Programme risks stoking racism against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

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The Catholic Church has warned that last night’s (16 April) Channel 4 programme Dispatches: The Truth About Traveller Crime risks stoking racism against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Fr Dan Mason, National Catholic Chaplain for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT) said:

“Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities make a valuable contribution to our society, yet face extraordinary levels of racism and discrimination. Almost every man, woman and child has suffered some form of hate speech or hate crime.

“Channel 4’s programme used sensationalist language, selective examples and dubious statistics which will only reinforce this prejudice. Such broadcasts would be dangerous and irresponsible at the best of times. Coming amid a national crisis, and a pandemic that’s hitting minority communities so hard, is particularly unacceptable.

“Pope Paul VI reminded us that our GRT sisters and brothers are at the heart of the Church. We will continue to stand in solidarity with them.”

Earlier this month the Church called for solidarity with GRT communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Church’s 2020 Racial Justice Sunday campaign focussed on tackling racism against GRT communities.