Saturday, 12 March 2011

More positive discrimination on way

It has been 316 days since an inappropriate development began in the Greenbelt village of Meriden the centre of England. The photos above shows me speaking at the recent event at camp to mark the 300th day of their valient stand against their rights being trampled on. The basis of their problem is that traveller families have special rights much to the detriment of local people.

This week the European Parliament voted through the following proposals to further rights for Roma people

A report tabled in the European Parliament this week has called for greater rights, positive discrimination, and increased funding for Roma peoples.

Lívia Járóka, a Hungarian MEP of Roma descent herself, has put the report before MEPs on behalf of the parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee during a plenary session in Strasbourg on March 9th.

The report is calling for a wide range of enhanced rights and positive discrimination for Roma, especially for those who seek to preserve their "traditional lifestyle" (recital F).

What this would mean in reality, is that special classes would have to be provided in schools across the EU so that Roma children can be taught in their own language (para 1(c)). Acknowledging problems of low literacy amongst the Roma, Ms Járóka seeks to make local authorities - as opposed to the families concerned - responsible for reintegrating those who drop out of education back into the education system (para 81).

Programmes would be enacted in order to make Roma people more aware of the special funds and grants that are available to them (para 98), and paperwork would have to be simplified in order to make it easier for them to obtain funds (para 102). Ms Járóka also calls for such funding as is already available to be increased.

Worryingly, Ms Járóka would like local initiatives and issues concerning Roma to be overseen by EU bodies (para52)