Memorandum submitted by Young Gypsies
Consideration of Reports submitted by States
Parties under article 44 of the Convention.
Response to "Concluding Observations" United
Kingdom of Great Britain and N Ireland by young Gypsies and Travellers,
co-ordinated by UK Youth Parliament, as part of Young Researcher
Network 2008. A group of nine young people, five female and four
males, aged 14 to 19, being three Irish Travellers [sited in Liverpool],
two Irish Travellers [sited in London], two English Gypsies [Local
Authority housing in Dorset], one Roma Gypsy on private land and
one English Gypsy, roadside.
Numbers relate to Unedited Version (03.10.08)
20. The group would like to point out that
the majority of young Gypsies and Travellers are not in school
beyond year 9. In fact, the majority of the group left school
at the end of primary or year 7. Only two of the group were in
24. Their research on the changes in the last
two generations concluded that whilst general and economic conditions
had improved, with less reliance on begging, many things had remained
the same and that media portrayal, public image and discrimination
had got worse.
25. The group strongly support the recommendations:
(b) one of the recommendations of their research
was that "Young Gypsies and Travellers should be used in
the wider school community to explain about the differences in
(c) the group were sceptical/cynical about the
use of the second word "all".
26/27. As a specific ethnic group, they
felt very little was done in their "Best Interests".
33. With one of the group being an MYP [Member
of Youth Parliament] and two others being regularly involved,
the group endorsed the concept of participation and especially
applauded the work of UK Youth Parliament. Also, members of the
group had been involved with 11Million and the NYA [National Youth
[reference magazine "Do you have anything to
say? Who will listen to you?"young Gypsies and Travellers
making a differenceUK Youth ParliamentDec 2008]
64. The group felt that the majority of
the "travelling" community, in housing, sited, on private
land, roadside and illegal fell into this category.
[Whilst generalising the travelling community, the
group did not specify "New Age" Travellers, whom agencies
working with them would regard as the most impoverished group
in societyMike Hurley, UKYP, Gypsy and Traveller Participation
65. (d) Whilst fully agreeing with the
statement, young Gypsies and Travellers are very concerned with
the need for short term transit sites to preserve the culture
66. (c) Bullying is the most often quoted
reason for non attendance at school, heavily linked to media image
and negative reporting, especially at times of evictions. There
were many instances of disproportionate punishment when the "victims"
[reference Blue Jones, MYP 2007, in UKYP DVD "The
Roads We Roam"]
68. From the immediate experience of the
group, most legal sites have little or no play facilities, being
mostly concrete environments, whilst illegal roadside may have
more space and greater play opportunities.
[reference photographs include in research presentation]
78. (c) The group did not fully understand
this, but did feel that a disproportionate number of young male
Gypsies and Travellers were within the Criminal Justice system.