PQ: Ombudsman for Children Reports (Roma)

Thu, July 10, 2014

146. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when and the way she will implement the recommendations of the special Section 42 inquiry in to the removal of two Roma children from their families with regard to resourcing advocacy services for Roma and undertaking an assessment of needs regarding the supports which are necessary for the Roma community in association with members of the community themselves.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As I indicated at the launch of the Report, I fully accept the Inquiry’s recommendations in relation to engagement with and supports for the Roma community. In particular, I accept the Report’s recommendations on the need to improve interaction with the Roma community and to have an up-to-date assessment of the needs regarding support provided by the State to that community. That support is provided by a range of Departments and agencies across Government. The establishment of an Implementation Group, to be chaired by my Department, is underway. This Group is tasked with ensuring that the recommendations set out in the Report are progressed and to report to me by year end.

I might also mention that my Department is also currently leading a cross-Departmental review of Ireland’s migrant integration strategy and I am committed to ensuring that this results in a more dynamic and effective approach to integration of all migrants in Ireland, including people of Roma background. Identifying practical measures to promote intercultural awareness and combat racism and xenophobia will also be an important element of the work of the Cross-Departmental Group.