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Deportation or Integration? UN Criticizes France’s Treatment of Roma

Deportation or Integration? UN Criticizes France’s Treatment of Roma

Despite widespread international criticism, France intends to dismantle Romani settlements and deport migrants back to their native countries.

A new campaign launched on July 28th has resulted in the deportation of hundreds of undocumented Roma migrants (also known as Gypsies), mainly from Romania and Bulgaria. The campaign also includes taking down 300 camps consisting of makeshift shelters and tents within the next three months. The government argues such camps are  “sources of illegal trafficking, of profoundly shocking living standards, of exploitation of children for begging, of prostitution and crime.”

However U.N. Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has condemned the government’s actions, contending that deporting an entire ethnic group is discriminatory, and that instead the government should look at each individual case. In addition, the UN claims the Roma are victims of “violence with a racist characteristic,” and the French government should instead try to integrate them into society.

The estimated 15,000 Roma in France are a mix of recent immigrants or “traveling people” who are part of established communities. They are permitted to enter France without a visa but must have work or residency permits to settle for an extended period of time.

Amnesty International reveals that they are singled out by housing laws to report periodically to the police and register with a municipality for three years before acquiring the right to vote. “Instead of scapegoating Roma and Travellers, France should focus on fully implementing its own legislation and provide adequate halting sites and protection of the housing rights of all,” Amnesty argues.

France is spending money on deporting thousands of families, as well as giving each a small sum to resettle in their native countries where they still face discrimination. It would seem wiser and more just to focus on fair, affordable housing, giving the Roma a chance to integrate and become productive citizens of French society.

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119 comments

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3:54PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Whatever we say is null and void. And you know why? Because it's none of our freaken business. Let France do what it wants. France has always been the stereotype wimp of the world, so I am actually impressed that they are doing exactly what we should be. Cracking down on the illegal aliens in our borders. GO FRANCE GO!!!!

5:00AM PDT on Sep 14, 2010

It's very disappointing to see that 30% of you have voted that the Roma should be deported from France. 30% of the people who read the Human Rights section here at Care2 site, people I expected you would care about human rights... but you don't! It's really sad.

You may not like the way Roma people live, I don't either, but we have no right to make them live the way WE like. They are free people with FREE will to choose their own way. Of course I don't justify them stealing or performing other criminal activities. But treating them all as criminals because some of them are? How logical is this? How just or human is to deport them from a country that have lived in for centuries?

11:02AM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

If people want the Rom to gain skills to support themselves, they have to support the children attending schools and being given the opportunity to learn. Then they have to be patient - because you can't get a degree in a couple of years. It will take more than one generation to undo hundreds of years of discrimination.

4:42PM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

Kari; butt monkeys got nottin on these guys.
Even so God help them.

8:17AM PDT on Sep 7, 2010

The Roma have always been the butt monkeys of the western world.

7:33PM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

Everyone needs love!!!

10:56AM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

If the gypseys don't like how they r treated in France then don't go there.. Duh.

7:54PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

Quite right; in many ways; the obstinate refusal of the alien group to acknowledge their own arrogant and often illegal behaviours. (Arizona and France).
Their manipulative con games and mastery of the art of victimhood.
Many similar themes but unfortunately not in the fact that the US is not deporting en mass....yet.
This Roma issue is one which stirs great longing in my heart for answers but I cannot defend much of Roma habit either.
Hold on to your hats .

1:22PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

The french are right as are we Americans when we deport millions of illegal aliens! There is no difference! Every country does exactly the same. There is no country in the world that allows you to cross their borders take up residency and obtain business or employment without the proper documentations.

12:48PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

Romans are a free people that love, as a king or live, to travel from country to country
Quite agree with Lindsey

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