STSG - Sligo Traveller Support Group

Traveller Children

"There is a special minority within each minority culture - children. In the dominant society, the children of a minority must endure along with their parents the problems of social and cultural discrimination, and they are even more exposed to the risk of cultural dissolution," Children of Minorities, UNICEF 1993.

Traveller children represent a minority within a minority. Accordingly they suffer all the ill effects of inadequate provision that the Traveller community as a whole experiences. This can lead to restricted opportunities in society and can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem and on pride in Traveller culture. In addition, children are especially vulnerable to ill health and poor physical and cognitive development.


The most recent  data available (2008) shows that:


Traveller children participate actively in family life and are confident and mature in adult company. However, children experience and are affected by hostility from the majority community both directly and indirectly.

Traditionally Traveller children have been fully part of adult society, speaking freely and frankly within adult company. Space for work, home and children is not segregated. From the earliest age, children are integrated into the family work unit, learning skills by apprenticeship. The acquisition of these essential skills supports the positive identity of the child. Unfortunately, these skills are not always appreciated when the Traveller child enters mainstream provision. This can have a negative effect and damage the self worth of the Traveller child.


In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), Articles 2, 28, 29 & 30, Traveller children have the right to:


Issues facing Traveller children include:


Measures to tackle discrimination, which effect the development of full potential of the Traveller child, need to be put in place urgently.

Address: STSG, 1A St Annes, Cranmore Road, Sligo
Tel: (071) 9145780
Fax: (071) 9145782

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