Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Roma marginalised in Europe

blue on top (representing the heavens)
green below (representing the earth)
 chakra in the center (the Indian origin of the Roma),
Widespread deprivation is destroying Roma lives. Families are living excluded from society in shocking conditions, while children with little education face bleak prospects for the future, a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows.

“The levels of deprivation, marginalisation, and discrimination of Europe’s largest minority is a grave failure of law and policy in the EU and its Member States,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty.  

80% of Roma interviewed are at risk of poverty compared with an EU average of 17%.

30% live in households with no tap water and 46% have no indoor toilet, shower or bathroom.

30% of Roma children live in households where someone went to bed hungry at least once in the previous month.

53% of young Roma children attend early childhood education, often less than half the proportion of children their age from the general population in the same country.

Only 30% of the Roma surveyed are in paid work, compared with the average EU employment rate for 2015 of 70%.

41% of Roma feel they have been discriminated against over the past 5 years in everyday situations such as looking for work, at work, housing, health and education.

82% of Roma are unaware of organisations offering support to victims of discrimination.

The Roma community is Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Prejudice and discrimination against gypsies remain commonplace in today's Europe. Some 6-10 million Roma people live in Europe. The group has endured centuries of discrimination and social exclusion which continues today. Violence against Roma, especially in eastern and southeastern Europe continues. Moreover, Roma and refugees are currently being played against each other in the debate over migration.

 In 2015 a large swastika and the words "gas to death" have been written over a memorial to Germany's Roma population murdered by the Nazis. In 1938 SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered the "final solution of the Gypsy question" which targeted Roma men, women and children whose families had roots in Germany dating back at least six centuries. Historians are unsure exactly how many Roma were killed during the Holocaust. Estimates range from 220,000 to more than half a million. Germany only recognised the genocide in 1982 and it took until 2012 for a memorial to the Sinti and Roma to be officially opened on German soil.

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