April 8th is International Roma Day, a time to celebrate Roma and Traveller culture as well as raising awareness of the discrimination faced by the Roma and Traveller communities. It is vital that Travellers become formally recognised as an ethnic minority group, as advised by a range of national and international human rights bodies. The failure of successive Irish governments to do this has led to the continued marginalisation of Travellers – resulting in under-representation in local councils, higher unemployment and inhibited access to health services. To support International Roma Day we all need to put pressure on our elected representatives to formulate policies which tackle such exclusion. International Roma Day has garnered significant international political attention and favour in recent years – click here to see US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech from 2009 on the importance of celebrating the heritage of Europe’s largest ethnic minority.