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.
By Radost Zaharieva
Education is a fundamental right according to article 14 from the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union. Access to quality education is essential for successful participation in society, and it is a crucial element for Roma communities to combat the social exclusion they face, and to improve their economic situation. Access to education for Roma communities is also vital if they are to access their social, economic and cultural rights, such as access to housing, health care and employment.
While the attention of the world media remains focused on the absurd and oppressive “Burkini ban” in France, a recent spike in hate crimes against Roma has gone virtually unnoticed. In three attacks within the last few weeks Roma have been firebombed, threatened and beaten at knifepoint in a toxic political climate where racism and xenophobia have become more pronounced. The response of law enforcement has been at best lax. The European Roma Rights Centre has been monitoring the situation of Roma in France for some years, and 2016 is looking decidedly grim.
By Marek Szilvasi and Radost Zaharieva
Today, March 22 is World Water Day; and today and everyday for thousands of Roma living in France, the reality is that you’ve got some ground to cover to fetch your water and if you need to use a toilet it is always going to be a walk away. The distance to fire hydrants and public fountains is often a few hundred metres, and getting to the source of water often involves crossing highway exits, climbing over fences and locked gates, trespassing and traipsing across private property and public parks. To get water often involves being chased by dogs, arguing with fire fighters, car wash attendants, security guards or any random citizen who feels duty-bound to prevent you from using water from hydrants, taps, or fountains. The trip back, laden down with water is considerably more hazardous.
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.