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

  1. I rather doubt that in any other field and concerning any other ethnic group the same question would have been posed.

    As Čeněk Růžička said: without knowing the situation of the Roma in a given area, their specific culture, their state of education, their predominant professions etc. how should one be able to achieve improvements in those different fields? Also the method for improving something needs information about what has to be changed.

    Of course, not only in the Nazi era, today also, data about people can always be misused.

    Without collecting data, (social) history writing for instance is rather unthinkable, as well as anthropological science.

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