say '˜No Travellers.'™
Indirect Discrimination – Indirect discrimination happens when a service provider such as a local authority, health authority, school, etc'¦ excludes an individual or group or restricts their access to services because of who they are. Examples of this would be a local authority housing department refusing to put a Traveller on a housing waiting list because because they have not been resident in the housing authority'™s area for more than six months. Because Travellers face continuous eviction and are often forcibly moved from one area to the next, it is often impossible for them to be resident in one specific locality for a sufficient length of time. The Traveller concerned would have to show that they had remained in the general area (i.e., the county) and had local links (such a children attending local school or a history of employment).