Community researchers provide powerful evidence of discrimination

The largest number of Roma, Gypsy and Traveller participants in any national survey to date were reached by six Roma and Traveller researchers being employed and trained in research techniques to go out and record responses from community members.

The figures were recorded as part of the Evidence for Equality National Survey (Evens) of ethnic and religious minorities.

Prof Nissa Finney, who led the project, said: “Evens allows us to compare the pandemic experiences of Roma and Traveller people to other ethnic groups, which hasn’t been possible before now. The disadvantage that we’ve found with the data is striking.

“Rigorous, robust, reliable data like that in Evens is essential for designing appropriate and effective policies and interventions. There’s still work to do to improve data and data collection – marginalised communities can be mistrustful of research and of its ability to bring change.

“A clear message from our study is the need for political commitment to better monitoring and measurement of the full range of ethnic groups. This is how we’ll make visible in evidence and policy those people who have been invisible.”

The study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and undertaken by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity, in collaboration with community groups and charities.

Health resources co-created with Roma Pupils

For six weeks, four Roma pupils from Fir Vale School (Sheffield, UK) worked closely with GPs, medical staff and other professionals to co-create resources that can be reused by different services and the NHS. The girls helped produce Child Vaccinations flyers, HPV flyers and a video diary on their own journey of receiving their HPV vaccines.

GP Roma Pupils Project

Sikavas tumenge sar pes džas  te očinel pro HPV (Romanes)

Cesta počas ktorej sme sa dali očkovat’ proti HPV virisu (Slovakian)

The Roma pupils also created two flyers that are Open Access and made with the intention to share widely and be reused by different services. The HPV Vaccinations and Children’s Vaccinations Flyers are downloadable below. The flyers are in three languages: English, Slovakian and Romanes.

O Očkovanie Prekalo Čhave (Child Vaccine info Romanes)

Očkovanie Detí (Child vaccine info Slovakian)



For more information on this and other projects go to visit

“No smoke without fire”?

A month or so ago, many Gypsy, Roma and Traveller organisations received answerphone messages saying that children in school were to be vaccinated and have microchips inserted, without their parent’s consent. The implications of this for communities with histories of genocide, sterilisation and forced settlement is significant. No responsible parent would allow this to happen. Another issue to worry about, another reason to keep your children at home.

When it was reported to ACERT, the phrase, “No smoke without fire” was used. We are all familiar with this expression; fire can be a big threat to our communities whether we’re in trailers or settled accommodation. Smoke alarms save lives; investigating the smell or sight of smoke can identify the source of a fire before it takes hold. But just because the idiom is true, doesn’t mean that is also the case in every situation it is applied to.

Type “microchip vaccine” into a search engine and you’ll get a feel for how much truth there is in this story. One particular investigation by Reuters, the international news agency, discovered exactly how a video, shared 27,000 times on Facebook, had been edited to suggest that a microchip on the packaging was injected with the vaccine. Another report suggests that ethnic and religious groups are being targeted.

This is not smoke without fire; it’s a smoke alarm which has been tampered with to put the frighteners on us. And it’s likely that the people doing the tampering are racially motivated.

In reality, the real threat to our communities is that they don’t get the health protection they are entitled to, because they aren’t registered with doctors, because the messaging uses technology they have no access to or because they aren’t in the right place at the right time. The fake news spreaders are no friends of our communities and we should deny them the satisfaction of believing they have caused more illness and death among us.

Below are the recommended priority list for vaccinations taken from an independent report Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation dated 30 December 2020.

This advice is the other side of the coin to the vaccine scare stories. It explains in detail what their aims are (to save lives, protect key workers and stop the further spread of the virus) and the reasons they have decided to recommend the order of priority for vaccination. Note that children under 16 are not included at all unless they are extremely vulnerable.

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers have plenty of reasons to mistrust government but in our experience they are more likely to overlook our rights to decent health care and protection than they are to use vaccination as a cover for a national ID system. We owe it to ourselves and our families to find trustworthy sources of information and not be fooled by people we don’t know and whose motives we don’t understand. All older people are vulnerable, those with underlying health issues all the more so. Make sure they make informed choices and get the health care you’re entitled to.

We recommend make sure you and your family are all registered with a doctor and that they are clear how to contact you.