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MELANY WILLIAMS SENIOR THESIS BELOIT COLLEGE  DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS The Right to Education: Roma Students ...
Presentation Outline <ul><li>The EU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A model open society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roma in the EU </li>...
<ul><li>CONDITIONALITY AND THE MORAL LEVERAGE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION </li></ul>Modeling an Open Society
Roma in the European Union <ul><li>“ The European Union is, in my opinion, today perhaps the world’s best example of an op...
Roma History <ul><li>More  commonly (pejoratively) known as Gypsies. </li></ul><ul><li>Originated in Northern India and mi...
History of Discrimination <ul><li>Persecution, slavery, and pogroms </li></ul><ul><li>Est. 220,000 Roma deaths in the Holo...
<ul><li>The Carrot </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this… </li></ul><ul><li>EU policy of conditionality:  </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>The Stick: </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this… </li></ul><ul><li>Haranguing new member states for lapses in reforms...
<ul><li>The Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this... </li></ul><ul><li>Social learning model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Norm...
<ul><li>EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION </li></ul>Education as a Human Right
Photo by Andrew Haines <ul><li>Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the str...
<ul><li>D.H. and Others v.  </li></ul><ul><li>The Czech Republic </li></ul><ul><li>Oršuš and Others v. Croatia </li></ul><...
Step by Step Amicus Brief <ul><li>Young children’s specific skills as well as ways of learning and communicating have been...
Evidence from Ostrava ~ ERRC <ul><li>Over half of the Romani child population is educated in remedial special schools. </l...
Segregation and Inequality: The ghetto of Roma education  <ul><li>Stella’s face becomes grim.  “All right, you go to the n...
<ul><li>FOR ROMA CHILDREN, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL CULTURE IS PROFOUND. </li></ul>Roma Education
Obstacles to Success <ul><li>Lack of fluency in the language of the school </li></ul><ul><li>Poor language development </l...
Roma Perspectives on Education <ul><li>Education within the Roma culture is “comprised of elements of immersion in the fam...
Threat to Identity and Culture <ul><li>Roma fear that they “have been  weakened  and their culture  diluted  through expos...
Threat to Traditional Gender Roles
Threat to Physical and Emotional Well-being <ul><li>Placing Roma children in school “removes Romani children from parental...
Basic Literacy: A Utilitarian Approach to Education <ul><li>Any aspect of formal schooling is to be embraced only in so fa...
<ul><li>THE RIGHT OF EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION MUST BE FREELY ACCORDED TO ALL ROMA STUDENTS. </li></ul>Recommend...
Improve Access to and Quality of Education <ul><li>Remove barriers and integrate Roma students into the mainstream educati...
A Big Step Forward:  Romany Education as a European Issue <ul><li>“ If there is a goal and a task to make the fight agains...
References <ul><li>1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Csapo, Marg. “Concerns Related to the Educ...
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The Right To Education Roma Students In The European Union

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The role of the European Union is extremely important in the promotion of human rights for the Roma. European Union conditionality has been a key motivator in inducing Central and Eastern European acceding states to implement policies of non-discrimination towards their Roma minorities. The European Union continues to be an important leader in the promotion of minority rights for the Roma living in its new member states. My paper examines the right to education, and seeks to determine whether or not this right is being equally accorded to Roma EU citizens. My paper examines Roma cultural perspectives on education and closes with some recommended interventions to increase access to and quality of education for the Roma living in the European Union.

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  • My name is Melany Williams, and I will be presenting my research on the ability of Roma children living in the European Union to access the Right to Education.
  • Transcript of "The Right To Education Roma Students In The European Union"

    1. 1. MELANY WILLIAMS SENIOR THESIS BELOIT COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS The Right to Education: Roma Students in the European Union
    2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>The EU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A model open society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roma in the EU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A discriminated minority </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EU moral leverage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education as a human right </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An important battleground for Roma Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roma Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obstacles and perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommended interventions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What can be done? </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>CONDITIONALITY AND THE MORAL LEVERAGE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION </li></ul>Modeling an Open Society
    4. 4. Roma in the European Union <ul><li>“ The European Union is, in my opinion, today perhaps the world’s best example of an open society, guided by the principles of democracy, tolerance, and international cooperation. An open society, in my definition, is an imperfect society that holds itself open to improvement. In no other area is the need for improvement as great as it is in the treatment of the Roma minority .” </li></ul><ul><li>~ George Soros ~ </li></ul>
    5. 5. Roma History <ul><li>More commonly (pejoratively) known as Gypsies. </li></ul><ul><li>Originated in Northern India and migrated to Eastern Europe c. 1000 AD. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained ethnic identity through distance from dominant culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Exist in large numbers in Europe, with high concentrations in the new member states. </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the Roma? </li></ul>
    6. 6. History of Discrimination <ul><li>Persecution, slavery, and pogroms </li></ul><ul><li>Est. 220,000 Roma deaths in the Holocaust </li></ul><ul><li>Forced settlement </li></ul><ul><li>Assimilatory policies </li></ul><ul><li>Official ‘non-existence’ under Communism </li></ul><ul><li>Post-Communist nationalistic violence </li></ul><ul><li>Social and economic marginalization </li></ul><ul><li>Blatant discrimination and stereotyping </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>The Carrot </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this… </li></ul><ul><li>EU policy of conditionality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accession to the EU dependent upon a demonstrated commitment to non-discrimination and human rights </li></ul></ul>EU Moral Leverage http:// www.keelynet.com/donkey108.jpg
    8. 8. <ul><li>The Stick: </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this… </li></ul><ul><li>Haranguing new member states for lapses in reforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Largely ineffective as a motivator for change </li></ul></ul>EU Moral Leverage http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Middle_East/Turkey/photo227836.htm
    9. 9. <ul><li>The Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Looks like this... </li></ul><ul><li>Social learning model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Norm distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Decade of Roma Inclusion </li></ul></ul></ul>EU Moral Leverage http://pro.corbis.com/images/42-17311987.jpg?size=67&uid={3AEBD291-9C02-4578-9127-C3921F4625A9}
    10. 10. <ul><li>EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION </li></ul>Education as a Human Right
    11. 11. Photo by Andrew Haines <ul><li>Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. </li></ul><ul><li>~ Universal Declaration of Human Rights~ </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>D.H. and Others v. </li></ul><ul><li>The Czech Republic </li></ul><ul><li>Oršuš and Others v. Croatia </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eighteen Czech Roma youth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Allegation: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Czech authorities . . . have violated their human rights, by placing them, and/or maintaining in force and failing to monitor their placements, in . . . special schools [for the mentally handicapped] not because the Applicants are mentally deficient but in whole or in part because the Applicants are Roma.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Applicants: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Croatian Roma students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Allegation: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Roma students were being segregated into separate classrooms where “curriculum . . . was significantly reduced in scope and volume as compared to the officially prescribed teaching plan, which resulted in lower quality education.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ In some communities, over 80% of the Romani children were confined to segregated classes.” </li></ul></ul></ul>The European Court of Human Rights
    13. 13. Step by Step Amicus Brief <ul><li>Young children’s specific skills as well as ways of learning and communicating have been shown to differ between cultures, subcultures and ethnic groups, as well as being subject to individual differences. The risks of applying standardized assessments developed in one cultural context and for a specific population to a very different context and community are widely recognized. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Evidence from Ostrava ~ ERRC <ul><li>Over half of the Romani child population is educated in remedial special schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Over half of the population of remedial special schools is Romani. </li></ul><ul><li>Any randomly chosen Romani child is more than 27 times more likely to be placed in schools for the learning disabled than a similarly situated non-Romani child. </li></ul><ul><li>Even where Romani children manage to avoid the trap of placement in remedial special schooling, they are most often schooled in substandard and predominantly Romani urban schools. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Segregation and Inequality: The ghetto of Roma education <ul><li>Stella’s face becomes grim. “All right, you go to the neighborhood, then we’ll talk. One must visit the ghetto.” She pronounces the word “ghetto” with unconcealed revulsion. “Then we’ll discuss the problems of the Roma. Only then can you understand my struggle with the ghetto, my attempt to get children out of it, to open a new world for them, to show them that they have another choice. And this choice depends upon them.” </li></ul><ul><li>~Stella Kostova~ </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>FOR ROMA CHILDREN, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL CULTURE IS PROFOUND. </li></ul>Roma Education
    17. 17. Obstacles to Success <ul><li>Lack of fluency in the language of the school </li></ul><ul><li>Poor language development </li></ul><ul><li>Impoverished vocabulary and concept learning </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced rate of learning to read, due to the prior factors </li></ul><ul><li>Irregular attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Being over-age due to failure, usually in the first grade </li></ul><ul><li>Poor educational standards of parents </li></ul><ul><li>Low cultural and career expectations held by parents for their children </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of parental interest in education </li></ul><ul><li>Parents lack of awareness of child psychology and how to prepare their students for school </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of certified teachers in small rural communities that have large Roma populations </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent teacher turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Deprived and disadvantaged environments in which children live </li></ul><ul><li>Roma philosophy which focuses on living for today, rather than preparing for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Below-average economic circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Large family size </li></ul><ul><li>Isolated settlements </li></ul><ul><li>Limited language concepts in Romany or the second language </li></ul>
    18. 18. Roma Perspectives on Education <ul><li>Education within the Roma culture is “comprised of elements of immersion in the family, personal experience, encouragement of initiative and exploration.” </li></ul>
    19. 19. Threat to Identity and Culture <ul><li>Roma fear that they “have been weakened and their culture diluted through exposure to the non-Gypsy world, and in particular, through acceptance of non-Gypsy knowledge.” </li></ul><ul><li>School is viewed as an instrument “by which acculturation, integration, or even assimilation might be expedited.” </li></ul>
    20. 20. Threat to Traditional Gender Roles
    21. 21. Threat to Physical and Emotional Well-being <ul><li>Placing Roma children in school “removes Romani children from parental guidance and protection and exposes them to dangers- physical, social, and psychological- in the Gaje [non-Roma] world.” </li></ul>
    22. 22. Basic Literacy: A Utilitarian Approach to Education <ul><li>Any aspect of formal schooling is to be embraced only in so far as it is useful to the Romani; useful for individual and group survival. The basic skills of reading and writing are recognized and sought, but nothing more; simply because these are now perceived as ‘instrumental.’ There is an unashamed ‘taking and using’ of what the wider society offers, because those offers are seen as providing the means to live in – in the sense of live in despite- that wider society. All else is not by them nor for them. </li></ul>photo by Andrew Haines
    23. 23. <ul><li>THE RIGHT OF EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION MUST BE FREELY ACCORDED TO ALL ROMA STUDENTS. </li></ul>Recommended Interventions
    24. 24. Improve Access to and Quality of Education <ul><li>Remove barriers and integrate Roma students into the mainstream education system </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that Roma are protected from verbal and physical abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Equip teachers with training on cultural diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Pursue a multicultural approach to education, that incorporates Romany historical and cultural perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the learning styles of Romany students </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an active learning component and focus on relevant, marketable skills </li></ul>
    25. 25. A Big Step Forward: Romany Education as a European Issue <ul><li>“ If there is a goal and a task to make the fight against Roma discrimination, the fight for Roma integration a European issue . . . Then we should all act together to ensure that the issue of our Roma countrymen is raised to the status of a European issue. If that is what we do, then we can say that we have taken a big step forward , because we all belong together. Whether you are a Slovenian, a Romanian, a Slovak, a Hungarian or a Roma, we all belong together; in our states, in our nations and in Europe .” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Ferenc Gyurcsany ~ Hungarian Prime Minister </li></ul>
    26. 26. References <ul><li>1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Csapo, Marg. “Concerns Related to the Education of Romany Students in Hungary, Austria and Finland.” Comparative Education 18 (1982): 205-219. </li></ul><ul><li>D.H. and Others v. The Czech Republic . Application to the European Court of Human Rights. </li></ul><ul><li>European Roma Rights Center. “In an Extraordinary Move, European Court of Human Rights Agrees to Hear Appeal in Important School Discrimination Case Against Croatia.” (Budapest, European Roma Rights Center, January 1, 2009) http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=3002 . (Accessed March 21, 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>Gyurcsany, Ferenc. (Speech presented at the International Conference on Roma Education, Budapest, Hungary, April 2-3, 2007) In Roma Education Fund. A School for All 1 (2007):7-9. </li></ul><ul><li>Kostova, Stella. Quoted in Kabakchieva, Petya. “Out of the Tunnel: Romani School Desegregation,” in Terrice Bassler: Learning to Change: The Experience of Transforming Education in South East Europe (Budapest, Central European University, 2005): 54. </li></ul><ul><li>Lee, K.W. and W.G. Warren. “Alternative Education: Lessons from Gypsy Thought and Practice.” British Journal of Educational Studies 39 (1991):311-324. </li></ul><ul><li>Levinson, Martin P. and Andrew C. Sparkes. “Gypsy Masculinities and the School-Home Interface: Exploring Contradictions and Tensions.” British Journal of Sociology of Education 24, (2003): 587-603. </li></ul><ul><li>Open Society Institute. “Europe’s Highest Court Finds Racial Discrimination in Czech Schools.” http://www.soros.org/newsroom/news/echr_20071113 , November 13, 2007 (Accessed February 18, 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>Soros, George. “An Unacceptable Reality”: The Situation of Roma in the European Union.” Open Society Institute. http://www.soros.org/initiatives/roma/articles_publications/articles/roma_20080916 2009 . (Accessed February 18, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Step by Step Amicus Brief, 1-10. </li></ul><ul><li>United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Genocide of European Roma (Gypsies) 1939-1945.” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?ModuleId=10005219 . (Accessed April 23, 2009). </li></ul>
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