Fortnightly Roma news review: October 1-14


By Bernard Rorke

The good news for the first two weeks of October was an ERRC victory in a Macedonian court over the rights of Roma to leave their own country. One of the successful litigants, Seanad Asan said “The day when I found out about our travel ban, I felt like a stranger in the country where I was born. This would not have happened to me if I was not Roma.” Let’s hope this victory makes Seanad feel more secure, and dissuades any further ethnic profiling on the border. For a review of what else cropped up in the media in the last fortnight, read on and follow the hyperlinks below.

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Hungary: A short history of segregation


By Bernard Rorke

This short history of segregation and its challengers shows that there is nothing incidental or accidental about the practices that perpetuate school segregation and inequality in Hungary. It is deliberate, knowing and systemic. And that is why it’s time for the EU to intervene to challenge ethnic discrimination in this illiberal democracy. 

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The French Roma File 1997-2005: The shame of the Republic (part 1)


By Bernard Rorke

In the mid-nineteenth century in his Histoire de France, Jules Michelet wrote that France is “the moral ideal of the world” and ruminated that “no doubt every great nation represents an idea important to the human race. But great God! How much more true this is of France.” France’s long cherished self-image as the source of enlightenment, a republic where history is glorious and reason reigns supreme, has taken something of a thrashing since 2010, not least due to the publicity generated by its treatment of Roma. 

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From the Archives: the Italian file 1997-2000


By Bernard Rorke

In 2008, the declaration of a State of Emergency to combat the so-called ‘Roma menace’, prompted global media coverage and international criticism. The demonisation of Romani people in this overtly racist and populist get-tough approach served only to exacerbate communal tensions, legitimise human rights abuses, and seriously damage prospects for social inclusion. A quick perusal of ERRC’s archives between 1997 and 2000 reveals that all of this was foreseeable, preventable, and utterly unnecessary.

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