I am pleased to be able to support Amnesty International Scotland’s initiative on discrimination against Gypsies/Travellers in Scotland and across Europe today.
Especially after the popular but much-criticised Big Fat Gypsy Wedding that has been shown on Channel 4 recently, it is important to stand in solidarity with people who face discrimination in many parts of the European Union.
Together with a group of other activists, I have signed a series of letters which are being hand-delivered to the First Minister and the consulates of nine EU states in Edinburgh. I am doing this because it is important that the Church is seen to be standing alongside those who are marginalised or face persecution because of prejudices in society. We are calling on the Governments of Scotland and of the other EU countries to show political leadership and do more to protect the human rights of Gypsies/Travellers.
A report on churches’ attitudes to the Travelling community in Scotland is being prepared by Action of Churches Together in Scotland, and will be presented by the Church and Society Council to the Church of Scotland General Assembly in May.