(GhLC) will launch its report into the barriers faced by the Roma community in Glasgow's Govanhill when accessing welfare benefits, and the implications of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to those barriers.
GhLC is a project of the Govan Law Centre, and was commission by Oxfam to undertake its ' Unequal and unlawful treatment' research report through the European Commission Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity. A copy of the report will be made available online following tomorrow's launch.
As over one third of our Govanhill clients identify themselves as Roma, we felt it was important to report and publicise the real struggles and injustices this client group routinely face. We decided to focus on the issue of welfare benefits (this is the issue the majority of our Roma clients seek our help with) and the way in which three public authorities responsible for administering benefits – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (Jobcentre Plus) and Glasgow City Council (Housing Benefit Department) – treat our Roma clients.
Our report is an attempt to establish whether there are recurring patterns in the treatment of Roma clients and, in particular, how these impact upon the public authorities in terms of their equalities duties under section 149 Equality Act 2010.
The report's lead author, Lindsay Paterson, solicitor at GhLC will give a presentation on our report tomorrow morning, along with speakers from Oxfam, one of GhLC's clients who has personal experience of the barriers in accessing UK welfare rights, Romana Lav, and GLC's Principal Solicitor.