CHEMISTRY HIGHSCHOOL "COSTIN NENITESCU"
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Argument .............
II. Instead of Motto ..............
III. Introduction ............
IV. The Roma History ...........
V. The Romani Language ..........
VI. Religion, Traditions and Customs..
VII. Beliefs and Practices ..........
VIII. The Romani Music .........
IX. Fictional and Artistic Representations of
the Roma ............
X. What is Discrimination? .......
XI. Persecutions of the Roma ........
XII. The British Roma ............
XIII. Conclusions ..............
XIV. Bibliography .............
XV. Appendices ............
Society is constantly changing nowadays or, as some might put it, developing. As in every process, there are both advantages and disadvantages, depending on the perspective. What worries me, nonetheless, is the careless "sit back and let it happen" approach that is becoming more and more frequent among most teenagers. Taking a very good look around and acting according to one's principles, does not require -in my opinion- more than a strong will power.
For it is enough to look around
every once in a while, to notice a very brutal discrimination, regardless of
place and time, context or reason. Particularly in
The reason for which I have chosen
this subject is the increasing emphasis of globalization,
a matter concerning every nation, including the Roma. The following paper on Roma
Rights examines matters related to a dual dynamic: on the one hand, abusive
practices perpetrated on Roma by Roma in the name of 'traditional culture' and
the general abandonment by the state of the victims to the perpetrators; on the
other hand, a tendency by state officials to treat social problems in the
Romani community with draconian and disproportionate measures. Roma in
In recent years, in response to the disturbing return of explicit racism to the European public space, European authorities have responded by considerably elaborating the ban on racial discrimination law in Europe, both within the framework of European Union law and therefore in the member states of the European Union, as well as in the Council of Europe system.
A brief overview suggests that a
minimum of matters are implicated in the prohibition of discrimination for the
purposes of the legal systems of
For much of their history, taking everything into account, the Roma have been forced migrants -many of them real and all of them potential. Roma are a persecuted people with no mainstream media to cover their tortured journeys, no safe haven across any border, and no military alliances to interfere in their defense. Louis Armstrong once sang: 'It's a wonderful world!', and it is, but I would like to add that it's everybody's world, regardless of nationality, sex or religion. Everyone belongs to this world and this world is ours; therefore, no-one should be discriminated against, because 'All men are equal'.
*see Appendices 1 , 2 & 15
INSTEAD OF MOTTO
Yet are they here the same unbroken knot
Of human beings, in the self-same spot!
Men, women, children yea the frame
Of the whole spectacle the same!
Only their fire seems bolder, yielding the light;
Now deep and red, the coloring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls.
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls.
--Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours are gone, while I
Have been a traveler under the open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left, I find them here!
The weary Sun betook himself to rest;--
Then issued Vesper from the fulgent west,
Outshining like a visible God
The glorious path in which he trod.
And now, ascending, after one dark hour
And one night's diminution of her power,
Behold the mighty Moon! this way
She looks as if at them-but they
Regard not her:--oh better wrong and strife
(By nature transient) than this torpid life;
Life which the very stars reprove
As on their silent tasks they move!
Yet, witness all that stirs in Heaven or Earth!
In scorn I speak not;--they are what their birth
And breeding suffer them to be;
Wild outcasts of society!
A Romanian poet, Alexandru Macedonski, once said: 'The Gypsies walk unceasingly; they themselves don't know when they set off. But they keep on going driven by an eternal calling. Gypsies all around the world have always given birth and died. But they have kept going towards their unfulfilled dream: "the Gypsies walk unceasingly".' The Roma are a troubled people, constantly walking an endless road of hopes lit by the powerful torch of tradition: 'they themselves don't know when they set off'.
The following presentation aims to give
you an objective view and information with regard to the Roma condition
For much of their history, the Roma have
been forced migrants: many of them actual and all of them potential migrants.
This is one of the main reasons for which
Unfortunately, such problems rarely receive response from high-level government authorities. Even when officials are genuinely committed to helping Roma, they are often not given sufficient resources or authority to do so.
Important advances in anti-discrimination law have provided marginalized groups with chances for redress when fundamental rights are violated. However, without strengthening the regime of social and economic rights, these advances will be only partial and may have pernicious side-effects such as aggravated social tensions and resentment against Gypsies who receive a special treatment.
Currently, the home countries of the
majority of Roma are beginning to join the E.U. and as a result, the situation
of Roma is gaining political attention. For the time being, however Roma in
The Roma History
It is said that the Gypsies lived in
Some of the places the Gypsies visited during their migration which started from around the year 710 are:
*the year 710 in Kolunba;
*the year 730 in Panim Gua;
*the year 735 in
*the year 786 in Ahmada Bad;
*the year 800 in Bisons;
*the year 1000 in Balkan;
*the year 1312 -researchers say that the first Gypsies were found on
they originate from
*the year 1346 in Korfu;
*the year 1396 in Napillia;
*the year 1426 in
*the year 1430 in
In the 14th century the Gypsies called themselves *'Dom' which means
'human being' in the Indian language. The Gipsies changed the letter'd' to a 'r'. *'Rom' means in Romani 'Gipsy man'. The word human being is 'Manosch' in Romani.
All over the world, the Gipsies were deported, tortured and called discriminating names.
*see "The Columbian Encyclopedia", Sixth Edition, 2001, page 241
Little is known about the early history of the Roma and it is not clear whether they lived on the periphery of Indian civilization, were members of one or more Hindu castes, or represented a number of different social classes and tribal groups.
They apparently left their original homeland
The most important migrations began in the
10th century following Muslim invasions of
The Roma were generally well received
Nonetheless, the Roma were not
treated as harshly everywhere in
However, discrimination against Roma
persisted in most part of
Yet, the Roma have been increasingly active in political and cultural movements to establish their rights and preserve their heritage. In 1979, the United Nations (U.N.) recognized the Roma as a distinct ethnic group. The International Romani Union, a non-governmental organization, represents the world's Roma at the U.N. Other organizations, such as the Union Romani of Spain or Phralipe of Hungary, campaign for civil rights in specific countries or religions.
The Romani Language
Because the Roma are widely dispersed, their culture and social organization vary considerably. However, an important characteristic everywhere is a strong sense of group identity. Romani culture stresses the sacredness of its own traditions in opposition to those of the outside world. Contact with non-Roma is regarded as potentially polluting; a belief probably derived from the religious beliefs of the Roma's Hindu ancestors and another unifying force is their language-Romani, which consists of a number of dialects belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. Most speak some form of Romani, while others speak dialects of local languages with extensive borrowings from Romani. Romani is primarily a spoken rather than a written language. Until recent years most Roma were illiterate, and illiteracy rates remain high in most Roma communities.
The real key of the Roma origin is
their language. The scientific study of that language began in the middle of
the 19th century with the work of Pott, and was brought to a higher
state of perfection by Miklosich. From that time on, monographs have multiplied
and minute researchers have been carried on in many parts of the world, all
tending to elucidate the true origin of the Romani language. It must remain for
the time being an open question whether the Roma were originally a pure race.
Many a strange element has contributed to swell their ranks and to introduce
discordant elements into their vocabulary. Ruediger (1782), Grellmannn ( 1783) and Marsden (1783) almost
simultaneously and independently one of another came to the same conclusion,
that the language of the Roma, until then considered a thieves jargon, was, in
reality, a language close allied with some Indian speech. Since then, the two
principal problems to be solved have been: firstly, to which of the languages
Notwithstanding the statements to the
contrary, a Roma from
Notably through *Miklosich's research and comparative studies, it is possible to follow the slow change step by step and to prove, at any rate, as far as Europe is concerned, the language of these Roma was one and the same, and that it was slowly split up into a number of dialects which shade off to one another, and which by their traditional forms mark the way in which the Roma have traveled, as also proved by historical evidence.
*see Acton,Thomas and Gary Mundy ,E.D.S.
"Romani Culture and Identity",
Religion, Traditions and Customs
Those who have lived among the Roma will
readily testify that their religious views are a strange medley of the local
faith, which they everywhere embrace, and some old-world superstitions which
they have in common with many nations. Among the Greeks, they belong to the
Greek Church, among the Mohammedans they are Mohammedans, in
There is nothing specifically of an Oriental origin in their religious vocabulary, and the words of Devla (God), Bang (Devil) or Trusizul (Cross) in spite of some remote similarity, must be taken as later adaptations, and not as remnants of an old Sky worship or Serpent worship. In general, their beliefs, customs, tales, etc, belong to the common stock of general folklore, and many of their symbolical expressions find their exact counterparts in Romanian and Modern Greek, and are often read as if they were direct translations from these languages.
Although they love their children, it
sometimes happens that a Roma mother will hold her child by the legs and beat
the father with it. In
They are far-famed for their music in
which art they are unsurpassed. The Roma musicians belong mostly to the class
who originally were serfs. They were retained at the courts of the Boyars for
their special talent in reciting old ballads and their deftness in playing,
notably in recital or heroic ballads and epic songs; the later for dances and
other amusements. They were the troubadours and minstrels of Eastern Europe,
the largest collection of Romanian popular ballads and songs was gathered by G.
Dem Teodorescu from a Roma minstrel: Petre Sholkan.; and not a few of the songs
of the pulsars among the Serbians and other Slavonic nations in the Balkans
come also from the Roma. They have also retained the ancient tunes and airs,
from the dreamy doina of the Romanian
to the fiery czardas of the Hungarian
or the stately hoar of the Bulgarian.
Liszt went so far as to ascribe to the Roma the origin of the Hungarian
national music. This is an exaggeration as seen by comparison with the Roma
music in other parts of south-eastern
Equally famous is the Roma woman for her knowledge of occult practices. She is the real witch; she knows charms to injure enemy or to help a friend. She can break the charm if made by others. But neither in one case, nor in the other, and in fact as little as in their songs, do they use the Roma language. It is either the local language of the natives as in the case of charms, or a slightly Romanized form of Greek, Romanian or Slavonic. The old Roma woman is also known for her skill in palmistry and fortune-telling by means of a special set of cards, the well-known Tarot of the Roma.
Moreover, they have a large stock of
fairy-tales resembling in each country the local fairy tales: in
However, it is possible that playing
cards might have been introduced to
It has been suggested that while still
in India, the Roma people belonged to the Hindu religion , this theory being
supported by the Romany word for "cross"-"trishul" , a word that describes
Shiva's Trident (Trishul).Roma have usually adopted the dominant religion of
the host country while often preserving
their particular belief systems and indigenous religion and worship. Most
Eastern European Roma are Catholic, Orthodox or Muslim. Those in Western Europe
Since the Second World War, a growing number of Roma have embraced Evangelical movements. For the first time, Roma became ministers and created their own, autonomous churches and missionary organization. In some countries, the majority of the Roma now belong to Romani churches. The unexpected change has greatly contributed to a better image of Roma in society. The work they perform is seen as more legitimate, and they have begun to obtain legal permits for commercial activities.
Evangelical Romani churches exist today
in every country where Roma are settled. The movement is particularly strong in
Beliefs and Practices
Many centuries in the past, the Roma were some
of the last Goddess-worshipers in
Today, there is not just one single Roma culture. Nor is there general agreement on who should qualify to be called a Roma. Romani groups around the world hold different traditions, customs and beliefs. Groups that have settled in one location generally absorb some of the gajikane (non-Roma) local culture. Most Roma have converted to the religions of their host countries, typically Christianity and Islam. Their formal religion affiliation is often supplemented by Roma traditional beliefs such as:
*the existence of Beng (Satan);
*the existence of bibaxt (bad luck) and mulo (supernatural spirits or ghosts)
*the power of good luck charms, amulets and talismans;
*the power of curses;
*the power of healing rituals.
*Marime is a state of impurity brought on a person by the violation of a purity taboo. It also means 'sentence of expulsion imposed for violation of purity rules or any behaviour disruptive to the Roma community'. Some Roma consider the part of a woman's body below the waist to be dirty and polluted, because it is associated with menstruation. In many tribes, women wear long skirts, the bottoms of which must not touch a man other than her husband;
*A pregnant woman is considered unclean. She must not give birth in the family home because it would then become impure. Sometimes knots are ritually untied as the birth approaches. This is believed to assure the umbilical cord will not be tangled. After birth, anything that the new mother touches is later destroyed. This quarantine continues at least until the baptism of the baby.
*Newborns are baptized, usually in running water, when they are a few weeks old. Often, the infant is massaged with oil; this is believed to make it strong.
*A Roma typically has three names. The first is known only by the mother, given at the time of birth. Its purpose is to confuse evil spirits by keeping the real name of the child from them. The second name is conferred at the time of baptism, and is the commonly used name within the tribe. A third, different name may be given when the child is re-baptized in a Christian church. It has little importance, except when dealing with non-Roma.
*In the past, people were typically married
between the ages of 9 to 14. This tradition has changed in many tribes due to
the influence of the surrounding culture. In 2003, one of the many self-styled
Roma tribal-kings, Ilie Tortica, banned his subjects from entering their
children into marriage until they have come of legal age. This ban is seen by
some as being in direct conflict with traditional Roma family practices. A
rival Roma patriarch, Florin Cioaba, ran afoul of Romanian authorities in late
2003, when he married off his youngest daughter, Ana-Maria (12), well below the
legally marriageable age in
*When a person dies, relatives and friends gather around and ask for forgiveness for any bad deed that they have done to that person. They are concerned if such grievances are not settled, that the dead person might come back as an evil spirit and cause trouble. In the past, the widow might commit suicide when her husband died so that she could accompany him during the afterlife. Sometimes, the deceased nostrils are plugged with wax so that evil spirits cannot enter and occupy the body. Clothing, wools, eating utensils, jewelry, and money may be placed in the coffin in order to help the deceased in the next world. The deceased's possessions are burned, broken or sold to non-Roma.
*They believe that a person can be reincarnated as another human or animal. Alternately, they might appear as a mulo or living dead, seeking revenge on anyone who harmed him during his life on earth.
*Many Roma rules of behavior relate to the use of water. They normally wash in running water, as in a shower. Baths are not used. Women's and men's clothes are washed separately, because of the
impurities of a woman's body. Clothes of pregnant or menstruating women are washed furthest downstream from the camp, to avoid contamination.
*Women must not expose their legs. They wear long, multi-coloured skirts.
*Out of respect for the importance of the horse in assuring Roma mobility, the eating of horse meat is prohibited in some tribes.
*Many Roma women, called 'drabardi' practice fortune-telling, but fortunes are only read for non-Roma.
*Other women are 'drabarni' or 'drabengi' and practice natural healing techniques.
The Roma are family oriented, with the elderly occupying positions of respect and authority. By European or American standards, Roma tend to marry at a young age. Many Romani women marry at the age of 12 or 13. Marriages are usually arranged by the couple's parents and reflect a desire to create alliances between families or clans. A strict sexual morality prevails among most Roma. It is common for unmarried girls to be chaperoned in the presence of males who are not a part of their extended family. A number of groups maintain the institution of "bride-price", a payment made by the family of the groom to that of the bride. The payment compensates the bride's family for the loss of their daughter and guarantees that she will be well-treated by her new family.
*see Appendices 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
The Romani Music
The Roma have exerted a significant influence on the
artistic history of
The 'lautari', who perform at
traditional Romanian weddings are virtually all Roma, although their music
draws from a vast variety of ethnic traditions.- for example Romanian, Turkish,
Jewish and Slavic- as well as Roma traditions. Probably the most
internationally prominent performer in the lautari tradition is 'Taraful
Haiducilor' (approximately 'The Outlaws' Band'). Many famous classical
musicians, such as the Hungarian pianist Georges Cziffra are Roma, as are many
prominent performers of "manele". Zdob si Zdub, one of the best rock bands in
The distinctive sound of Roma music
has also strongly influenced *bolero,
jazz, and Cante Jondo in
and Gary Mundy ,E.D.S. "Romani Culture and Identity",
*see Appendices 3 & 4
Fictional and Artistic Representations
of the Roma
Perhaps the most well-known representations of Roma in fiction occur in:
*Victor Hugo's novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame',
*Miguel de Cervantes' novel 'La Gitanilla',
*Georges Bizet's opera 'Carmen'.
Other literary treatments include:
* 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker features a group of Gipsies working for the Count, as the custom was; they attached themselves to Noble families, in this case Dracula's.
* 'The Lyre of Orpheus' by Robertson
Davies features major characters who maintain Roma traditions, including the
care and repair of musical instruments, in modern
* 'Fires in the Dark' by Louise
Doughty is a fictionalized account of Roma experience in
*Heavily stereotyped Gypsies are frequent antagonists in the young adult fiction of Enid Blithe, such as 'The Famous Five', 'The Secret Seven', and 'The Adventure Series'.
*Stephen King's novel 'Thinner' includes the classic plot device of the gypsy's curse.
*Stephen (Barbara) Kyle's novel 'The Experiment' is about an American Roma who is the daughter of a victim of Nazi experimentation.
*Canadian contemporary fantasy author Charles de Lint's novel 'Mulengro' presents a portrayal of the Roma and their cultural myths. One of the members of this group, Borrible Jones, appears in his novel 'Spirits in the Wires'.
*Author Jacqueline Carey's 'Kushiel's Legacy' trilogy features the Roma quite prominently. Calling them the 'Tsingani' , she depicts Roma culture and attitude towards the non-Roma with depth and realism. One of the main characters in the trilogy is Hyancinthe, a half-Roma grandson of the 'King of the Tsingani' who has the 'dromonde' or 'sight' . Clairvoyant abilities have long been associated with the Roma,
*Author Johanna Lindsay's 'Malory' romances feature a family of Regency aristocrats with Roma ancestry. Several of the characters have 'talents' which supposedly can be traced to the 'sight' which their half-Romani grandmother inherited from her grandmother and mother. 'The Present', the final novel in the series, describes Roma culture in some respects; the other five novels simply hint at the Roma heritage of the family.
Treatments of Roma in other media include:
*In the 1937, film classic 'Heidi' starring Shirley Temple, Roma appeared in the stereotypical villain role.
*Marlene Dietrich stars in 'Golden Earrings' (1947) as a Gipsy whose clan helps British agent Ray Millard to escape from the Nazis during the Second World War.
*Serbian director Emir Kusturica often used the Roma community as basis of his films.
*In the TV. series 'Buffy, the Vampire Slayer', Jenny Calendar, the techno pagan computer-science teacher, was a member of the Kalderash clan. The Kalderash clan also cursed the vampire character Angel by giving back his soul, as punishment for killing one of its favorite daughters.
*Marvel Comics' 'Doctor Doom' is a Gipsy; in DC Comics' 'Night Wing' is also Roma on his father's side.
*In TSR. Inc.'s fantasy role-playing universe Ravenloft, the Vistani people are clearly based on the Roma.
*In Tim Schafer's game 'Psychonauts', lead character Razputin and his family are Roma.
* 'Gadjo dilo', written and directed
by Tony Gatlif, Stephane, a young Frenchman from
*In the film 'Fullmetal Alchemist', Conqueror of Shambala, the character of Noa, a Romani fortune teller, plays a significant role.
*Johann Strauss Jr.'s operetta 'Der Zigeunerbaron' (The Gipsy Baron).
_____ _______ ______ _______
*see Appendices 5 , 8 & 11
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination on grounds of race, colour or ethnicity ('racial discrimination') is almost always a violation of human rights. In the words of the International Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (I.C.E.R.D.), the primary law governing the ban on discrimination, '.the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descend, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise , or an equal footing of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political , economic, social , cultural or any other field of public life'. Fundamental to the principle of non-discrimination are the rights of members of racial, ethnic and cultural minorities to equality before the law and the equal protection of the law. International law bans racial discrimination in a range of fields including but not limited to education, health, housing, employment, and the provision of and access to public goods and services. States have a positive obligation to prevent, punish and remedy racial discrimination.
'Indirect discrimination' occurs 'when an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared to other persons, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.' For instance, a department store states that no person with long skirts may enter the store, or a government office which prohibits entry by persons with covered heads. These rules, though neutral on their face as to ethnicity, may in fact disproportionately disadvantage members of certain minority groups, who have a tendency to wear long skirts or head scarves.
On the other hand, there are a number of instruments developed to assist victims of racial discrimination, among which are:
*domestic anti-discrimination laws;
*other domestic laws not directly pertaining to discrimination, but which may be creatively applied in discrimination cases, such as tort laws protecting dignity of person;
*International laws, including:
-The International Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (I.C.E.R.D.) in particular article 14 of the I.C.E.R.D., allowing the Committee of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to consider communications from individuals and groups concerning violations of the Convention;
-The European Convention of Human Rights (E.C.H.R.). Article 14 of the E.C.H.R. prohibits discrimination with respect to rights guaranteed under the Convention. Protocol No. 12 to the E.C.H.R. , which was opened for signature in 2000, will add a comprehensive ban on discrimination in the application of any right provided by law, following its ratification by 10 member states of the Council of Europe . Activists have an important role to play in bringing pressure on governments to ratify Protocol 12 without delay.
-The European Union Race Equality Directive. This Directive requires states to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws and establish effective enforcements bodies. It forms part of the body of E.U. law which member states and candidate countries alike must comply with. Activists have a significant role to play in ensuring that states amend legislation to meet the requirements of this important instrument.
_____ _______ ______ ________
*see Appendices 6, 7 & 8
Persecutions of the Roma
Rumors were spread in medieval times that the Roma were descended from a sexual encounter between a Roma woman and Satan. Christians believed that a conspiracy of blacksmiths, wizards and women had been organized to attack the Church. Since many Roma were blacksmiths, the conspiracy theory expanded to involve the Romani. Moreover, another belief was that Roma forged the nails used in Christ's crucifixion. They countered with the rumor that a Roma attempted to steal the nails so that Christ could not be crucified, but was only able to grab one.
The Christian genocide against Witches during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance was also directed against the Roma. The courts seized and imprisoned them in Witches' prisons, often without even bothering to record their names.
The Diet of Augsburg ruled that Christians could legally kill Roma. Meanwhile, the Courts were closed to the Roma who were injured by Christians.
In 1721, Emperor Karl VI of what is now
Roma were rounded up and imprisoned in
In 1792, 45 Roma were tortured and executed for the murder of some Hungarians, who were in fact alive and observed the executions.
is believed that as much as half of the Roma in
In the 1920s, during the
During the Nazi Holocaust, they were
declared to be 'sub-humans'. In 1941-July, the Einsatzkommandos were instructed
to 'kill all Jews, Gipsies and mental patients'. A few months later, Himmler
ordered that all Roma be deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau for extermination.
Sybil Milton, a former Senior Historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
estimates that 500,000 Roma and Sinti persons were exterminated. This number is
supported by the Romas and
There are about 5,000 Roma survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. They did not share in the hundreds of millions dollars given to other survivors.
The hatred and physical attacks
directed at the Roma within the formerly Communist governments of
The recent situation in
The situation is similar in
The Roma in Kosovo may be the most oppressed of all. They appear to be hated by both the Albanian/Muslim majority and the Serbian/Christian minority. A series of articles about the Roma in Kosovo has been published by an anti-cult site. This web site claims that the Roma totaled at least 10% of the population of Kosovo. Yet they have been essentially invisible and have not been included in population figures.
The Commission on Security and
In 1997 May, President Clinton decided not to reappoint a Roma representative to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. In effect, the many hundreds of thousands of Roma exterminated during the Holocaust have been killed twice: once by Nazis using poison gas; and a second time by subsequent generations in the West, who have allowed the memory of the victims to fade into oblivion.
About 12 million of Roma are believed to be scattered throughout the world. It is impossible to estimate the total population with accuracy since many governments do not record Roma in their census figures. Besides, many conceal their ethnic origin out of fear of discrimination.
The British Roma: the Condition of Roma
20th century brought a radical change for the Roma as well as other
travelers. This, however, happened rather in the period after the Second World
War; the first decades of the 20th century were marked by the
continuation of trends rooted in the preceding century. Even though Romani
genocide never took place in
were called up in the army, but delivery of call-up orders was complicated.
Romani men were among the hero fighters, they excelled in
After the war, provisional arrangements
were installed in many spheres in
Nevertheless, the days of improvement
did not last long. It was only in the 1960s that the attention of the British
as well as the world public in general was turned once again to Romani issues.
At this time, these were taken up by international organizations and the whole
Different Romani associations came
into being in
At the same time, on the other hand, nomadism
About one half of the Roma currently
Alongside with the restriction of nomadism, British travellers face the problem of education of their children; education has previously been administrated by the particular districts and in some of them, the access of these children to education was quite restricted. Responsible authorities have been solving the since the 1960s; their efforts have however turned no results still in 1990. The Mary Delaney case from 1977, which was not registered in school because she stayed at an illegal site, was reflected in the 1980 Educational Act. The right of all Traveler children to school attendance was explicitly encoded in 1981 by a circular letter issued by the Ministry of Education and Science and reconfirmed by the 1988 Education Reform Act.
Racism cannot certainly be said to be non-existent in the United Kingdom- for example the number of racially motivated crimes is higher in the U.K. than in the C.R., but on the other hand, much smaller number of such crimes result in death of he victim. British media continues to present negative stereotypes of the Roma as well as other Travelers, the numbers of structural discrimination increase, sedentary citizens organize many demonstrations and draft petitions against caravan sites in their localities, sometimes, they use violence to force out the Travelers; there are cases of Roma being refused to enter public space.
The situation of the British travellers
has rapidly deteriorated since the 1980s. The pre-election rhetoric of the
Conservatives in 1987 included the issue of replacements of caravan sites and
restriction of nomadism. The government created in 1987 did not touch upon
these issues in practice. The so-called New Age Travelers however became a
highly discussed theme for the government formed in 1991. This government
introduced new legislature that restricts nomadism quite substantially. The
circular letter issued by the Ministry of Environment in 1994 has made it even
more difficult to obtain license for private site. The so-called Criminal
Justice and Public Order Act repealed the Caravan Sites Act in 1994. Apart from
these, quite a number of other measures were enforced that make the situation
of Travellers even worse-for example, the order allowing only 2 families to use
one site at the same time. The Roma in
Given the failure of previous and existing policies to remove or reduce discrimination against Roma, and to promote their social inclusion, the E.U. must take the lead in targeting these groups within existing and new policies. It is recommended that the European Commission should establish a coordination structure on Roma issues to ensure the improved coherence and efficacy of its policies. The E.U. should continue to provide guidance to member states on the collection of data on aspects on race and ethnicity of relevance to social inclusion. The European Commission, which is financing research into data collection practices elsewhere in the world, has established a Working Group on ethnic data collection and will finance a conference on the issue.
The European Commission should continue
its efforts to monitor the transposition of the Race Equality Directive and the
Framework Employment Directive into
The E.U. should approach the improvement of
the situation of Roma through both specific measures and financial allocations,
ensure that it involves Roma representatives in policy formulation and
monitoring, strengthen its human rights monitoring and publicize the
anti-Romani racism. Finally, it should recognize that the situation of Roma
within the E.U. is related to their situation in the neighboring states, and
that the E.U. should finance external relations programmes in the applicant
countries, the Western Balkans and the former
*Cahn Claude Roma Rights: Race, Justice and Strategies for Equality, I.D.E.A. Press, 2002.
* The Internet:
APPENDIX 10 APPENDIX 11