In November 2007, the Czech Republic was found by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to have discriminated against Roma children by assigning them routinely to schools for pupils with learning difficulties.

The case had been taken by the European Roma Rights Centre with the backing of Human Rights Watch, on behalf of 18 Roma children from Ostrava, the second-largest urban area in the country, after Prague.

The ruling came more than 10 years after the case had been launched. The children had had to exhaust Czech legal procedures before having recourse to the Strasbourg court.

The ECHR noted that the treatment of the Roma had not been contrary to Czech law. It observed that “the channelling of Roma children to special schools for the mentally retarded was often quasi-automatic.” More than half of the Roma in Ostrava were being consigned to the special schools.

Official discrimination against Roma is par for the course in many European countries today and in line with historical experience.

Since their appearance in Europe as migrants fleeing invasion in northern India around 700 years ago, they have been continuously subjected to intense persecution. Chronicles of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries record Roma being hunted by posses on horseback and summarily hanged. There are few accounts of anybody standing up for them.

Persecution of Roma in the last century under the Third Reich is reasonably well-known. But the scale of the atrocity is rarely acknowledged.

Between a quarter and a third of Roma in areas controlled by the Nazis, around 600,000 people, were to perish — a higher proportion than of any group apart from the Jews.

The treatment of Roma under Hitler represented an intensification of what had gone before. A Bavaria State law of 1926 required all Roma to register with the authorities and to report their movements to the police. Three years later, the measure was extended to all Germany. Seven months after taking power, in July 1933, the Nazis passed the ‘Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Defects’ — a charter for forced sterilisation aimed at Roma and Jews. The first ‘Gypsy camp’ was set up in 1936 at Marzahn, near Berlin. Mass round-ups began in 1938.

During World War II, Roma were deported in large numbers to concentration camps including Buchenwald, Dachau, Ravensbruck, Mauthausen and Auschwitz. On one day, August 2, 1944, 4,000 Roma were crammed into the gas chambers at Auschwitz to die.

In Croatia, the Nazi Ustashe, with the open support of a majority of Catholic clergy, massacred many thousands of Roma, Serbs and Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism. (In fairness, the Vatican protested vigorously, if to no effect.)

And likewise across occupied Europe. Thousands were rounded up in Vichy France and sent in batches in cattle trucks to the camps. Tens of thousands were deported with Jews from Romania (quite likely the grandparents and great-grandparents of many of the Roma currently and recently here) to camps in Transistria, now part of Moldova.

Today, the same contemptuous, racist attitude to the Roma persists in parts of Europe. In Kosovo, only 25,000 Roma remain from a population of around 160,000 prior to the conflict of the late 1990s. They live in camps in desperately poor conditions. They do not have the status of refugees. No other ethnic group lives in camps.

A news picture last year showed the bodies of cousins Christina, 12, and Viola, 11, Ibramovitc, on a beach near Naples, as sunbathers in fashionable swimwear lathered themselves with oil just 10 metres away. The children had been begging on the beach, then ran into the sea in high spirits and had been swamped by a wave. The UN High Commission for Refugees commented that: “Even in death there seemed to be a total indifference to these children.”

In a passionate article in the Daily Mail, journalist Sue Reid described the scene as “chilling evidence of how Italy’s crackdown on the Roma has sick echoes of the country’s fascist past”. Mussolini had publicly described the Roma as “sub-human”.

The Berlusconi Government has passed a law which nobody denies is aimed at the Roma laying down six-year prison sentences for immigrants who lie about their ethnicity or country of origin.

And so on. Hungary, Poland, Albania, Bosnia, Armenia …

The Roma are unique, as far as I know, among ethnic groups in that, while they have countries of origin, they don’t have and don’t seek a country of their own. Nor do they look for assimilation.

Their experience over generations has been that nobody wants to assimilate with them. Literally for centuries, the Roma have been driven like animals across fields and through ditches, spat upon, tortured, murdered. They have had no option but to live on the margins of society, scavenging for a living. This is the context in which to understand the lifestyle of Roma which callers to Talkback and myriad contributors to websites cite as explanation of, even justification for, the racist attacks of the last fortnight.

Many of the Roma will, perhaps, give a stoical shrug as they bundle up their belongings to go back where they came from.

We, on the other hand, cannot afford to slough the experience off. We have something evil in our midst and no excuse for not knowing where it might lead. History warns that we must confront it head on.

Northern Ireland will have to learn that extreme racist attitudes are not acceptable to Western Europes ideal of a multicultural society. This really shows that Belfast is only a provinical backwater with aspirations of being an international city like Dublin or even Cork. Dublin and Cork have assimilated different cultures. It shows that Irelands Capital and largest city Dublin has it right. I will leave you with this. Why would anyone in the right mind want to move in Belfast?

It is wrong to persecute people because of their religion, nationality or social class.

I think most people, including Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh are better living in their own country of origin.

The Roma should work in their own country for the Roma common good.

When socially deprived people are dumped into socially deprived areas, it wouldn’t take a genius to work out a probable scenario.

Statutory agencies failed to prepare the people of these areas for the integration of immigrants. Assimilation is impossible when those very immigrants cannot speak the host language. Do we know exactly how many Roma people had been victimised and how many took flight because of the nature of their culture which is to stick together? How many lived on the Malone Rd?

Don’t worry about Malachy he’s just a spent green candidate with nothing better to do.

I agree with Lee, what happened to these people was a disgrace, but at the same time I have to admit, with great shame, that I myself had developed a certain resentment towards them. I had only ever seen them beg on the streets, sell big issues (of which they only ever seem to have one left) and shove stupid roses in your face outside bars. Something needs to be done on both sides if this issue is to be resolved

Very good article. If more articles like this were published it might enlighten some very closed minds.

Dont agree with this article. Its the 21st century not the stone age. All these people have to do is get low paid jobs and work there way up the ladder like everyone else. Then society would respect them.

What happend to them was disgraceful. At the same time im not scared to admit that i find having my daily headshower from work at lunch in the city centre more pleasent now without being asked for money by a Roma every 15 yards. Sorry, just being honest.

While in Europe, I found the Roma completely annoying and can’t imagine putting up with them on a daily basis. Terrorizing them is a disgrace. My cousin married a Roma, ok guy but wow those silk shirts. Who will NI hate next?

Ter : It is not politically correct to be insulting and unkind to people who suffer from Alzheimers.

James I don’t know where you live, nor do I care but as for me, the contry I live in is Northern Ireland, one of the four countries which make upthe United Kingdom. Get over it. Your comment has no relation to this article. Good article Eamon.

Very fair and worthwhile piece – have to say though I hate the way people here are so quick to pointscore on the issue, people seem to be able to accept dissident republicans are in the minority in their community when they continue to want to kill and maim it would be nice if the same courtesy could be extended to the vast majority of law abiding people in loyalist areas of Belfast in regard to the racism issue. To see it along sectarian lines is petty pointscoring

Eamonn, I couldn’t agree more.

Even the fate of the Roma in ww2 is in some way hijacked.

The famous photograph of a girl looking out of a trainwagon is used to symbolyze the fate of the jews.

But it is in fact a roma girl, Settela Steinbach, from the Netherlands.

Owing to the alleged racist nature of these attacks, the media has been almost obsessed with reporting them but there are other groups within our society who receive little or no publicity or help when similar attacks occur.

Let’s have equality for all rather than frequently playing the race / ethnic card.

Very interesting. Secondary schools in northern ireland are suitable for children with learning difficulties, grammar schools are not..look at the first paragraph..consider this…”northern ireland” discriminates against ”working-class children” (twice if you bring religion into it)…..by asigning them routinely to schools for people with learning difficulties, ie non-grammar schools..something evil in our midst?….you’d better believe it! Note the latest grammar schools intake stats.

Well researched article. Malachy is just annoyed because Eamon has unwittingly outed his inherent racism.

Just one other point: Travellers are assigned to ‘Special Schools’ here, despite the Strasborg ruling, and this has been justified to me by Mary McMahon and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Good article. I was over in Slovakia a few years ago and was shocked at the poverty these folk lived in. The Slavic population call them „the blacks”. Abuse here has been pretty mild so far in comparison – and a lot less than ordinary indigenous people have to put up with from their neighbours quite often.

Never mind for now the question of whether our political/security leaders should be talking to terrorists. Isn’t it time our political/security leaders started talking to each other?

What do dissident republicans hope to achieve by planting bombs inside bins and beneath the cars of off-duty police officers? I mean, seriously: what do they hope to achieve?

Remember size zero? Well, any illusion that the fashion business actually believed that was where the billions lay has been quickly dispelled by the grim, greedy reality.

Sunday was the loveliest day of the year – and Victoria Bridge the balmiest place to be.

The Government says: “We won’t engage in talks with any group unless it is committed to exclusively peaceful means”.

Testing times are ahead for Northern Ireland. The so-called peace process is shaken by dissident terrorism. Draconian spending cuts hang over an already poor economy.

I should think when the British Legion appears at the International Court in The Hague, they’ll claim they had no idea the £4.6m „gift” they received from warlord Mister Tony Blair was blood money from a criminal.

Four nights ago I went to see the George Best musical, Dancing Shoes, and it is well worth seeing, if you can manage to get a ticket for today or for the extended run next week.

It’s not unusual for a spectacularly beautiful woman to take my breath away — but watching Naomi Campbell give evidence at The Hague last week, it wasn’t admiration or envy which swelled my heart, but revulsion and dismay.

If you’ll take my advice, you should train to be a counsellor.

Not long ago, a Hizbollah fighter in Lebanon insisted to me that there was life after death.

• Challenging a spandex-wearing rocker to a duel? Make sure you select pistols…

There have been a lot of good gigs in Belfast over the past few weeks. I was at Metallica recently (or a ‘reunion of Family Metallica’ as the singer insisted on calling it), and I had a great night out.

Our MLAs are about to go on holiday. They won’t be long back when we will be told the extent of the public spending cuts coming our way.

How long does it take for a nation that once had an empire to come to terms with the fact it’s no longer as important as it was? Do people from Rome still go around singing „Carthage, Galls and Southern Spain doo-da, doo-dah?”. This is a vital question as we ponder our latest humiliation.

Read the article on Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland just the latest country to victimise Roma

In November 2007, the Czech Republic was found by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to have discriminated against Roma children by assigning them routinely to schools for pupils with learning difficulties.

The case had been taken by the European Roma Rights Centre with the backing of Human Rights Watch, on behalf of 18 Roma children from Ostrava, the second-largest urban area in the country, after Prague.

The ruling came more than 10 years after the case had been launched. The children had had to exhaust Czech legal procedures before having recourse to the Strasbourg court.

The ECHR noted that the treatment of the Roma had not been contrary to Czech law. It observed that “the channelling of Roma children to special schools for the mentally retarded was often quasi-automatic.” More than half of the Roma in Ostrava were being consigned to the special schools.

Official discrimination against Roma is par for the course in many European countries today and in line with historical experience.

Since their appearance in Europe as migrants fleeing invasion in northern India around 700 years ago, they have been continuously subjected to intense persecution. Chronicles of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries record Roma being hunted by posses on horseback and summarily hanged. There are few accounts of anybody standing up for them.

Persecution of Roma in the last century under the Third Reich is reasonably well-known. But the scale of the atrocity is rarely acknowledged.

Between a quarter and a third of Roma in areas controlled by the Nazis, around 600,000 people, were to perish — a higher proportion than of any group apart from the Jews.

The treatment of Roma under Hitler represented an intensification of what had gone before. A Bavaria State law of 1926 required all Roma to register with the authorities and to report their movements to the police. Three years later, the measure was extended to all Germany. Seven months after taking power, in July 1933, the Nazis passed the ‘Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Defects’ — a charter for forced sterilisation aimed at Roma and Jews. The first ‘Gypsy camp’ was set up in 1936 at Marzahn, near Berlin. Mass round-ups began in 1938.

During World War II, Roma were deported in large numbers to concentration camps including Buchenwald, Dachau, Ravensbruck, Mauthausen and Auschwitz. On one day, August 2, 1944, 4,000 Roma were crammed into the gas chambers at Auschwitz to die.

In Croatia, the Nazi Ustashe, with the open support of a majority of Catholic clergy, massacred many thousands of Roma, Serbs and Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism. (In fairness, the Vatican protested vigorously, if to no effect.)

And likewise across occupied Europe. Thousands were rounded up in Vichy France and sent in batches in cattle trucks to the camps. Tens of thousands were deported with Jews from Romania (quite likely the grandparents and great-grandparents of many of the Roma currently and recently here) to camps in Transistria, now part of Moldova.

Today, the same contemptuous, racist attitude to the Roma persists in parts of Europe. In Kosovo, only 25,000 Roma remain from a population of around 160,000 prior to the conflict of the late 1990s. They live in camps in desperately poor conditions. They do not have the status of refugees. No other ethnic group lives in camps.

A news picture last year showed the bodies of cousins Christina, 12, and Viola, 11, Ibramovitc, on a beach near Naples, as sunbathers in fashionable swimwear lathered themselves with oil just 10 metres away. The children had been begging on the beach, then ran into the sea in high spirits and had been swamped by a wave. The UN High Commission for Refugees commented that: “Even in death there seemed to be a total indifference to these children.”

In a passionate article in the Daily Mail, journalist Sue Reid described the scene as “chilling evidence of how Italy’s crackdown on the Roma has sick echoes of the country’s fascist past”. Mussolini had publicly described the Roma as “sub-human”.

The Berlusconi Government has passed a law which nobody denies is aimed at the Roma laying down six-year prison sentences for immigrants who lie about their ethnicity or country of origin.

And so on. Hungary, Poland, Albania, Bosnia, Armenia …

The Roma are unique, as far as I know, among ethnic groups in that, while they have countries of origin, they don’t have and don’t seek a country of their own. Nor do they look for assimilation.

Their experience over generations has been that nobody wants to assimilate with them. Literally for centuries, the Roma have been driven like animals across fields and through ditches, spat upon, tortured, murdered. They have had no option but to live on the margins of society, scavenging for a living. This is the context in which to understand the lifestyle of Roma which callers to Talkback and myriad contributors to websites cite as explanation of, even justification for, the racist attacks of the last fortnight.

Many of the Roma will, perhaps, give a stoical shrug as they bundle up their belongings to go back where they came from.

We, on the other hand, cannot afford to slough the experience off. We have something evil in our midst and no excuse for not knowing where it might lead. History warns that we must confront it head on.

Northern Ireland will have to learn that extreme racist attitudes are not acceptable to Western Europes ideal of a multicultural society. This really shows that Belfast is only a provinical backwater with aspirations of being an international city like Dublin or even Cork. Dublin and Cork have assimilated different cultures. It shows that Irelands Capital and largest city Dublin has it right. I will leave you with this. Why would anyone in the right mind want to move in Belfast?

It is wrong to persecute people because of their religion, nationality or social class.

I think most people, including Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh are better living in their own country of origin.

The Roma should work in their own country for the Roma common good.

When socially deprived people are dumped into socially deprived areas, it wouldn’t take a genius to work out a probable scenario.

Statutory agencies failed to prepare the people of these areas for the integration of immigrants. Assimilation is impossible when those very immigrants cannot speak the host language. Do we know exactly how many Roma people had been victimised and how many took flight because of the nature of their culture which is to stick together? How many lived on the Malone Rd?

Don’t worry about Malachy he’s just a spent green candidate with nothing better to do.

I agree with Lee, what happened to these people was a disgrace, but at the same time I have to admit, with great shame, that I myself had developed a certain resentment towards them. I had only ever seen them beg on the streets, sell big issues (of which they only ever seem to have one left) and shove stupid roses in your face outside bars. Something needs to be done on both sides if this issue is to be resolved

Very good article. If more articles like this were published it might enlighten some very closed minds.

Dont agree with this article. Its the 21st century not the stone age. All these people have to do is get low paid jobs and work there way up the ladder like everyone else. Then society would respect them.

What happend to them was disgraceful. At the same time im not scared to admit that i find having my daily headshower from work at lunch in the city centre more pleasent now without being asked for money by a Roma every 15 yards. Sorry, just being honest.

While in Europe, I found the Roma completely annoying and can’t imagine putting up with them on a daily basis. Terrorizing them is a disgrace. My cousin married a Roma, ok guy but wow those silk shirts. Who will NI hate next?

Ter : It is not politically correct to be insulting and unkind to people who suffer from Alzheimers.

James I don’t know where you live, nor do I care but as for me, the contry I live in is Northern Ireland, one of the four countries which make upthe United Kingdom. Get over it. Your comment has no relation to this article. Good article Eamon.

Very fair and worthwhile piece – have to say though I hate the way people here are so quick to pointscore on the issue, people seem to be able to accept dissident republicans are in the minority in their community when they continue to want to kill and maim it would be nice if the same courtesy could be extended to the vast majority of law abiding people in loyalist areas of Belfast in regard to the racism issue. To see it along sectarian lines is petty pointscoring

Eamonn, I couldn’t agree more.

Even the fate of the Roma in ww2 is in some way hijacked.

The famous photograph of a girl looking out of a trainwagon is used to symbolyze the fate of the jews.

But it is in fact a roma girl, Settela Steinbach, from the Netherlands.

Owing to the alleged racist nature of these attacks, the media has been almost obsessed with reporting them but there are other groups within our society who receive little or no publicity or help when similar attacks occur.

Let’s have equality for all rather than frequently playing the race / ethnic card.

Very interesting. Secondary schools in northern ireland are suitable for children with learning difficulties, grammar schools are not..look at the first paragraph..consider this…”northern ireland” discriminates against ”working-class children” (twice if you bring religion into it)…..by asigning them routinely to schools for people with learning difficulties, ie non-grammar schools..something evil in our midst?….you’d better believe it! Note the latest grammar schools intake stats.

Well researched article. Malachy is just annoyed because Eamon has unwittingly outed his inherent racism.

Just one other point: Travellers are assigned to ‘Special Schools’ here, despite the Strasborg ruling, and this has been justified to me by Mary McMahon and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Good article. I was over in Slovakia a few years ago and was shocked at the poverty these folk lived in. The Slavic population call them „the blacks”. Abuse here has been pretty mild so far in comparison – and a lot less than ordinary indigenous people have to put up with from their neighbours quite often.

Never mind for now the question of whether our political/security leaders should be talking to terrorists. Isn’t it time our political/security leaders started talking to each other?

What do dissident republicans hope to achieve by planting bombs inside bins and beneath the cars of off-duty police officers? I mean, seriously: what do they hope to achieve?

Remember size zero? Well, any illusion that the fashion business actually believed that was where the billions lay has been quickly dispelled by the grim, greedy reality.

Sunday was the loveliest day of the year – and Victoria Bridge the balmiest place to be.

The Government says: “We won’t engage in talks with any group unless it is committed to exclusively peaceful means”.

Testing times are ahead for Northern Ireland. The so-called peace process is shaken by dissident terrorism. Draconian spending cuts hang over an already poor economy.

I should think when the British Legion appears at the International Court in The Hague, they’ll claim they had no idea the £4.6m „gift” they received from warlord Mister Tony Blair was blood money from a criminal.

Four nights ago I went to see the George Best musical, Dancing Shoes, and it is well worth seeing, if you can manage to get a ticket for today or for the extended run next week.

It’s not unusual for a spectacularly beautiful woman to take my breath away — but watching Naomi Campbell give evidence at The Hague last week, it wasn’t admiration or envy which swelled my heart, but revulsion and dismay.

If you’ll take my advice, you should train to be a counsellor.

Not long ago, a Hizbollah fighter in Lebanon insisted to me that there was life after death.

• Challenging a spandex-wearing rocker to a duel? Make sure you select pistols…

There have been a lot of good gigs in Belfast over the past few weeks. I was at Metallica recently (or a ‘reunion of Family Metallica’ as the singer insisted on calling it), and I had a great night out.

Our MLAs are about to go on holiday. They won’t be long back when we will be told the extent of the public spending cuts coming our way.

How long does it take for a nation that once had an empire to come to terms with the fact it’s no longer as important as it was? Do people from Rome still go around singing „Carthage, Galls and Southern Spain doo-da, doo-dah?”. This is a vital question as we ponder our latest humiliation.

Read the article on Belfast Telegraph

Postat de pe data de 20 aug., 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 556 ori.

Publica un raspuns