By Bernard Rorke
On the eve of International Roma Day, in an illegal pre-emptive strike, Italian authorities demolished the Gianturco camp near Naples. This action was designed to see off attempts by NGOs to secure emergency interventions to halt the mass evictions scheduled for 11 April.
Despite the Roma-only camps, the Roma-only emergency shelters, despite all the evictions and all the discrimination faced by Roma, Italy remains unpunished for its transgressions. To date, no action has been taken by the European Commission to signal its discontent with the undeclared apartheid that persists in this large and powerful EU member state.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), in its concluding observations just issued, called on the Italian authorities to halt all further evictions of Roma, and to scotch any plans to establish new segregated camps. This stands as a forthright vindication of the concerns highlighted by the ERRC in its recent submission to the Committee.
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.
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.