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Roma Demand Change on International Roma Day

8 April 2010

Thousands of Roma in Europe are deprived of their fundamental rights, marginalised and not given an opportunity for a better life, Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says in a statement to mark International Roma Day.

MRG says that growing prejudice and discrimination is reflected in an increasing number of hate crimes. Meanwhile, European governments are failing to address anti-Roma sentiments and enable Roma communities to realise their basic human rights.

‘Many Roma families live in depressed areas where there is no opportunity for work and no proper schooling. In many villages and towns, areas inhabited by the Roma people lack basic amenities and infrastructure,’ says Neil Clarke, MRG’s Head of Europe and Central Asia Programmes.

‘Many communities are abandoned in a hostile environment without any support from the local governments, which may even become champions of intolerance and harassment,’ Clarke added.
MRG says EU member-states need to do more to curb human rights violations against the Roma.

‘One of the many reasons behind the lack of improvement in the life of this group is that governments show no success in monitoring programmes, and financial support fail to reach the beneficiaries,’ he says.