Do the Right Thing: children's rights progress report

A progress report on our response to the 2008 concluding observations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

5 Gypsy/Traveller children and young people

What the Committee said:

"The Committee recommends that the State party ensure full protection against discrimination on any grounds, including by …strengthening its awareness-raising and other preventive activities against discrimination and, if necessary, take affirmative actions for the benefit of vulnerable groups of children, such as: Roma and Irish Travellers' children…

The Committee would like to highlight that an adequate standard of living is essential for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development and that child poverty also affects infant mortality rates, access to health and education as well as everyday quality of life of children. In accordance with article 27 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party… reintroduce a statutory duty on local authorities to provide safe and adequate sites for Travellers."

Progress to date

  • Since 2009 the Scottish Government has funded organisations to deliver projects which specifically target Gypsies/Travellers. The Scottish Government provided £380,000 in grant funding for site provision, projects and organisations working to improve outcomes for Gypsies/Travellers in 2011-12.
  • Funding of £120,000 over 2008-11 was provided to Article 12 to develop further engagement work with young Gypsies/Travellers and to support community development work with the Gypsies/Travellers communities, aimed at laying the groundwork for the eventual emergence of representative bodies for the communities.
  • The One Scotland campaign was updated and repackaged in 2011 in the form of a USB stick containing material to help stakeholders meet these needs. The campaign will support stakeholders who deliver anti-racism messages on the ground as part of their wider education programmes. Gypsy/Traveller issues are covered in these materials.
  • Funding of £125,000 was provided over 2008-11 to the Scottish Traveller Education Programme ( STEP) to develop and implement an education strategy for Gypsies/Travellers and Travelling Show-people. This has included ground-breaking work on a virtual learning environment that helps young Gypsies/Travellers to stay engaged in education. Extra funding was identified during 2011-12 in order to enable it to continue.
  • Funding for Gypsy/Traveller sites and facilities in Scotland has been included in the local government settlement since 2010 and is not ring-fenced. In 2011, the Scottish Government provided an additional £161,000 to two local authorities in areas of high demand to provide further sites for Gypsies/Travellers.

Next steps

  • We recently reviewed the existing guidance on unauthorised encampments to ensure we are striking an appropriate balance between the needs and legitimate expectations of members of the settled community, local businesses, landowners and the Gypsy/Traveller community. It is clear from the recent review that the existing guidance needs to be updated and we will shortly begin discussions with partners in local government to take this forward. Any revision to the guidance will take the 'Operational Guidance - Management of Unauthorised Encampments', issued in October by ACPOS, into account.


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