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Slavery widespread in Britain
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 12:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Traveller infant deaths rates higher
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0908/1224303701067.html

Infant mortality rates were more than three times higher within the Traveller community than among the general population between October 2008-09, a Department of Health study has found.

The Birth Cohort Study Follow Up of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study found that 12 children per 1,000 born into the travelling community died, compared to 3.2 per 1,000 in the general population.


The capitalist system is partly responsible for this but traveller parents also bear some responsibility. By choosing a nomadic lifestyle they choose to put their childrens health and education at risk.

Adult travellers have every right to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 12:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Adult travellers have every right to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?


Travellers also have rather archaic attitudes to women, with girls removed from school in their early teens and married a few years later. I find it disappointing that liberals and leftists defend the Traveller lifestyle on diversity grounds. It is a very misogynistic culture.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 12:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Domestic violence is another issue. In settled society it occurs, but is acknowledged. Violent partners often go to prison.

Things are more difficult for traveller women. In Ireland there are no specific shelters which cater for traveller women and which would have an understanding of their culture.

At least in Britain things are more advanced.

Quote:
On the road to change: dealing with domestic violence in Gypsy and Traveller groups

Fifteen years after the UK's only refuge for Gypsy and Travelling women opened, a new generation is acknowledging the problem of violent relationships
Jill Clark
The Guardian, Friday 14 August 2009
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/14/gypsies-travellers-domestic-abuse/print

Kathleen Lowther Morrison, a Traveller who works for a community association: 'Gypsies see domestic violence going on all their lives.' Photograph: Bethany Clarke/Guzelian
For Kay, the beatings came three weeks into her marriage. She and her partner, both from Irish Travelling families, met on the road as teenagers before becoming pen pals. It wasn't until they settled down on a caravan site in Yorkshire that he threw his first punch. "He'd just flip out, slapping me, kicking me," says Kay (not her real name). "He wanted me to jump when he said, to sit when I was told." Despite the violence in their relationship, the couple had three children together and Kay says she felt powerless to leave. "I just accepted it as normal. In my culture the woman is the heart of the family, the man is the head – what he says goes."

Kay's story may be similar to that of the 25% of women in the UK who are thought to experience domestic violence during their lifetimes – six to 10% of women suffer it in any given year – but a recent paper by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, suggests that women from the Gypsy and Traveller communities who report domestic violence will often have suffered it more severely and over a considerably longer period than other women. Although there is no conclusive evidence about the prevalence of this abuse, the paper cites a study in Wrexham, which found that between 61 and 81% of married Gypsy and Traveller women had experienced direct abuse from a partner.

Cultural barriers are believed to be one reason that Travelling women stay in violent relationships for longer than other women. Kay, who endured 14 years of violence (twice the UK average) before she had an injunction brought against her husband, feared that she might have to leave behind her whole way of life by entering a bricks-and-mortar refuge or being relocated into a house. "It would have killed me stone dead," she says. "I've lived in trailers all my life; it's all I know. In a house, I'd feel cooped up and boxed in; I'd be so alone. I worried my kids would get stick for being Travellers and we wouldn't feel welcome, that we'd get judged and treated as outsiders and would never be able to admit where we came from."
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 12:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Traveller women 30 times more likely to suffer domestic violence - report
TRAVELLER WOMEN are proportionately 30 times as likely as settled women to suffer domestic violence, while migrant women are more than twice as likely to suffer domestic violence than Irish women, according to a report published yesterday.

The report, Translating Pain into Action – Gender-based Violence and Minority Ethnic Women in Ireland, is published by the Women’s Health Council. It finds ethnic women are not only more vulnerable to gender-based violence than the general population, but also that they face a range of additional barriers to accessing help


Report summary: http://www.dohc.ie/publications/pdf/MEWTranlsating_Pain_Summary.pdf?direct=1

Report: http://www.dohc.ie/publications/pdf/MEW_Full_Report.pdf
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 13:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Travellers in Bedfordshire facing slavery charges. Mark Hennessy, Irish Times London Editor
.
http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2011/pc/pod-v-12091108m08stodaywithpatkenny-pid0-488208.mp3
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merriman_weirOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 13:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quake42 wrote:
Quote:
I'm curious as to the timeline of the folklore pertaining to travellers. I'm under the impression that the majority of 'travellers' in this country are now Irish rather than Roma. Have they 'displaced' Roma in a population numbers sense?


I understand that the number of Irish Travellers in the has UK increased significantly since the 90s when Ireland passed legislation which effectively criminalised trespass. Ramon may know more.

No idea what effect, if any, this may have had on Roma Gypsies but (other than recent Eastern European migrants) they seem rarely seen these days.


Thanks for that. Your latter point certainly rings true.

I was always under the impression (perhaps wrongly) that there was some sympathetic middle-ground between these two groups. If that's not the case, then I wonder how 'territorial' they can be over an increasingly difficult way of life and the resources to actually live it.
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merriman_weirOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 13:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quake42 wrote:
Quote:
Adult travellers have every right to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?


Travellers also have rather archaic attitudes to women, with girls removed from school in their early teens and married a few years later. I find it disappointing that liberals and leftists defend the Traveller lifestyle on diversity grounds. It is a very misogynistic culture.


Couldn't agree more. I struggle with this point when it pertains to some of the less-progressive Muslim segments of society.
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 13:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quake42 wrote:
..No idea what effect, if any, this may have had on Roma Gypsies but (other than recent Eastern European migrants) they seem rarely seen these days.

I've worked a fair bit with teens from Traveller families, and to a lesser extent with those who are authentically Roma - and it's fair to say the latter lay a lot of blame on the former for the current public image they both hold. In my (admittedly limited, albeit first hand experience) Roma regard Travellers as opportunist users at best, and criminal scum at worst - and they especially resent Travellers who self-identify as Gypsies. One Roma lad told me not long ago that due entirely to the Travellers (or Tinkers as he called them) many Roma feel there's nothing in the UK for them any more, whereas previously they'd felt at least by-and-large tolerated. However, all the relative good-will that had built up post war had gone, and in his own words imagine people bringing in their washing, and taking kids' bikes round the back when you were around - and knowing it wasn't actually your kind that cause that reaction in the first place.

That particular lad was bright, and wanted to learn - but, despite all expressing the wish to stay somewhere the kids could get some degree of foundation, as a family they had to move on for reasons they wouldn't divulge, but we could all guess at. I hope he's alright.
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Mal_ContentOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 13:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Rescued 'slave' criticises police raid at Bedfordshire caravan site

Man helped from Travellers' site brands Leighton Buzzard arrests 'rubbish' as nine men refuse to help investigation

Alexandra Topping
guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 September 2011 14.40 BST

Slavery arrests at Green Acre caravan site
Police guard the Greenacre caravan site in Leighton Buzzard Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

One of the men labelled by police as a modern-day slave at a Travellers' site in Bedfordshire has accused officers of heavy-handed tactics and described the the arrest of five people on slavery charges as "complete rubbish".

Police continue to question four men and are looking for two further suspects. One heavily pregnant woman, who is expected to give birth imminently, has been released on bail. No charges have yet been brought.

Nine of the 24 men allegedly used as slaves have refused to help police with their inquiries.

DCI Sean O'Neil, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crimes unit, said: "Those people who we continue to help are appreciative of the support that is on offer, but it will take some time to work through with them what has happened."

He said he was confident the operation, which is dubbed Operation Netwing, had broken up a criminal network.

"The new legislation has allowed the investigation more scope and takes into account emotional rather than physical harm. I am confident that while the investigation is in its early stages this is a family-run 'business' and is an organised crime group that has been broken up by the Netwing operation," he said.

One of the men taken by police, who did not want to be named, said he had been living in a caravan on a Traveller plot on the Greenacre caravan park near Leighton Buzzard for several years, working as a paver and was being paid.

"I think it's all a load of rubbish and they just hate Travellers," said the man, who is in his 50s. "Plenty of men who were here wanted to be here and they were getting paid. The police coming in heavy-handed like this is just wrong."

More than 200 police officers raided the site in the early hours of Sunday, aided by a helicopter and dog patrols. Armed officers were also present.

Four men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of slavery offences, while 24 men were taken to a medical centre.

Police said the men had been kept as virtual slaves in appalling conditions, forced to work long hours doing physically demanding jobs without pay.

However, the man told the Guardian he had worked for 15 years with one Traveller family who had provided him with work and accommodation when he had nowhere else to go. After refusing to answer police questions he made his way back to the site. He said: "The police told me I couldn't come back but I told them it was my home and if I wanted to go back I would go back."

Speaking from the door of her mobile home, a 21-year-old woman – who said she was the wife of one of the arrested men but did not want to be named – said the police claims were "ridiculous".

She added: "The men who were taken were getting paid £30 a day, they had somewhere to live, this is all a load of nonsense."

Police said the suspects lured vulnerable men from dole queues and homeless shelters to work at the site. But the woman said they came voluntarily because they knew Travellers would give work to men down on their luck.

"Isn't it better that they have a roof over their head?" she said. "What are they going to do now – when the police have finished with them they will be homeless. It's up to them how they kept their homes, but they could come and go whenever they pleased."

She accused the police of harbouring prejudices against Travellers. "It's complete lies and they are trying to make Travellers look bad. There are two sides to this story," she said.

A police spokeswoman said the 24 men taken from the site were being offered help: "We are giving help to all of the men, but if they do not want it then obviously we are not forcing them to take it."

Police said on Monday that of the 24 men taken from the site, nine had left the medical reception centre and had chosen not to support the police investigation.

The remaining 15 continue to be assessed for welfare and health needs, and would be interviewed by detectives on Monday. Police said it would take a number of days to establish exactly what had happened to them on the site.

Of the men helping police, eight are British, three Polish, one Latvian and one Lithuanian, with two men of unconfirmed nationality. The youngest person to be found on site was 17. Police said he has rejoined his family.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/12/rescued-man-criticises-slavery-raid

paraphrasing:

Adult statics have every right to adopt a static lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 14:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of victims of domestic abuse run back to the family home claiming it was all a misunderstanding as well. These men were indigent and probably have nowhere to go other than the Traveller site. The fact that some have declined to co-operate with the police investigation does not mean that there was no substance to the allegations.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:
...

The capitalist system is partly responsible for this but traveller parents also bear some responsibility. By choosing a nomadic lifestyle they choose to put their childrens health and education at risk.

Adult travellers have every right to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?

It's not a 'Lifestyle choice', though, is it?

Most travellers and Roma don't 'choose' the lifestyle. It's been the way of their families and tribes for generations. It's the society they're born and brought up in. Like it, or lump it.
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 15:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Most travellers and Roma don't 'choose' the lifestyle. It's been the way of their families and tribes for generations. It's the society they're born and brought up in. Like it, or lump it.


I'm afraid I don't really buy this argument. Travellers aren't forced to take their kids out of education at 12 and marry off the girls in their mid-teens. In a modern westen democracy it is quite possible for them to choose an entirely different path for their kids. It is nonsense to suggest that, because their ancestors behaved in a certain way hundreds of years ago, they have no option but to do the same. It's this sort of relativist argument that is used to excuse FGM and honour killings in different cultures, and ultimately it is a very racist and patronising argument: these people don't know any better, so let them continue behaving in a way which we would not tolerate for a moment elsewhere.
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merriman_weirOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 16:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there's to be a lifestyle choice, then there has to be an identifiable lifestyle to choose, surely? What is that?

If a travelling community or even single family has stayed in one place for 10-15 years, then the children that will have been born during this time will have never known 'travelling'. They'd have been 'settled' all their lives.

Perhaps this hypothetical child had an elder brother or sister, who might have been 2 or 3-years-old when the family moved to that site. They might be 16 or 17-years-old now. At one time, this was an age when a lot of teenagers were thinking about leaving the family home anyway. If a 'travelling' kid that age, having never really known travelling, decides to take-up a nomadic lifestyle, where does that put them, hypothetically speaking? Is that a lifestyle-choice or is that something that they're 'born into'?

Confused
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 19:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
ramonmercado wrote:
...

The capitalist system is partly responsible for this but traveller parents also bear some responsibility. By choosing a nomadic lifestyle they choose to put their childrens health and education at risk.

Adult travellers have every right to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?

It's not a 'Lifestyle choice', though, is it?

Most travellers and Roma don't 'choose' the lifestyle. It's been the way of their families and tribes for generations. It's the society they're born and brought up in. Like it, or lump it.


I agree with what Quake wrote. They have the choice to settle but they choose a nomadic lifestyle. They are not genetically predisposed to hit the road.

They also choose to impose a lifestyle on their children which shortens their life and stunts their education.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 12-09-2011 19:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
paraphrasing:

Adult statics have every right to adopt a static lifestyle. Do they have the right to inflict it on their children?


If it means that their children won't have a three times greater infant mortality rate, then yes.

If it means that women won't have a 30 times greater rate of domestic abuse, then yes.

Edit to correct typos.


Last edited by ramonmercado on 12-09-2011 19:58; edited 2 times in total
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