Equal Rights for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

They go by a variety of names – Romani Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma – but together they constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority and they share a history of persecution with Jewish people.

Both communities have suffered centuries of racist hostility. Both were targeted by the Nazis during World War II.

Today, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have greater difficulties finding shelter, going to school and visiting the doctor. This has severe consequences – life expectancy for a Romani Gypsy or Irish Traveller is 10 years less than the UK average.

Some progress has been made – but the UK has failed to comply fully with its international legal obligations

The European Court of Human Rights has held that the UK has a ‘positive obligation’ under Article 8 (right to private & family life) of the European Convention to help these groups preserve their traditional way of life.

But the UK’s actions during the 2011 Dale Farm eviction were described as ‘immature and unwise’ by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, because they would ‘disproportionately affect the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families, particularly women, children and older people’.

We are training faith leaders across the country on how to recognize and react to discrimination against the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. You can read their joint statement ‘An Interfaith Challenge to Racism’ here. This project won an Interfaith award and was commended by the Prime Minister.

Get in touch if you want to add your name to the statement or to read more about how to respond to discrimination in the media use our Media Response Toolkit.

Campaign Updates:

‘Standing together’ or ‘a race apart’?

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is: ‘Stand Together’. While not a panacea in itself, there is a definite case for subscribing to such an approach, provided we remain mindful of certain facts. From a Gypsy Traveller perspective, which you are entirely free to disagree with, it is worth emphasising a couple of key […]

Don’t Forget the Photos!

Photographic exhibition of Nazi persecution of German Sinti and Roma families. Muswell Hill Synogogue, N10 1ND. From Sunday 19 to Sunday 26 January 2020

Vote for Human Rights!

Key questions to put to anyone asking for your vote on 12 December

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day 2019

Members of the Jewish community gathered at Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial to show solidarity with members of the Roma community for Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

Jewish Community urges Govt to protect right to home for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

A cross denomination of Rabbis and community organisations have signed our letter to @ukhomeoffice to express our concern over discrimination and racism targeted towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. pic.twitter.com/6Me47iBHC7 — René Cassin (@Rene_Cassin) March 5, 2019 A cross-denominational group of Rabbis and community leaders have signed René Cassin’s letter to the […]

We Must Call Out Prejudice

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities together constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority and they share a history of persecution with Jewish people. Recent studies have shown that GRT communities experience more racism and discrimination than any other group in the UK and face multiple disadvantages, such as with regards to education, health, the workplace and […]

Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

On 2nd of August, representatives of the Jewish community joined with the Roma community to mark Roma Genocide Remembrance day. Standing at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, Grattan Puxon, Roma rights campaigner, stressed the importance of commemorating the murder of hundreds and thousands of Roma people during the Holocaust. Other Roma representatives highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Roma […]

René Cassin makes submission to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hate Crime.

Let’s Remake the Case for Human Rights Together

The election results are in … now our real work starts

What do the Manifestos say about Human Rights?

The key questions to ask your candidates

Five key questions to ask your local candidates

Human Rights and the General Election

Hate Crime – Jewish and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities unite

Landmark meeting on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Inequality

René Cassin recently submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Women and Equality Select Committee’s inquiry into ‘tackling Gypsy, Roma and Traveller inequalities’. René Cassin’s submission highlights that the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities still face high levels of discrimination in nearly all areas of public life including health, education and housing.   You can download the […]

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

National Hate Crime Awareness Week, 8 to 15 October

We are highlighting the problem of hate crime against Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities


We are proud to support the Traveller Movement with the #OperationReportHate campaign

René Cassin submits evidence to Hate Crime Inquiry

“There is no place for hate” René Cassin’s director tells Home Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry.

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

‘Some are more equal than others…’

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area: ‘Some are more equal than others…’

A ‘lose-lose’ situation

  The Government recently published the Housing and Planning Bill which contains measures that will remove the duty on local authorities to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers for the purposes of planning for Traveller sites. The move will also get rid of the only piece of legislation that recognises Gypsies’ and Travellers’ […]

Is Britain Fairer?’ – not for some, new report reveals

In the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) today reveals ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ over the past five years. Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, which campaigns on issues that resonate with Jewish historical experience – such as […]

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Government introduces “discriminatory” planning policy for Traveller sites

A report from the Traveller Movement has highlighted the harmful, troublesome and at times discriminatory effects of a new planning policy introduced in late August. The policy does not acknowledge that a Gypsy or Traveller who stops travelling permanently, even for the reasons of education, health or old age, is eligible to apply for planning […]

Faith leaders meet at roundtable on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Rights

Interfaith Roundtable Summary Faith leaders from a wide range of religions and denominations came together on the 15th of April to discuss the problems faced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the UK. They gained a fascinating insight into the severe and institutionalised discrimination experienced by these groups, with community activists, legal experts and academics also […]

René Cassin wins an award and commendation from the Prime Minister

René Cassin has been honoured during Interfaith week by FaithAction for our work with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. Read what Prime Minister David Cameron has to say about it here.