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Report reveals that Romani women were sterilised against their will in Sweden

7 November 1997

According to various press reports in late August, authorities in Sweden carried out forced sterilisations on 60,000 Romani women, in order to cleanse society of what they regarded as inferior racial types. The operations began in 1935 and ended only in 1976, according to a report in the online version of the Dutch news paper, De Telegraaf. The report alleges that the sterilisations were 'officially voluntary', although it goes on to add that many of the women did not understand what was being done to them.

An Associated Press release noted that the program had its roots in the pursuit of eugenics, a movement popular at the turn of the century, which aimed to 'improve humanity' by controlling genetic factors in reproduction and developed from widely-accepted 19th century racist doctrine. AP reported that the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter cited documents pertaining to the Swedish program, one of which stated "Grounds for recommending sterilisation: unmistakable Gypsy features, psychopathy, vagabond life." According to AP, the issue is even more controversial because of the fact that the sterilisations were carried out under a government of the Social Democrats, the party that built Sweden's welfare state.

(AP)

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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.

 

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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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