Tag Archives: Roma

Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Discrimination and Disparity in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Covering the nearly two-year span of the COVID–19 pandemic to date, this roundup is a collection of reporting and research on communities around the world that have experienced the dual perils of discrimination and disparity. In addition to bearing the brunt of the disease, marginalized communities around the world have become the pandemic’s scapegoats and the targets of rumor, distrust, and disinformation campaigns, resulting in the “racialization” of the virus and creating further insecurities during the crisis. Beyond local inequalities, the coupling of discrimination and disparity has generated transnational inequities such as the outbreak of anti-Asian racism, the targeting and marginalization of migrants and refugees, and the disproportionately worse illness outcomes of Indigenous and Black people.

The situation has created obstacles to protecting communities against the ongoing effects of COVID–19. Among historically persecuted communities, longstanding distrust of government brought about by historical injustices has cultivated resistance to state-driven medical interventions such as vaccine campaigns. And local inequalities have been exacerbated by structural inequalities at the international level, with the wealthy West accused of hoarding health resources such as vaccines.

This collection contains more than 160 news reports, research articles, and data sources covering conditions and developments at the global, regional, and national levels. Data and information in older items are likely outdated and should be treated as historical records, reflecting emergent problems and understandings that have produced the current social, political, and economic landscape of the pandemic. However, the unfolding of coverage reveals how knowledge of the differential impact of the pandemic has shifted, from early awareness of racial and ethnic mortality disparities and reports of discrimination to recent concerns about vaccine nationalism and the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic.

Continue reading Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Ukraine News | Roma

Attack on Roma camp leaves one dead, several wounded outside Lviv
  • A 24-year-old Roma man was stabbed to death and another four wounded in an attack on a Roma community on the outskirts of Lyiv.
  • The attack comes amidst a wave of far-right violence against Roma communities, where groups of nationalists have destroyed living quarters and assaulted individuals.
  • Police have been accused of refusing to intervene in attacks or conduct arrests, leaving few stopgaps to mob violence and the implicit sanction of anti-Roma sentiment.

U.S., Canada condemn deadly attack on Roma camp in Ukraine” (Reuters | June 2018)

No Relief: Wave Of Attacks, Police Indifference Heighten Fears Among Ukraine’s Roma” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | June 2018)


A year on from Odessa ‘pogrom’, Ukraine’s Roma face rise in mob justice” (Reuters | September 2017)

Slovakia & Czech Republic News | Roma

Slovakia and the Czech Republic criticized for poor efforts at integrating Roma citizens
  • The Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner highlighted educational segregation and high drop-out rates in Slovakia as evidence of the failure of Slovakia’s anti-discrimination measures.
  • Many Slovak Romas live in squalid conditions in illegal settlements, with only 17% entering secondary education according to a 2010 UN survey.
  • A report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance also pointed to ethnic segregation in Czech schools as inhibiting integration and lowering opportunity for Czech Romas.

“Although Slovakia’s anti-discrimination framework is comprehensive, it provides a differing degree of protection for various vulnerable social groups and must be reformed to close all protection gaps.”

Read more:
European human rights watchdog slams Roma segregation in Slovakia, Czech Republic” (Reuters)

Hungary News | Muslims & Roma

Muslims and Roma bear brunt of anti-immigrant rhetoric in Hungary
  • Anti-immigrant sentiment fueled by xenophobic government rhetoric has led to harassment and assault of Hungary’s established minority populations, including Muslims and Roma people.
  • Politicians have drawn parallels between migrants and its own Roma population, painting the Roma minority as a situation to be “handled.”
  • While Muslims began immigrating to Hungary after World War II, the Roma have been present in the land now known as Hungary since the Middle Ages.

“I wish the government would think more carefully before starting campaigns like this. … It’s our wives who get spat on and have their veils ripped off in the street.”

Read more:
Hungary’s minorities bear brunt of anti-migrant rhetoric” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

Sweden News | European Migrants

E.U. migrants in Sweden threatened by growing anti-immigrant sentiment
  • In addition to the more than 30,000 migrants of non-E.U. origin granted asylum in Sweden last year, the E.U.’s open migration policy has brought many Southern and Eastern Europeans to the country, including the highly vulnerable ethnic Roma.
  • Police estimate there are around 4,000 people begging on the street in Sweden, among whom at least 77 violent attacks have occurred in the last 18 months according to one charity group.
  • Many Roma live in tents outside major cities while saving money from begging and bottle-collecting, lacking access to adequate health care and basic living resources.

“The response has not been convincing from Sweden’s political leaders. … They have been hoping the problem will go away by itself — and it won’t.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Moa Karlberg/The New York Times )

Turkey’s parliamentary elections sees AKP lose majority, pro-minority Kurdish HDP win representation for the first time, and numerous victories for minority candidates.
  • While the AKP won the largest parliamentary share with 41%, HDP crossed the threshold of representation with around 13% of the vote, winning 80 seats in the parliament.
  • While the HDP has largely been defined by the Kurds it represents, it also opened up to all those marginalized by the party in power, including women, religious minorities, LGBT citizens, and other ethnic minorities.
  • The new parliament will see a record 96 women and its first Yazidi and Roma MPs, and the HDP also put forth the first openly gay candidate for office.
  • The momentum for the HDP grew out of 2013’s Gezi Park demonstrations, where protesters rallied against the government’s perceived encroachment on the country’s secularism.

“Turks and Kurds are well ahead of the political leaders of the country, and they have a lot of expectations of the democratic process that they have well bought into…This is a very impressive outcome. It shows that Turkey is going through an important political maturing process, and that an increasing number of people are interested in a pluralistic society.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

Slovak government claims incest effects as cause of disproportionate Roma representation in “special schools,” angering advocates for the marginalized community. More from The Slovak Spectator.