Race. Equality. Gypsies, Roma, Travellers Wales

The Romani Cultural and Arts Company (RCAC) recently received a grant to carry out work related to the Wales Race Equality Action Plan (REAP), part of the Wales Strategic Equalities Action Plan 2020-2024 (SEP). Work is underway to monitor delivery of the SEP, and to review its content through the particular lens of COVID-19 (SARS-COV-19), and the novel coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the SEP is the Welsh Government’s main, overarching plan for achieving greater equality in Wales, it does not do so alone. It is supported by, and supports a range of other important plans that also capture and guide the government’s work in this area. As such, the Race Equality Action Plan will be a key element in the delivery of the SEP and officials are now beginning to engage with colleagues responsible for its delivery as well as those working on the other major plans, which tackle particular aspects of inequality, to establish progress to date and future outputs. 

The Race Equality Action Plan engagement will take place across the public and Third Sectors. In addition, the Welsh Local Government Association will be involved through the REAP Steering Group. For this to be successful, the RCAC has been asked to carry out, through telephone and Internet communication, a survey with community members from the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities in Wales to assess the potential impact and reach of the REAP. The results of the survey by RCAC will feed directly into the work of the Steering Group and the final plan itself.

Dr Adrian Marsh, Consultant for Romani Cultural & Arts Company and the designer of the survey and report said, ‘Many reports that present a lot of data from surveys are somewhat dull affairs, but I have made this report as graphic and informative as possible, creating a resource that is intended to be accessible to all, readily digestible and visually impactful. The results of the survey that I designed, carried out by Romani Cultural & Arts Company’s Community Champions, has produced some startling facts; over 90% of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller interviewees did not agree that the Welsh government respects and recognises Romani and Traveller rights and needs, whilst 88% believed that local government officers had no understanding nor respect for Gypsy, Roma, Traveller culture and traditions. These are stark indications indeed and tell us that the gap between our communities and authorities, health and service providers is very great indeed, significantly so in the current novel coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 disease crisis.’

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