On Wednesday (24th May 2017) Travellers of North Cork launched their Accommodation Rights Charter campaign in University College Cork, alongside plans to monitor the Irish state's progressive realisation of their right to accommodation over the next year.
PPR have been working with TNC since the summer of 2016.
The Accommodation Rights Charter outlines a series of practical measures which Travellers have identified as capable of both providing immediate improvement and beginning a journey to tackle the structural discrimination and inequality experienced by the Traveller community in regards the provision of accommodation. These measures include actions which can be progressed at both Council and central government levels relating to the budgeting process, provision of culturally appropriate accommodation and the right to a remedy when accommodation rights have been abused.
Human rights monitoring, carried out by the Travellers in Winter 2016 among 95 families, revealed intolerable living conditions and extensive abuses of accommodation rights for Travellers impacting all aspects of their lives. The monitoring found:
- 64% were on the waiting list for accommodation, 43% of whom had been on the list for over 7 years. Only 11% had ever received an offer of accommodation
- 67% said their accommodation was unsuitable for their families needs, with 100% on living on Halting sites, Group Housing or in caravans stating that it badly affected their physical and mental health
- 57% said that there accommodation was not "protected from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to our health", with this figure rising to 100% for Travellers living on Halting sites, Group Housing or in a caravan
A copy of the full results can be found here.
To monitor whether the state is fulfilling its obligations to progressively realise accommodation rights, the Travellers of North Cork will monitor the following indicators over the following year:
- % of people have received formal offers of accommodation from the Council
- % of people who said their accommodation was unsuitable
- % of people who disagreed with the statement "I know what my rights are"
- % of people who were not satisfied with their landlord's response to reported problems