Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month – June 2023

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When Gypsy and Traveller History Month established?

It was established in Britain in 2008 as a way of raising awareness of these communities and their contributions to society, and to offset negative stereotyping and prejudices.

The aims of the GRTHM are to:

  • Promote knowledge of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History, Cultural and Heritage
  • Disseminate information on positive Gypsy, Roma and Traveller contributions to British Society
  • Heighten the confidence and awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people to their cultural heritage
  • Celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture and heritage

When is it?

1st-30th June every year. This month was chosen as it marks the time of year many families start travelling.

Non-urgent advice: Who are Gypsies and Travellers?

A term for people from multiple ethnicities. Part of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Boater, Showpeople umbrella, with a commonality that they are all nomadic.

Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised ethnic minority in UK law under the race relations act.

English Gypsies or Romany Gypsies are descended from the Romani people, who were nomadic tribes from India that have been found in English records since the 15th century.

Irish Travellers are a separate ethnic minority, originally from Ireland and again have a long history in Britain.

Where can I get more information?

Each year Friends, Families and Travellers produces history month resources for other organisations to use.

More information about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history.

Example of an organisation celebrating and promoting history month

Primary and secondary education resources

A short video such as Roads From The Past – Short Film – Travellers’ Times Online – YouTube at your team meeting and generate discussion.

What is the Gypsy Traveller flag? What is the meaning behind it?

The Romani flag or the flag of the Roma (Romani: O styago le romengo, or O romanko flako) is the international ethnic flag of the Romani people, historically known as “Gypsies”, which form a stateless minority in countries across Eurasia, Africa, the Americas, and Australasia.

Stories of Gypsy and Traveller people and Leeds GATE members making the UK a better place for their communities.

Kim’s Story (Kim filmed in 2020, 4.14 mins)

Kim Moloney MBE and her family were evicted with others from land in Tingley, Leeds in 2004 and Kim led the legal challenge. Following the eviction Kim’s family were evicted numerous times in and around Leeds. With nowhere to go and due to have a baby any day, the family, which including Kim’s ill father, pulled up in a fenced off area of a local authority site, Cottingley Springs. 8 weeks while the case was ongoing, they were permitted to stay and eventually, the Council offered pitches.

Kim’s case was successful in the High Court, but lost at appeal with the House of Lords. The European Court of Human Rights later referred to Kim’s case saying it would have had ‘merit’ had they seen it, but by that point, Kim was too tired to pursue further legal action. The case also led to an enquiry on the subject of unauthorised encampments in Leeds where Kim and other members of roadside families gave evidence. A primary recommendation of the outcome was to pilot a negotiated stopping approach in Leeds, allowing families to stop on land. The council has since taken a proactive approach to planning policy and new site provision. Kim received an MBE for dedication and commitment to improving the lives of Gypsy and Traveller people in West Yorkshire in 2019.

“We went to the European Court…we went all the way with it.”

In August 2000, Jim Connors was evicted from the lawful occupation of a public Gypsy and Traveller site at Cottingley Springs in Leeds. In May 2004, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case Connors vs UK that in the eviction, Jim’s ‘right to family and private life’ as set out in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached.

This landmark ruling found for the first time that Council of Europe member states have a ‘positive obligation… to facilitate the Gypsy way of life.’ This case gave Gypsies and Travellers a better foundation to challenge unlawful evictions.

Jim’s Story

Enjoy Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month!