Wednesday, October 30, 2013

To Remember the Roma

With the case of the Roma child of Maria in Greece now seen as case of “mistaken identity" and a perpetuation of the gypsy child-stealing myth and the deportation of the Roma school-student Leonarda from France excused as over-zealous police diligence, no doubt the media will move on and the Roma will again become the forgotten people...until it suits the authorities to seek out a scapegoat and instigate a new witch-hunt.

This article by Mariann Dosa , a Hungarian academic and activist. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Policy at Oxford University, raises a number of pertinent points.

" is important to remember that forced evictions of Roma immigrants, the dismantling of their settlements and their deportation still occur on a mass scale in France and other EU countries.... Roma immigrants are forced to live in unhealthy, often disgraceful circumstances and abject poverty. This, in turn, reinforces the stigma that the Roma are essentially different, uncivilised, backward people and thus further inhibits their integration....State measures against Roma immigrants and refugees and manipulative state discourses about them further damaging stereotypes and thus contribute to their exclusion...

“...  we must not forget what Roma immigrants and refugees strive to escape from. In Central and Eastern Europe, Roma people experience chronic poverty, forced evictions, discrimination in many spheres of their lives (education, health care, employment etc.), and spatial segregation (in the worst cases fortified by physical walls). Roma children attend segregated school classes or fully segregated schools; they are over-represented in foster homes as well as in special needs schools. Furthermore, these people face ever increasing racial hatred and violence that, in extreme cases, induce racially motivated murders as it happened in Hungary in 2008-2009...”

Full article at link

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