Today the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) submits its petition with tens of thousands of signatures calling on European states to prevent children from growing up without a nationality; to close the gaps to identify and grant nationality to children born on their territory who would otherwise be stateless, as soon as possible after birth; and to ensure access to free and universal birth registration. This issue remains particularly pertinent to Roma.
The latest ECRI report on Italy confirms that Roma remain targets of hate speech and hate crime, continue to live in conditions of acute marginalisation and discrimination, and are effectively denied access to housing and other social rights. In light of these latest findings, the European Commission needs to investigate Italy for breaches of the Racial Equality Directive. For it is clear from this latest report that all the promptings, recommendations, requests and ‘urgings’ from European bodies to date, have failed to dent Italy’s undeclared apartheid when it comes to Roma.
By Radost Zahareiva
On 3rd of February, 300 Roma were evicted from their informal settlement situated in the 18th district of Paris. Some of those evicted were offered emergency shelter, but most were left on the street.
Two conflict zones currently make the news in Europe: Syria and Ukraine. People demonstrate empathy for those caught in war-torn areas and for the plight of refugees, in particular of the millions of refugees from Syria stranded in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and even Iraq. In general, empathy for the refugees diminishes the closer they come to Western Europe. In particular, when the refugees belong to Roma or Roma-related groups, the diminishing empathy very quickly turns into antipathy.
“Whenever there is a war, it hurts us. Nobody wants us Doms. People see us as their enemies in Iraq, Lebanon, and now Syria. They say ‘You are reprobates, thieves, you play drums and drink alcohol.’ But in fact they are the real thieves since they stole everything from us.”
(Elderly Domari refugee)