All posts by heather

Save the Roma

The Roma, known as Gypsies, is a group of ethnic migrants in Europe.The Roma have no permanent residency. Instead, they move around places and live in scattered camps all over Europe. They have a long history of suffering from the lack of human rights protection. Tracing their origin in northwestern India 1500 years ago, these groups of people currently live in central and eastern Europe.
Because of the rise of the nationalism in Eastern Europe, the Roma have become the target blamed for refugee issue. Ever since the end of the Soviet era, the Roma have been threatened: especially under the populist surge in Europe. Europeans hold strong misperceptions and false generalizations of Roma culture.
In Italy, there has been a large amount of human rights abuses since 2008, including the destruction of Roma community buildings. Matteo Salvini, Italy’s prime minister, stigmatized the Roma as outsiders to the country even though they are Italian citizens. According to Salvini’s policy, Roma children are required to record their fingerprints. This is an ethnic discrimination against the Romani race.
Aside from political persecution, the Roma plays a marginalized role in European societies. People have stereotypical impressions of them as poor, sick, and foreign.“ Often, the Roma are perceived as incapable of integration. Gradually, they have become the scapegoat for mainstream European culture. The United Nations has defined this situation as discrimination
The European Roma Rights Center is a Roma-led, international public interest law organization that focuses on engaging in a range of activities to help combat anti-Romani racism and human rights abuses of the Romani people. This organization also brings public attention and political awareness to the human rights situation of the Roma. The ERRC helps the Roma with legal protection and direct aid in education, health, housing, and public services in Europe.
One of the most notorious recent attacks on Roma occurred in Ukraine. Beginning this April of 2018, the Ukrainian far-right nationalist group, C14, attacked a number of Roma camps under the excuse of “cleaning Ukraine’s cities”. However, no one was arrested, and the government even gave a state grant to support the movement as “patriotic education”. The ERRC steped in and empowered the Roma victims to sue the government of Ukraine.
The European Health Alliance works to improve the poor state of health care among the Roma. It was also co-founded with the Health Program of the EU. This organization promotes strategies for early childhood development and mainstream Roma integration. The EHPA has recommended a number of actions to the European Commission to prioritize the elimination on health inequalities among the Roma. For example, Roma children and infants have lower life expectancies compared with non-Roma citizens. The EPHA states that the poor state of health in Roma communities is prevalent and their statistical numbers from various social fields are often being ignored throughout Europe.