Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Neglected Millions

A Diaspora of 11 Million
Livia Jaroka, a Hungarian anthropologist who has studied the Roma and is the only Roma member of the European Parliament, maintains that decades of discrimination have resulted in endemic unemployment, extreme poverty, low education levels, segregated housing, human trafficking, substance abuse and high mortality rates. She argues that assimilation into Western European culture does not require abandoning Roma traditions as much as overcoming age-old stereotypes and investing in education, jobs and health care.

“The cultural explanation for Roma criminality is nonsense,” she said in an interview. “It is about economics.”

In Spain, which has some 750,000 Roma, nearly half under 25. Nearly all Roma children there finish primary school, according to the FundaciĆ³ Secretariado Gitano, a Madrid-based foundation, though only a small minority finish high school. In 1978, three-quarters of Spain’s Roma lived in substandard housing; today just 12 percent do. Isidro Rodriguez, the foundation’s director, cited access to free education, health care and social housing following the anti-Roma repression of the Franco years.

Ms. Jaroka, who grew up in a poor community of Roma said “We Roma also need to learn to emancipate ourselves.”

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Roma couple allegedly kidnap a child = all Roma are child snatchers and criminals.

No-one has proven the Greek girl was abducted yet. There is no more evidence that Roma people abduct children than for the existence of the blood libel against the Jews. One British family of criminals does not make all British families criminals. If you can't generalise about non-Roma from a few stories in the newspapers. You can't do it about Roma either.