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Gypsy/Traveller Written Answer, 06/11/13 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Mary Fee's (Lab) question asking the Scottish Government how it will tackle discrimination toward the gypsy/traveller community.

The Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shoan Robison, replied that the Scottish Government recognises the extent of discrimination against the gypsy/traveller community and the need to have a co-ordinated approach to improving outcomes and life-chances. It is developing a strategic overview and action plan building on existing work and drawing on the recommendations of the recent enquiries undertaken by the Equal Opportunities Committee. This is expected to be finalised by spring 2015.

In the meantime the Government is in the early stages of taking forward an awareness raising campaign as recommended in the report of the Equal Opportunities Committee. It intends to work with gypsies/travellers and other relevant stakeholders in its development. They will also be exploring how gypsies/travellers can have a voice in the matters that affect them and how best they can participate in a way which suits their living experience.

A gypsy/traveller site working group is being established to consider further issues in relation to sites raised in the Equal Opportunities Committee Report Where Gypsy/Travellers Live. There is now a Scottish social housing charter outcome relating to gypsy/traveller sites, that “Sites are well maintained and managed”. Site satisfaction data will be collected for the first time by the Scottish Housing Regulator in 2014 along with data on average weekly rent per pitch and total number of pitches.

A range of projects of support will continue such as a three year programme run by MECOPP to increase understanding around informal caring in the gypsy/traveller community and support for the Article 12 project about building bridges in young gypsies/travellers’ lives.  Carers Scotland and MECOPP have been commissioned to produce a carers’ rights charter which clarifies that gypsies/travellers should have advice, information and support.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 6 November 2013 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 6 November 2013