Roma: a scapegoat for wider societal ills?

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Pace, Cristina
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In this thesis Roma people are considered as the subjects of one of the most significant example of discrimination, racism and stereotypisation of an ethnic group in Europe. As recognised by all major international organisations, Roma are the largest minority in Europe with an estimated population of 10-12 million people, present in all 27 EU Member States. Most Roma are actually also EU citizens. Roma reported the highest overall level of discrimination across all Europe with 66- 100% of them not even reporting this violation to any competent authority because of fear and lack of confidence in law enforcement and justice structures. Still in the 21st Century, Roma people are living as in the third world: victims of persistent discrimination and social exclusion, Roma are at high risk of poverty, unemployment and diseases in all countries of the civilised Europe. The thesis is an analysis of human rights of Roma’s minority in the general framework of the international protection of minority rights . The main purpose of the research is to single out the reasons which are behind this stigmatisation, stressing the need for a demystification and a more realistic representation of Roma/Gypsies’ image. It investigates how international and regional human rights mechanisms can improve the conditions of Roma people in Europe and how the solution of this issue at European level depends fist of all on the political will of European states, which can improve or deteriorate Roma’s conditions. As highlighted by Harold J. Laski in its classic work in 1925, “A Grammar of Politics”: ‘Every state is known by the rights that it maintains’ and European democratic societies will never be considered truly democratic as far as their biggest minority, Romani people, live at the borders of these societies.
Second semester University: New University of Lisbon.
discrimination, Europe, minority rights, racism, Romanies