By Volodymyr Navrotskyy
Ukraine’s Roma integration strategy is in need of a complete overhaul; and if the government is serious about Roma inclusion it must take steps to combat anti-Gypsyism and prevent further violence against Roma in rural areas.
- “Forced evictions are not a Roma rights issue”
That was the prevailing belief at the ERRC about two years ago. Here are some of the reasons the ERRC refused to spend time or money on forced evictions:
- Evictions are about poverty, not about discrimination.
- It looks bad. To be more specific:
- We need stop making Roma look like victims, and instead focus on Roma who do things like fight to integrate their schools.
- Forced evictions pit Roma lawbreakers against landowners with property rights. (“What if someone decided to live in your garden”, someone who didn’t like our forced evictions work once told me. “I bet you’d call the police”.)
- We are making it look like Roma want to live in squalor.
Just one week after the Fidesz government launched its latest brazen assault on Hungarian NGOs specifically targeting the Helsinki Committee, the Committee scored a victory against the state in Strasbourg. In a judgment in the case of Király and Dömötör v. Hungary issued on 17 January, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that the Hungarian State violated Article 8 of the Convention in the wake of violent incidents in the village of Devecser, during an anti-Roma demonstration attended by nine far-right groups and members of Jobbik. The applicants were awarded EUR 10,700 each in damages, and the ECtHR sent a clear message to the Hungarian Government about its positive obligations and abject failures to protect Roma communities from intimidation by far-right extremists.
By Radost Zaharieva
The admission by the President Hollande of France’s shameful collaboration in the suffering of Travelling people interned during the Second World War, however belated, is welcome. The best tribute to the survivors of the Romani holocaust would be for the Republic to get serious about combatting anti-Gypsyism in today’s 21st Century France.
In a Milan neighbourhood on the night of Friday 4th of November, Paolo Cagna Ninchi was physically attacked and verbally abused by an unknown assailant on his way home. The motive behind the attack was “because his wife is the Gypsy that goes on TV” (è la zingara che va in televisione). Paolo will need an operation for the injury to his eardrum, but otherwise is physically recovering from the assault.