Roma Discrimination - 3 July 2023 Meeting Highlights - Ulrike Schmidt

Sutton Amnesty meeting on Roma discrimination - 3 July 2023

Sutton Amnesty were pleased to welcome back Ulrike Schmidt (Amnesty Regional Coordinator for Europe) who, with our own Mark Haythorne, led presentations on, respectively, persecution of the Roma community in Europe and the challenges faced by Travellers in the UK.

Ulrike reminded us of the 600,000 Roma killed in the Holocaust. She gave examples of current discrimination against Roma from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, involving institutional racism, making it harder to find employment and police bias. The 'far right' often uses the Roma community as a 'scapegoat'. One consequence is bias in the educational system with disproportionate numbers allocated to 'special schools' at levels inconsistent with observed attainment.

Mark introduced a recorded testimony from Jean Howey and we were also fortunate to have Jack Ayres and Dee Cooper from the Surrey Gypsy Travellers Community Forum present by video link. They spoke about discrimination against Travellers in the UK and their quest for equal access to health, education and employment, as well as fixed and Traveller sites. 

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