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 and Jews stress.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in North Carolina; in a statement in the 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, which traces back to the Ninth Century CE.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich argue 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 and Jonathan Freirich further say 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 a litany of institutionalized mistreatment, including: racism, substandard education, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, rights violations, discrimination, appalling living conditions, and human rights abuse.
Zed and Freirich urged Macedonia, which took over Presidency of “Roma Decade” initiative starting July 1, 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 in dealing with their day-to-day sufferings. It is simply immoral to let nearly 15 million Europeans continually suffer and face human rights violations.