Despite six years into high-flown “Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015” initiative, Roma (Gypsy) people of Europe still reportedly live in apartheid like conditions, Hindus stress.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that almost everybody involved in Roma upliftment programs would agree that Roma continued to face deeply embedded institutional discrimination and social exclusion. Concrete steps were immediately needed to improve their plight, whose traces in Europe go back to ninth century CE.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argues that in spite of this much publicized “Inclusion” initiative involving political commitment by governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia to improve the socio-economic status and social inclusion of Roma, they unfortunately reportedly continue to suffer from human rights violations and brazen structural discrimination.
Rajan Zed further says that on paper, Roma are fully covered by European Union legislation, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin in employment, social protection and education as well as access to goods and services, including housing. But in reality, Roma reportedly regularly face racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.
Zed urged Macedonia, which took over Presidency of “Roma Decade” initiative starting July one, to deliver effective implementation, firm commitment and strong political will to improve the Roma plight. In the past, policies on paper to tackle Roma discrimination and exclusion had proved very weak to deal with their day-to-day sufferings. It was simply immoral to let this around 15-million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations.