Does it make sense to collect “ethnic data” about Romani people?

Does it make sense to collect “ethnic data” in the Czech Republic? Specifically, to collect data about Romani people with respect to crime, employment, the number of Romani children in the “practical schools”, and social situations?

Could the creation of this kind of statistical data be legal and safe? News server Romea.cz has contacted authorities, politicians, and Romani activists and experts on this issue.

The topic of the collection of “ethnic data” was revived by a recent seminar held in the Czech lower house by the Platform for Human Rights and the ROMEA association. The collection of statistics on Romani people was supported there, for example, by Čeněk Růžička from the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust.

“If society is supposed to aid us Roma somehow, it must have data about us. I am an indigenous Czech Rom and our community has experienced being ‘inventoried’ several times and we know repressive units of the state have misused that information. Even though, as a Rom, I am aware of this enormous problem, I nevertheless agree that data should be collected about us,” Růžička said at the seminar.

Read more on http://www.romea.cz/en/news/czech/david-benak-without-ethnic-statistics-we-are-de-facto-blind

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Is discrimination a root cause of Romani marginalization?

In its resolution 26/4 adopted on 14 July 2014, the Human Rights Council recognized that for more than five centuries, Roma have faced widespread and enduring discrimination, rejection, social exclusion and marginalisation in all areas of life all over the world . It expressed concern that Roma continue to be socially and economically marginalised, which undermines the respect of their human rights, propagates prejudice and impedes their full participation in society and the effective exercise of civic responsibilities. The resolutions also recognised that Anti-Gypsyism constitutes a major obstacle to the successful social inclusion of Roma and the full respect of their human rights.

Anti-Gypsyism has been defined by the Council of Europe as “a specific form of racism, an ideology founded on racial superiority, a form of dehumanization and institutional racism nurtured by historical discrimination, which is expressed, among others, by violence, hate speech, exploitation, stigmatization and the most blatant kind of discrimination”.

Read more on http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IEMinorities/ProtectionRoma/ConceptNoteRoma_200150610.pdf

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Can the path of love and compassion be the right cornerstone for the European Union?

A Turkish author Harun Yahya writes:

” … The member states are already facing issues of discrimination against the Roma people with around 10 to12 million Roma living in the EU. Despite the much- talked about standards that are presumed to be benefiting the entire community, the Roma are all too often treated unfairly, frequently living in poor and isolated conditions; they cannot find employment opportunities, and they are socially segregated based on their ethnic background.

… This rise in hate crimes, the ongoing crisis and depression throughout the Western world that is regarded to be the “foremost-civilized” part of our globe is due to the absence of love, the most vital need of life, in European societies. That is why the cutting-edge technologies, ultra modern production techniques, new transportation methods or innovations do not benefit the people of the continent. They do not bring them the happiness, contentment and security, which all individuals seek throughout their lifetime.

In order to find recovery out of this downturn, the right cornerstone must be placed the center of the EU; the path of love and compassion, the guidance for all of humanity in all their endeavors ranging across economic, political, educational and social realms.”

Read more on http://www.arabiangazette.com/the-eu-lacking-cornerstone-20150608/

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Do you want to be a Muslim Rom in today`s Europe?

“Islamophobia gets all mixed up with chauvinism toward indigenous communities: anti-Turkish, anti-Bosniak, anti-Tatar elements,” Taskin Tankut Soykan told me in a meeting in Warsaw in August 2013 when he was working for the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights as the adviser on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims.

“There are also racist elements mixed in with this,” Soykan continued. “And it’s all somehow linked to historic conflicts. Muslims in the region have been accused of helping the Ottomans during the invasion of the Balkans. They were treated as traitors. In Greece, anti-Turkish chauvinism is mixed with Islamophobia in a way to show how the Greeks were right when they were saying that Islam was a threat to their country and finally the West is recognizing their position. In the meantime, they also spread racism and xenophobia against immigrant communities, with neo-Nazi organizations physically attacking Pakistanis and Middle Eastern people. In Eastern Europe anti-Roma sentiment is also mixed in because many Roma people have Islamic background especially in Southeastern Europe. They are discriminated because they are Roma and because they are Muslims.”

Read more on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-feffer/islamophobia-in-east-cent_b_7483100.html

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Are Roma problems only social and not the ethnic ones?

Bulgaria: Mayor of Garmen says anti-Romani protests are being exploited for political gain

 

26/05/2015 – Anti-Romani protests broke out in the municipality of Garmen in southwestern Bulgaria on Saturday. Those protesting say they have long had conflicts with some occupants of temporary housing near their community. Yesterday a meeting was held between representatives of the protesters, the governor of the region, the director of regional authority on construction and the mayor of Garmen, Minka Kapitanova. Currently calm prevails thanks to the police presence. According to news server Bnt.bg, however, there was a risk that radical football hooligans would participate in the protests. Speaking at yesterday’s meeting, the mayor emphasized that in her view the problem is a social one, not an ethnic one, because many local Romani people participate in society without any problems.

 

Read more on http://www.romea.cz/en/news/bulgaria-mayor-of-garmen-says-anti-romani-protests-are-being-exploited-for-political-gain

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Will the pig farm on the Roma Holocaust site still be part of the Czech reality in 2020?

What takes place around the pig farm in Lety by Písek continues to tell us important, interesting things about Czech society, about the level of our public discussions, about the nature and purpose of protest, about communications inside the Romani community, and about pro-Romani and Romani activists here. Much has already been written about the scandal of this farm, which is located on the site of a former concentration camp where hundreds of Romani people perished and from which others were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz, and the basic arguments about and problems with the farm are absolutely clear.

The fact that an industrial pig farm is standing on the site of a former concentration camp has been recognized as an international embarrassment and institutions such as the European Parliament and the United Nations regularly criticize the Czech Republic for it. Similarly, it is evident that while most politicians would no longer permit themselves to openly say they do not consider relocating the farm to be important, they obviously do not actually consider it important at all.

Read more on http://www.romea.cz/en/news/czech/commentary-will-the-pig-farm-on-the-roma-holocaust-site-still-be-part-of-the-czech-reality-in-2020

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Is professional misconduct of a Toronto lawyer the only reason for denials of Roma requests for asylum?

Emotions run high at penalty hearing for disgraced refugee lawyer

Supporters of Roma complainants deported after being poorly represented by Viktor Hohots interrupt the hearing to denounce a proceeding “without justice.”

11/05/2015 – Tempers flared at a penalty hearing on Monday for a Toronto lawyer who was suspended for five months after admitting to professional misconduct in representing more than a dozen Roma refugee claimants. Several supporters of the Roma — deported after their requests for asylum were denied — interrupted Viktor Hohots’ hearing at the Law Society of Upper Canada to oppose a proceeding they said was “without justice.”
“You are standing here disparaging the witnesses who cannot be here. That’s not right,” Mary Jo Leddy, of the refugee settlement agency Romero House, told Hohots’ lawyer, Mitchell Worsoff, during his submissions. As she stormed out of the law society hearing, another onlooker added: “They’re not here to defend themselves. This is completely without justice,” and followed her out.

Read more on http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2015/05/11/emotions-run-high-at-penalty-hearing-for-disgraced-refugee-lawyer.html

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