2022 Census Will Acknowledge Roma as Ethnic Group

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The 2022 census will add Roma to the list of ethnicity choices.

The census was due to be taken last year but was postponed due to the pandemic. It will now take place on Sunday, April 3rd.

Following the addition of Traveller as an ethnicity since the 2006 census, Roma organisations have been campaigning for their ethnicity to similarly be added.

"We are not Irish, but we are Irish and Roma... it's very important to acknowledge that, it's our right to have that" said Pavee Point Community worker Gabi Muntean.

There is a belief that some in the Roma community may be reluctant to identify their ethnicity on the census due to historical prejudice against the community.

Muntean hopes to reassure those in her community that identifying themselves on the census will have no negative repercussions.

"People don't have to think, if I give my address and details what are they going to do with those?" she said. "Will they create harm for me or my family? People do not have to worry about that because everything will be confidential and no one will be allowed to look into that."

Mary Brigid Collins, Assistant Co-Ordinator of the Primary Healthcare Project at Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre, stressed the importance of identifying ethnicity on the census.

"The Census is for the future, they look at accommodation, they look at education, this is all very important for Travellers out there," she said. "We know there are a lot more Travellers out there and we know there are about 5,000 Roma in Ireland, but there's probably much more than that so, we need numbers, and we need to get Travellers and Roma to self-identify within the census as well."

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