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31.3.10

EU Commissioner asked to act on discrimination by Celtic League

The Celtic League has written to the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Lazlo Andor, urging him to press the UK government to end discrimination against members of the Roma and Irish Traveller communities.

The move comes after several well publicised cases in the UK media which highlight the British government failure to meet aspirations set during this "European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion".

The full text of the letter to Commissioner Lazlo is set out below:

"Laszlo Andor
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
European Commission
B - 1049 Brussels
(Belgium)

26/03/10

Dear Commissioner Andor,

I note that the European Union has designated this year as European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Dearing this in mind it is unfortunate that the United Kingdom government and its local authorities are still not engaging in policies that encourage `social inclusion' for members of the Roma and Irish Traveller community.

Despite the fact that the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights less than twelve months ago criticised the failure of the UK government "ensure the provision of sufficient, adequate and secure stopping sites for Roma/Gypsies and Irish Travellers" this community still suffers discrimination. In the past week alone we have identified four reports of either site evictions or refusal of planning approval for new sites for Travellers.

I draw your attention to two reports published this week by the Celtic League to highlight this issue [1][2]

Can I ask that in the spirit of `Combating Social Exclusion' you raise this issue with the British Authorities?

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)"

Link to EU Commissioners website here.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

31/03/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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