The Need for GRTHM
Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the largest Ethnic Minority community in the European Union with over 12 million people.
In the UK, they are recognised ethnic minority communities and number 300,000. They are also the most marginalised and continue to suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination. And yet they have enriched our culture in so many different ways.
We hope that this will help raise awareness of these communities and their valuable contributions to our society and to offset the negative stereotyping and prejudices that have led to the situation where:
- The Children’s Society report that nearly 9 out of every 10 children and young people from a Gypsy background have suffered racial abuse and nearly two thirds have also been bullied or physically attacked.(November Report 2007)
- The achievement levels of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are the lowest of any of the BME communities and the gap is widening (December 2007 DCSF national figures).
Lord Adonis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools stated in the forward to “The Inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children and Young People”:
‘I have endorsed a national Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month in June – the first will be in 2008. This will offer us all the chance to raise awareness and explore the history, culture and language of these communities, which is no usually included in the curriculum for all pupils. We can challenge myths, tackle prejudice and be in a position to offer a balanced debate about the issues. We will all be able to celebrate the richness that Gypsy, Roma and Travellers communities bring to our everyday lives through their many and varied academic and artistic achievements.’