The Plight Of Europe\’s Roma Population
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The Plight Of Europe\’s Roma Population

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Research and oral presentation prepared for Social Research Methods course.

Research and oral presentation prepared for Social Research Methods course.

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    The Plight Of Europe\’s Roma Population The Plight Of Europe\’s Roma Population Presentation Transcript

    • The Plight of Roma in Europe Examining European governments and their contribution to the difficulties faced by Roma
    • Agenda
      • Hypothesis: Governments contributing to Roma persecution
      • Methodology
      • Overview/Background
      • Prejudice and Discrimination
      • Czech Republic & Roma Education
      • Italy’s Treatment of Roma
      • OSCE Action Plan
      • Soros’ Decade of Roma Inclusion
      • Conclusion
    • Methodology
      • European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) Q&A
      • Open Society Institute Q&A
        • Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015
      • Secondary Research Sources:
        • ERRC
        • OSCE
        • Amnesty International
        • Romove.cz (Czech)
        • Migrationinformation.org
        • YouTube
    • Overview and Background
      • Origins: Northern India
      • Settled in Europe by 15 th century
      • “ Gypsies”, considered discriminatory
      • Victims of the Holocaust
        • Est. 200,000-800,000 murdered
        • Porajmos (The Devouring)
      • Est. Total European Population: 8-12 million
        • Romania: >2 million
      • Communist-era social safety nets = greater protection
      • August, Madonna concert in Romania
      Sources: migrationinformation.org, romove.cz
    • Roma Populations Source: migrationinformation.org
    • Prejudice and Discrimination
      • Violence against Roma
        • Police abuse
        • Non-prosecution of perpetrators
      • Housing segregation & discrimination
        • Lack of electricity, water, sanitation, transportation networks; forced evictions
      • Lack of access to health care
        • Lack of telephone, transportation and isolated living arrangements compound the discrimination component
      • Employment discrimination
        • Discrimination creates barrier to ‘formal labor market’ – 64% report discrimination, 49% said they were told explicitly by employer (402 working age adults, ’05 and ’06)
        • High illiteracy among adult Roma damages ability to gain employment
        • Communist-era employment was unskilled, failed to translate to capitalist economy
        • “ Glass box”
      • Education discrimination
        • Segregated schools, state-sponsored
        • Placed in schools appropriate for mentally disabled children
        • Education levels achieved: 9% - no education, 52% - basic, 12% - secondary, 3% - university level, (vocational – 19%, other – 5%)
      • Denied political rights and access to citizenship
        • Lack of identification papers – can’t prove citizenship
        • Avoid self-identifying to avoid discrimination
      Source: European Roma Rights Centre
    • Czech Republic and Roma Education
      • Czech Republic Deputy Minister of Education: “The will is limited” (2:19)
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lzZ7In8KEE
      • Ruling in 2005 by European Court of Human Rights outlawed segregation targeted at Romani children
      • Czech Republic non-compliance
      • Romani children continue to be sent to ‘special’ schools, suitable for ‘mentally disadvantaged’ children
        • ERRC finds a drop in enrollment to ‘standard primary schools’, static enrollment trends at ‘special’ schools
      • 2008 evidence shows Romani children over-represented ‘special’ schools student populations:
        • Romani children made up 80% of 42.1% of ‘special’ schools
        • Romani children made up 50-79% of 31.6% of another ‘special’ schools
        • Romani children made up less than 50% of the student population in only 26.3% of ‘special’ schools surveyed
      Source: European Roma Rights Centre
    • Italy’s Treatment of Roma
      • Influx of Roma to Italy from Romania and Bulgaria resulting from EU membership
      • Berlusconi government includes anti-immigrant political party Northern League
        • Minister of Interior, May 11, 2008: “All Romani camps will have to be dismantled right away…inhabitants…expelled or incarcerated” (Italian newspaper La Repubblica)
      • May 13, 2008: Arson attack on Romani camp in Naples
      • May 21, 2008: Council of Ministers Emergency Decree:
        • “ Declaration of the state of emergency with regard to nomad community settlements…”
      • June 6, 2008: “Gypsies will be monitored and a census would be carried out…Gypsies would also be fingerprinted and photographed…to allow authorities to identify to them…” (Rome’s Commissioner for Roma, Carlo Mosca)
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmKrhmUPO98
      Source: European Roma Rights Centre
    • Italy’s Treatment of Roma
      • July 1, 2008: Italy’s highest appeal court: “it is acceptable to discriminate against Roma on the grounds that they are thieves”
      • Court reversed the conviction of six Northern League defendants who had demanded expulsion of Roma
      • Forced Evictions, November 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPj5uWU5PI8
        • Amnesty Int’l: Illegal under international law
      Sources: European Roma Rights Centre, Amnesty International
    • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
      • Implementation of the Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti within the OSCE Area
      • Issued in 2003, 2008 Status Report: “Substantive shortcomings with regard to implementation”
      • “ Insufficient funding, lack of political will at national level, apathy or neglect to implement policies”
      Source: OSCE
      • Some positive change reported, but with caveat:
        • Education: Efforts to dismantle segregated schools
        • Health care: Socio-medical centers established
        • Public/Political life: administrative structures set up to represent Roma in local and national govt
        • “ Many strategies in place…have little hope of long-term sustainability”
      Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Source: OSCE
    • Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015
      • Political commitment by European Governments to improve the socio-economic status and social inclusion of Roma
      • 12 Countries participating:
        • Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Rep, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain
        • Not Italy
      • Each country has crafted a Decade Action Plan
        • Cover four main areas: employment, housing, education, health care
      • Decade includes REF – Roma Education Fund
        • Administers university scholarship program for Roma
      • First Decade Watch Report, 2007, focused on inputs: what steps have governments taken?
    • Conclusions
      • Concrete examples from Czech Republic and Italy indicate governments are contributing to the plight of the Roma
      • OSCE’s Action Plan also indicates government inaction among its 56 member states
      • Political will among elected officials is a formidable obstacle
      • Roma representation locally/nationally is limited
      • Decade of Inclusion: positive outcomes?
    • What’s Next?
      • Decade of Inclusion:
        • Outreach to Roma to generate participation, how is it handled?
        • Outreach to majority populations, how are differences explained?
        • Stereotypes/myths, what’s true, what’s not?
        • Four years in, positive outcomes?