Talk: Traveller Ethnicity and Human Rights
Thursday 25 October 2018, 6.15pm–7.15pm
On 1 March 2017, after many years of campaigning by Traveller organisations, the Irish Government officially recognised the distinct identity and culture of Irish Travellers and acknowledged Travellers as a minority ethnic group. Travellers have a long shared history, traditions, language, culture and customs based on a nomadic tradition.
In this early evening talk, Co-Director of Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre, Martin Collins will trace the historical origins of Travellers, following the story up to the granting of ethnicity last year, and reflect on the 30-year struggle to achieve recognition for Traveller ethnicity. He will also consider the implications of this newly recognised status for the community’s fight for human rights.
Martin Collins has been a Traveller activist for over 30 years and is a founding member of Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre, of which he is now Co-Director. He has represented Pavee Point and Irish Travellers both nationally and internationally and is presently the Irish delegate to the European Roma Traveller Forum in Strasbourg. He represented Pavee Point on the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) from 2001-2007. He also represented PP on the Task Force Report on the Travelling Community which was published in 1995 and it is generally regarded as a milestone in offering an innovative analysis on Traveller issues and how they might be addressed. He also has extensive experience in providing anti-racism/intercultural training for both the statutory and voluntary sectors.
Image: Family in their decorated caravan en route to the Cahirmee Horse Fair at Buttevant, Co. Cork. Source: National Library of Ireland on The Commons.