265. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress on each action outlined in the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27974/18]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) Steering Group has been tasked with the development and oversight of the implementation of the actions contained in the strategy. Since the launch of the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy in June 2017, the NTRIS Steering Group has met four times - on 2
August 2017, 18
October 2017, 13 December 2017 and 28 March 2018. The next meeting is planned for 4 July 2018. To date, work has begun on about 130 of the 149 Actions included in the Strategy. The Steering Group will continue to monitor progress on these Actions and to focus on actions where progress has not yet commenced.
Three sub-committees have been set up to report back to the Steering Group on specific issues:
- The sub-committee on the issue of data collection on ethnic grounds has met three times. Departments have been asked to indicate whether or not they are collecting ethnic data and, if so, the categories of such data being collected. Responses are still awaited from some Departments.
- The sub-committee to deal with the issue of the retention of Traveller and Roma children in education has met four times. At the meeting on 8 March 2018 it was agreed that a pilot project would be undertaken in each of the TUSLA Education Welfare Services regions – South/South East – Wexford, West/North West – Galway, North Dublin/North Leinster – North County Dublin and South Dublin/Kildare/West Wicklow – Tallaght, Clondalkin. Each area will have the additional resource of an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO), Home School Liaison Coordinator (HSCL) and 2 Traveller/Roma Education Workers. The team will work together with parents, children and young people, schools, Traveller and Roma communities and service providers to improve Traveller and Roma children’s attendance, participation and retention in education.
- The third sub-committee was set up to deal with the problem of feuding in the Traveller Community, and has met three times. A proposal from the Traveller Mediation Service for addressing this issue through an expanded mediation service is currently being examined.
In addition to this information, I have asked my officials to forward a detailed tabular report on progress on all of the actions in the NTRIS to the Deputy.