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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives

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Edited By Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

This book compares ways in which children’s rights in, to, and through education, formal and informal, are viewed and implemented in a variety of social and political contexts, aiming to shed light on how policies and practices can improve equal access to high quality education in an environment which is respectful of children’s rights. Chapters focus on understanding the opportunities for and challenges of addressing children’s rights to participation and to inclusion. Authors draw from a variety of disciplines, including critical and cultural studies of childhood, and bring internationally comparative policy perspectives to share nuanced and contrasting examples of ways in which a rights-based approach to education might empower children and youth. The book deepens and complicates research on children’s education rights, and will contribute to courses in comparative education, childhood studies, education policy, and children’s rights.
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11 Getting an Education: How Travellers’ Knowledge and Experience Shape Their Engagement with the System

Who Are the Travellers?

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

Getting an Education

How Travellers’ Knowledge and Experience Shape Their Engagement with the System

Colette Murray

In 2005, following years of lobbying by Traveller organizations for appropriate provision in education for Travellers, the Republic of Ireland engaged in a consultative partnership with Traveller organizations—Pavee Point, the Irish Traveller Movement, and the National Traveller Women’s Forum—to develop and produce a comprehensive strategy for Traveller education. In 2011 Traveller supports in education were cut in an unprecedented and draconian manner. The state’s stance on Traveller education has consistently fallen short in its recognition of the specific needs and rights of Travellers in education. This chapter discusses the situation of Travellers in Ireland linked to recent European policy developments regarding Roma and Traveller integration and the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child (European Commission [COM], 2011b). It is well documented that Travellers and Roma experience marginalization across Europe (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights [FRA], 2010a; UNICEF, 2011). They face prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and ongoing disrespect is widespread. In his report on Roma and Travellers’ human rights, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Tomas Hammarberg stated that “efforts to secure the fundamental human rights of Roma in practice can and must be Europe’s present and future” (Hammarberg, 2012, p. 224).

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