Tackling negative attitudes towards Gypsy/Travellers: joint statement

Shared statement by the Scottish Government, COSLA and Police Scotland.

As public sector leaders, we stand united in our commitment to addressing the racism and discrimination which our Gypsy/Traveller communities experience. We are working together to design and deliver a strong and decisive response, which underpins the zero-tolerance approach to hate crime highlighted by our current ‘letters from Scotland' campaign

That’s why today Scottish Government, COSLA and Police Scotland are jointly announcing plans for a programme of work to provide leadership across the public sector. This will ensure that staff delivering our public services:

  • understand and respect Gypsy/Travellers' rights and culture
  • act swiftly to address discriminatory attitudes and behaviour (including negative stereotyping and derogatory language) directed towards the community
  • stand ready to support Gypsy/Travellers to report any discrimination they face

The programme will commence with a high level roundtable, bringing together public sector leaders to affirm organisational commitment to tackling negative attitudes and behaviours towards Gypsy/Travellers. 

Partners will roll out activities across our public services, including improved training for staff, development of online resources and promotion of unified messages about the rights of Gypsy/Travellers. 

This will be designed and delivered with full involvement of members of the Gypsy/Traveller community to ensure it is focusing on the right things, and that it is delivered in a culturally sensitive way.

This programme of work is sanctioned by the Ministerial Working Group on Gypsy Travellers and COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Board, and will underpin a further set of actions designed to improve outcomes for the Gypsy/Traveller community in the key areas of accommodation, education, poverty and health. These further actions will be published in early 2019.

There is no place in 21st century Scotland for racism and our shared aim is to ensure discrimination towards the Gypsy/Traveller community is eliminated, with a the full support and leadership of our public services.

Scottish Government, COSLA and Police Scotland
23 October 2018



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