Establishment of Special Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community: Motion

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders—

(1) Dáil Éireann hereby appoints a Special Committee (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Committee’), to be joined with a Special Committee to be appointed by Seanad Éireann, to form the Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community;

(2) the Joint Committee shall aim for consensus, based on human rights principles, on policy directions in respect of the following key issues affecting the Traveller Community—

(a) physical health, mental health and suicide levels;

(b) school completion rates and educational attainment, particularly at second and third-level compared to the settled population;

(c ) labour market participation, having regard to the unemployment rate of 80 per cent among Travellers; and

(d) access to housing and accommodation, including Traveller-specific accommodation, in the context of the significantly higher homelessness rate among Travellers compared to the settled population; and shall report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas in accordance with paragraph (9);

(3) in carrying out its role under paragraph (2), the Joint Committee shall—

(a) invite submissions and presentations from the Traveller Community;

(b) examine current statutory, non-statutory and Departmental responses, including policy, resources and law;

(c) research and identify models of good practice nationally and internationally;

(d) establish parameters to gather relevant data; and

(e) make recommendations, taking into account the views of the Traveller Community;

(4) the Committee shall not exceed seven members of Dáil Éireann, as follows:

(a) two members appointed by the Government;

(b) two members appointed by Fianna Fáil;

(c) one member appointed by Sinn Féin; and

(d) two members appointed from among other parties and groups;

(5) the Ceann Comhairle shall announce the names of the members appointed under paragraph (4) for the information of the Dáil on the first sitting day following their appointment;

(6) the quorum of the Joint Committee shall be four, at least one of whom shall be a member of Dáil Éireann, and one a member of Seanad Éireann;

(7) the Joint Committee shall elect one of its members to be Chairman;

(8) the Joint Committee shall have the powers defined in Standing Order 85(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (7), (8) and (9); and (9) the Joint Committee shall—

(a) make an interim report, which shall contain its proposed work programme, to both Houses of the Oireachtas within two months of its first meeting in public; and

(b) make its final report to both Houses of the Oireachtas within six months of its first meeting in public and shall thereupon stand dissolved.

Question put and agreed to.