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Italy. Hand off the Rrom children

by EveryOne Group Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007 at 11:40 AM

EveryOne Group has reason to believe, after listening to the testimony of many Rrom families and Italian citizens who are in contact with Rrom families, that a further violation of the rights of the Rroms is about to take place.

Hands off the Rrom children

EveryOne Group is keeping a careful watch on the situation of the Rroms in Italy.

It is not an easy job seeing the authorities and institutions are putting up increasingly impenetrable barriers between the places where the persecution of the Rroms is talking place and everyday citizens by putting constraints on the free press and the right of humanitarian organizations to observe what is going on during the camp clearances and expulsion operations. As we have reported on several occasions, the conditions of the Rrom people have become more and more disastrous as the pogroms against their settlements are throwing thousands of helpless human beings (most of whom are children and adolescents) out into the street without any means of support. Our group has been attempting to report the institutional destruction of the Rrom community in Italy by appealing to international authorities, and on November 15th, 2007, thanks to the support of enlightened political parties, it obtained the approval of the European Parliament Resolution on the application of Directive 2004/38/CE concerning the rights of citizens of the Union and their families to move freely and reside in the territory of member states. Undeterred, however, the Italian institutions have stepped up these unjust operations of camp clearances and expulsions which violate a series of laws - among which Directive 2004/38/CE itself (which forbids governments of the Union to expel citizens from other members states who are here to seek work) and the above-mentioned Resolution of the European Parliament. The most serious crimes against humanity are emerging, which we hope will be prosecuted - also thanks to our report - by the relevant international tribunals. The aim of EveryOne Group is to save human lives and stop the persecution and massacre (due to hunger, cold, infections, hardship and poverty) that the Rroms are subject to. As always happens with discriminated minorities, next to this general tragedy we find local tragedies from the various regions and cities involving single families and individuals. The case of the parents of the Rrom children who perished in the Livorno fire is typical: a group of racist murders, GAPE (who claimed responsibility for the crime in a written statement) set fire to four children, but in response to this horrifying case of infanticide the authorities decided instead to arrest and sentence the children’s parents. The four parents were only released from prison when the sentence was suspended after our group, with few allies in situ, took action on their behalf. The conditions of the Rroms in Italy today is totally unbearable. The persecutory measures carried out by the various local authorities have left thousands of people without a shelter, without a means of survival, without assistance of any kind. And while a slice of humanity is fighting desperately to survive with the help of a few just citizens (fortunately not all Italians are prey to this racist folly), new acts of discrimination are in store for them. EveryOne Group has reason to believe, after listening to the testimony of many Rrom families and Italian citizens who are in contact with Rrom families, that a further violation of the rights of the Rroms is about to take place. It has become obvious that the institutions have no intention of activating (unless they are forced to by international authorities) any real programme of assistance and support to encourage the social integration of Rrom men and women whose conditions are getting worse by the day. Instead, we fear that they are planning – and Rosy Bindi’s speech in New York would appear to confirm our fears – that the Government is planning a policy of eradication of Rrom children from their families and tribes in order to “Italianize” them through coercive measures. Some mayors, among whom the Mayor of Livorno, for example, have suggested that any child caught begging on its own or in the company of its parents must be taken away from its family. In the latter case, however, if the child is not accompanied by an adult the parents are accused of “abandonment of a minor”. Therefore it is up to the Juvenile Court to decide whether the children are to be handed back to their parents (in the miraculous event of them being able to leave their poverty behind, by finding a job in a matter of days and a home suitable for, at times, five or six children) or whether they are to be put up for permanent adoption to Italian families. The extreme depredation. As shown by the Romanian journalist George Scarlat in an article published on the Anne’s Door website, Italy is bleeding Romania dry by buying up the best land without using it to create jobs. Italy is also exploiting, again in Romania, the Rrom and Romanian workforce. Hence, it has decided to make a clean sweep of the life and the Rrom culture in Italy by systematically carrying out the stages of a kind of “Final Solution” that has been planned for some time. What is more, again according to the monitoring of the situation, our country appears to want to satisfy the often obscure desires of Italians who have set their eyes on the young Rrom children, people who see their families as a mere obstacle to be done away with. It is a method that brings to mind the situation of many Jewish children during the Holocaust. When the persecution seemed imminent, Christian families first took in entire Jewish families, then – when the risks became even more evident – they took in only the children. When the war came to an end, the few families who survived were denied the comfort of having their children returned to them, even by the Catholic authorities. On October 20th, 1946, Pope Pius XII and the Church authorities established that baptised Jewish children “cannot be handed over to the custody of institutions that cannot guarantee a Christian education”. EveryOne Group, together with the major international organizations who fight to protect the rights of the Rroms, defends the value of the Rrom family unit. It will devote its efforts to ensuring that the institutions propose official programmes of support and survival instead of breaking up these family units and finally decide to commit themselves to overcoming the real obstacles, which are discrimination and poverty. At the same time, our group will act as an attentive watchdog and carry out suitable actions in defence of human rights, in order that the attempts to throw further discredit on the Rrom families (or even worse, the efforts to criminalize them) will not succeed. Our group is following several of these cases directly as we have seen that these racist measures have the grim goal of taking Rrom children away from their legitimate parents by turning an unhealthy and reprehensible action of child-kidnapping into a lawful act. The group will defend the Rrom families as a whole and commit itself to helping them emerge, united, from poverty and marginalization and prevent them being torn apart in the name (at best) of false and seriously discriminatory “protection of children”.


Gruppo EveryOne ::

(+ 39) 334-8429527

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