Gaining Ground: Law Reform for Gypsies and Travellers

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9780900458989: Gaining Ground: Law Reform for Gypsies and Travellers

The publication of the Macpherson Report on the Stephen Lawrence case shows that racism in the UK is still a major problem for many communities. Although often overlooked, the prejudice and discrimination experienced by Gypsies and Travellers is in some ways worse because of its seeming acceptability. They are stereotyped and denigrated, find it increasingly difficult to pursue their traditional way of life, suffer a lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rate than that of settled people and have low rates of literacy. Between 1997 and 1999 the Traveller Law Research Unit at Cardiff Law School held two conferences and a large number of meeting throughout England and Wales at which ideas for reform in the law, policy and practice relating to Travelling people in the areas of education, accommodation and site provision, health, social and other services, planning, and eviction and criminal justice were discussed and refined. The resulting proposals, as agreed by equality organizations, religious organizations, Gypsy and Travller organizations, educators, health workers, community development workers, local government officers and planners, lawyers - and Gypsies and Travellers themselves - will inform the on-going debate about the treatment of Gypsies and Travellers and be a tool with which to lobby the government to affect law reform and set up a Task Force on Gypsies similar to that which reported in the Republic of Ireland in 1995.

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About the Author:

Luke Clements is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-director of the Traveller Law Research Unit at Cardiff Law School. He has been involved in many Traveller human rights cases.

Rachel Morris worked as an advice worker on the Telephone Legal Advisory Service for Tavellers in Cardiff Law School between 1996 and 1998. Since then she has been the Research Associate for the Traveller Law Research Unit at Cardiff Law School.

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Rachel Morris, L.J. Clements
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