Equality and Diversity
Equality means that all individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally. It provides the possibility for everyone to fulfill their potential and participate fully in society. Diversity means acknowledging and respecting individual and group difference, placing positive value on diversity within society thereby allowing all to realise their full potential within society
Irish Travellers have a value system, language, customs and traditions, which make them an identifiable group both to themselves and to others. Their distinctive lifestyle and culture, based on a nomadic tradition, sets them apart from the majority population.
Although Irish Travellers are officially recognised as an ethnic minority in Britain and Northern Ireland, the Irish government does not officially recognise Travellers’ ethnic status.
This position has been criticised by human and social rights organisations, and by the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. One consequence of the non-recognition of Traveller’s, is an inability to measure Traveller use of services as they are not classified as a distinct group. This is necessary to determine use of services, identify gaps and address where needed to ensure equality of access for all.
National Traveller MABS works with other socially and financially excluded groups such as sections of the immigrant community, people out of home and the unemployed, in order to highlight areas where equality does not exist and diversity is not embraced in an effort to ensure the provision of more effective policies and services for all.