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Romani Studies Propaedeutics. CET PRAGUE 22 April 2005 Laura Laubeova [email protected] Unit structure. Terminology Language, identity and culture Ethnic group? Roma and non-Roma. Multidisciplinary approach International Romani movement Resources and links

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romani studies propaedeutics

Romani StudiesPropaedeutics


22 April 2005

Laura Laubeova [email protected]

unit structure
Unit structure
  • Terminology
  • Language, identity and culture
  • Ethnic group?
  • Roma and non-Roma. Multidisciplinary approach
  • International Romani movement
  • Resources and links
  • Case study: Czech Republic
    • Historical background
    • ECRI report 2004
    • Education
  • Public International Law and HR instruments
terminology basics
Terminology Basics

The Roma/The Romani people/The Romanies (12 m Worldwide)

Rom (sg. masc.) (husband) ; Dom, Domari

Romni (fem.),

Roma (pl.) or

Romani (sg.), Romanies (pl.) accepted by Sinti (Hancock)

She is a Roma (sic.), Romani, a Romni

Romipen, Rromanipen

Gentiles: Gadje, gadjo, gorgio (gaujo, gawjo, gawja Hancock)


Romani (international documents), Romany (literature)

Eg. Roma (sic.) movement, Romani Rights Centre


The Romani language, Romani, Romanes (in a Romani way, Romanily - Hancock)

Vakares Romanes? Do you speak in the Romani way?

Kiravel Romanes. She is cooking in the Romani way

Sanskrit origins - end of 18 cent.:

1760 Valyi Stefan, University of Leiden, NL

Vienna Gazette 1776,

Rudiger 1782, Grellman 1783, Marsden 1785

identity culture politics
Identity, culture, politics

Identity – reflects attitudes of majority -

  • Withdrawal and separation (protect values and culture)
  • Internalisation of stereotypes

Romani ethnicity: ‘descent, ancestry, kinship and marriage patterns, language, social organisation, taboos, political organisation, employments and economic organisation, nomadism, codes of morality and…a particular state of mind’ (Mayall 2004: 220)

Culture & values - code of cleanlines, eating, washing up, treatment of animals, funerals, sexual behaviour …

extended family

Romani organisations: Intl.Romani Union; Roma National Congress

European level ERRC, ERIO, ERF (vide links bellow)….

roma as an ethnic group
Roma as an ethnic group
  • National minority (CEE), ethnic minority group (UK - RRA). Community / communities. Heterogeniety.
  • Roma (Rumungro, Vlach, Romanichal, Kalderash, Kale, Kalo, Lovari), Sinti, Travellers, playground and circus people, bargee people, new age travellers etc
  • Gypsy is not a lifestyle but race/ ethnic group (Hancock)
  • Minorities autochtonous, immigrant
  • Roma as European minority vs Roma as European nation

Europe's largest transnational minority;

Declaration on "non-territorial" nation (2001)

Romani identities- include international strategies

ethnogenesis- conscious attempt toward achieving for the Roma the accepted status of a politically organized, non-territorial (transnational), ethnic-national group (Gheorghe 1991: 831),

Romani ‘political nationalism’, i.e. the political organization, representation and participation in political life.

‘culture moves to politics’ (Gheorghe 1991: 842),

common space in which people of different ethnicity co-operate without allowing the differences to become the predominant issue which would exclude communication.

political homogenization protects cultural heterogeneity vs

the process of ‘politicization of ethnogenesis’ leads to the abandonment of ethnic identity as a part of Romani agenda.

roma in society
Roma in society

Discrimination, racism, anti-Gypsyism, denial of racism, reversed racism

Majority relations twds the Roma (annihilation/extermination, persecution, segregation. Assimilation, integration, accommodation, inclusion)

 Major point of departures for Romani studies:

a) history – migration from India, early persecution in  15- 18 cent., assimilation under Habsburgs and in Portugal; Porrajmos – Romani holocaust (0,5 m)

b) family and values;

c) Romani language, identity and self-determination of Romani nation But:

multi disciplinary approach
Multi-disciplinary approach
  • Romani Studies / Romology
  • Linguistics (Indology)
  • History (of repression)
  • Cultural and social antropology / ethnology
  • Culturology, Musicology
  • International Relations (UN, EU…)
  • International law (HR, minority rights law)
  • Public and social policy
  • Political economy (WB, UNDP)
  • Sociology (power issues)
  • Social psychology (in-group, out-group dynamics)
  • Psychology (of prejudice, stereotyping) etc.
key romani movements iru rnc
Key Romani movements: IRU & RNC

1971 First World Romani Congress –> IRU

Intellectual interest (in lingustics, culture), Gypsy Lore Society1888

France CMG Communaute Mondiale Gitane 1959 (Ionel Rotaru), CIT Comite Intl Tzigane (Vanko Rouda) –> 71 congress

Irish Traveller Community mid 60s

Finish Gypsy Association, Spanish Secretariado Gitano, Slovak and Czech Assciations for Gypsies/Roma (68 –73) Facuna, Dr. Cibula

Gypsy Council in England 1966 Johnny Brazil

National Gypsy Education Council (1970 Lady Plowden) organised next three IRU congresses

renamed to GCECWCR (for education, welfare and civil rights)

world romani congresses iru
World Romani Congresses (IRU)

The first World Romani Congress, London, 1971:

16-spoked wheel as their international symbol,

flag (green and blue),

anthem (Roma arise),

proclaimed April 8 international Romani day

2nd 1979 Geneva (Jan Cibula)

3rd 1981 Gottingen Ge (Rajko Djuric)

4th 1990 Warsaw (Rajko Djuric)

5th 2000 Prague (Emil Scuka)

6th 2004 Lanciano Italy (Stanislav Stankiewicz)


Rom & Sinti Union in Hamburg (80s) -> RNC, Rudko Kawczynski

Grassroot, militant, Romani refugees from Eastern Europe – basic human rights approach

Pan-European Romani Identity


nationalist “Zentralrat “ of German Sinti and Roma (81)

Matras, 1998:49-63, Puxon, 2000:94-113

useful links and resources
Useful links and resources

European Roma Rights Centre

European Roma Information Office

European Roma Forum

WB (2003)

UNDP (2003)

roma in the czech republic
Roma in the Czech Republic
  • Links
  • History
  • Readings
  • Charter 77
useful links and resources cz
Useful links and resources - CZ


Czech Radio

Bratinka Report (1997)

Concept of Roma integration (2002) dtto

Compliance with Principles set forth in the FCNM according to Article 25, Paragraph 1 of this Convention,

Gabal, Ivan (2000)

IOM report on Slovak Roma migration to CZ (Nov. 2003)


Maria Theresa and Joseph II. (1760-1784)

assimilation, sedentarisation

1927 Act on Nomadic Gypsies (identity cards)

Nazi holocaust (200 000 –1.5 m. died)

Ctibor Nečas

Paul Polanski

  • Enforced + voluntary relocation to Sudetenlands from Slovak shanty-town settlements (after removal of Germans 1945)
  • Large scale employment (low status jobs), decayed urban areas
  • 1958 policy of integration (USSR model), population dispersal
  • 1958 Act on settlement of nomadic persons (repealed in CZ in 97)
  • 1965 policy on transfer (from Sk) + dispersal, displacement
  • 68 federalisation; Association of Gypsies-Roma (73)
  • 1978 Charter 77 document: Information on situation of Gypsies-Roma (Guy,2001:292 + „prophecy“ p. 293)
charter 77 document 23 about the situation of gypsies roma in cs
Charter 77 Document 23 about the situation of Gypsies-Roma in CS
  • Denial of national minority status to R. „was dictated by the desire of the ruling powers to reduce the size of the minority problem“
  • Criticism of sterilisation, housing + educational segregation, use of 58 law – branded as „racist repression“
  • Challenged the government claim to have integrated Roma into labour force (perpetuating disadvantaged position)
  • Warning about vulnerability of Romani workers when economy modernises
1989 97
  • ROI (Romani Civic Initiative) a part of OF (Civic Forum)
  • Roma gained status as a national minority, Romani MPs
  • Bogardus scale of social distance – high hostility
  • Beauty Queen racist utterance
  • Racist attacks (1995 longer sentences, racism in police force)
  • Unemployment (70 % vs. national 5%- Bratinka 97); stereotype of self-chosen unemployment
  • Criminality (20% vs. national 3%) – criminalisation, abused by Republicans (Sládek)
  • Citizenship law 93 (de facto discrimination), put most Roma in position of aliens, 96, 2000; led to 97 exodus
  • Housing ghettoisation (barren flats), educational segregation
1997 present
1997 - present
  • 97 Emigration to Canada, UK → Bratinka report on situation of R. community in CZ Resolution # 686 (Romani district advisors, RTA)
  • Inter-departmental commission for Romani affairs
  • 98 Social Democrats in government
  • Framework Convention
  • 98 UN CERD Concluding observations on CR, "de facto” segregation in edu (article 5 ICERD)
  • April 99 Draft Concept of Romani integration, approved in June 2000
  • „Conflict-free co-existence of the R. community with the remainder of society“
  • Safety, non-discrimination, improving social sit (employment, housing, health)
  • Equalising measures, no quota
exodus to canada
“Exodus” to Canada

1996: 150 Czech Romani claimants

6 Aug. 1997: TV documentary

6 Aug.– 8 Oct. 97: 1500 claimants/ “Invasion” , i.e. 6% of all refugee claimants in 97

Re-introduction of visa requirement

Migration to UK and other EU countries

Bratinka report and Concept of Romani Integration

after 1997 cont
After 1997 - cont.

2001 UK Immigration officers in Prague Airport

(CHC Statement 29 Aug. 01), House of Lords Dec 2004

2002 "Conception on Romani Integration",

(2004 reformulation/revision)

2003 Denial by pres. Klaus, BBC Hardtalk

future visions
Future visions
  • Fulfilling the grim Charter 77 prophecy
  • EU entry impact
  • Double standards cf. Canada vs. UK asylum claimants success rate
  • IRU stabilisation policies
  • Prevent mass unemployment + dependency on social support
  • Prejudice, racism, hostility, discrimination, social situation (edu., empl., housing, health…)
ecri 3 rd report on the czech republic 8 june 2004
ECRI 3rd Report on the Czech Republic8 June 2004

Part II Specific Issues:Situation of Roma at the local level

`ECRI expresses deep concern at the deplorable situation of Roma at the local level. Roma communities continue to suffer from accumulation of social and economic disadvantage, aggravated by changing economic conditions, discrimination and a lack of willingness by local officials and communities to adopt the necessary measures to improve the situation.`

ecri report on cz cont
ECRI Report on CZ cont.

`ECRI deeply regrets that the majority of local authorities seem not to be motivated to take actions to improve the situation of Roma as such actions are reportedly not popular with local communities and can be politically costly`

`ECRI expresses its concern over a new trend to maintain the system of segregated education in a new form – this involves special classes in mainstream schools.`

readings roma in cz cee


Will Guy (ed), Between Past and Future: the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe (2001)

Zoltan Barany, The East European Gypsies. Regime Change, Marginality, and Ethnopolitics(2002)

Will Kymlicka, Can Liberal Pluralism be Exported? (2001), mainly article by Pavel Barsa: `Ethnocultural Justice in East European States and the Case of the Czech Roma`, pp. 243-258

education and roma in cz
Education and Roma in CZ

Push factors for systemic change:

  • 97 Canada visa imposition
  • EU accession
  • Obsolete education legislation
Bratinka Report on situation of Romani Community, October 97 (out of 44 tasks 11 were for Ministry of Education) –

Over two thirds of Roma children are in special schools (ss); 75% of children in ss are Roma

Concept of Romani integration (7 April 99), adopted in 2000,

reformulated "Conception on Romani Integration" adopted on 23 January 2002 ‑ no quota but equalising measures

New Education Act (White Book) entered in force in Jan 2005

Now its impact being researched by the League of HR +ERRC, see Romano Hangos Vol.7, No 4, 10 March05, page 1-2

criticism by un ec us government reports international ng0 etc
Criticism by UN, EC, US government reports, international NG0, etc
  • UN CERD (Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination) Concluding observations on CR, 1998, "de facto” segregation (article 5 ICERD not fully implemented)
  • UN CERD 2000 Report on CR
  • UN CRC (Rights of Children)
  • UN HRC (Human Rights Committee) Concluding observations, July 01, "to eradicate segregation of in its edu...„
  • EC Opinion and Progress Reports on CR
role of ngos
Role of NGOs


Ostrava region, 27 times more in Special Schools, 5% population, 50% in special schools

Save the Children Fund:

Denied a Future?, 2001§ion=publication&subsection=details


ð   230 - 250 Romani teacher assistants (introduced in 1998) communication barrier, partnership teaching, small group work, contact with families, etc not systemic, inferior status, no educated R. teachers, if not successful‑ blaming the victim

ðover 130 preparatory classes (since 1994)

ð   multicultural/ intercultural edu. programmes -NG0s, community schools

ð  New School, ops


ð     re-standardisation of psychological testing in the age of 6 - doubts about the concepts itself

ð     subtractive versus additive bilingualism, irreversible cognitive damage (abstract thinking concepts - Piaget)

ð     institutional, unwitting, indirect racism+ denial of racism

d h and others v czech republic
D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic
  • first challenge to systematic racial segregation in education in Europe
  • brought by 18 Roma children from Ostrava; placed in “special” remedial special schools (ss)
  • complaint filed in 2000 by ERRC - intensive qualitative and quantitative research that revealed racial disparities :
d h and others v czech republic errc research results
D.H. and Others v. Czech RepublicERRC research results
  • Over half of the Romani child population is schooled in ss;
  • Over half of the population of ss is Romani;
  • Any randomly chosen Romani child is more than 27 times more likely to be placed in ss for the mentally disabled than a similarly situated non-Romani child.
  • Even where Romani children manage to avoid the trap of placement in special schooling, they are most often schooled in substandard and predominantly Romani urban ghetto schools.
d h and others v czech republic errc research results cont
D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic – ERRC research results cont.

standardized testing – used for placement in ss.

The expert "test" seen as a stamped seal on the decisions of school directors who will not accept Romani children into mainstream schools.

second class citizenship.

markedly inferior education

vocational secondary schools limited to training in basic manual skills

unemployment rates

d h and others v czech republic cont
D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic cont

`Current educational arrangements in the Czech Republic also fail entirely to prepare ethnic Czech children for life in multi-cultural societies. In Ostrava, the Czech Republic's third city, despite the fact that Roma comprise approximately 10% of the local population, more than 15,000 Czech children of primary school age attend school every day without meeting a single Romani classmate.`

d h and others v czech republic cont1
D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic cont

The 18 applicants claim that they were `subjected to degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention, and to denial of their rights to – and racial discrimination in access to – education, in breach of Article 14 taken together with Article 2 of Protocol 1`.

international human rights instruments and policy actors
  • EU
  • CoE
  • OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

Lund, Oslo, and Hague recommendations

  • OSCE ODIHR Roma/ Sinti Contact point
  • WB (Decade of Roma inclusion 2005-2015)
  • UN
  • UNDP
  • NGOs (OSI, ERRC, MRG ..)
  • Romani organisations
  • National governments, etc…
  • Amsterdam Treaty (Article 13)
  • two Directives (2000/43/EC, 2000/78/EC)
  • European constitution (Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe) incl. Charter of Fundamental Rights (Part II)
  • CoE ECHR (constitutes general principles of the Union's law, TITLE II, ARTICLE I-9)
  • ECHR Protocol 12 (that relates to Article 14)
  • European Court for HR (Strassbourg)
  • EUMC (on Racism and Xenophobia)
  • ECMI


european constitution
European constitution

ARTICLE I-2: The Union's values

„The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.“

„These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail“.

The Union's objectives

„It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, …

charter of fundamental rights
Charter of Fundamental Rights

Non-discrimination (ARTICLE II-81)

„ Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.“

discrimination definition 2000 43 ec
Discrimination – definition 2000/43/EC

Indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons,unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving.

role of ngos in drafting the directive
Role of NGOs in drafting the directive
  • Policy actors: governments & public admin., private sector, intl. organisations, NGOs
  • Role of NGOs
  • Starting Line Group : ERRC, Interrights, MPG –Cf directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC
council of europe
Council of Europe

ECRIEuropean Commission against Racisms and Intolerance

Specialist Group on Roma and Gypsies

European Commission for Democracy through law

The Parliamentary Assembly

The Congress of Local and RegionalAuthorities,

Programmes to build inter community confidence in society

Council of Europe monitoring department

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights

Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention


improving housing conditions of roma and travellers in europe
Improving housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe
  • Recommendation Rec(2005)4  of the Committee of Ministers to member states  on improving the housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 23 February 2005 at the 916th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
council of europe cont
Council ofEurope cont.
  • ECHR
  • European Charter for Regional or Minority languages
  • European Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)

FCNM implementation- Eg. Office of the Government of the Czech Republic: Information about Compliance with Principles set forth in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities according to Article 25, Paragraph 1 of this Convention,


What commitments do State Parties undertake when they ratify the FCNM?

·Choice of identity


·Promotion of effective equality;

·Promotion of conditions favouring the preservation and development of culture, religion, language and traditions;

·Freedom of assembly, association, expression, thought, conscience and religion;

·Access to and use of media;


·Linguistic freedoms:

- use of the minority language in private and in public as well as its use before administrative authorities;

- use of one’s own name in the minority language;

- Display of information of a private nature in the minority language;

- Topographical names in the minority language;


- Learning and instruction in the minority language;

- Freedom to set up educational institutions;

·Transborder contacts;

·International and transborder co-operation;

·Participation in economic, cultural and social life;

·Participation in public life;

·Prohibition of forced assimilation;

fcnm cont
FCNM cont.
  • FC emphasises State Responsibilities rather than being a broad expression of rights.
  • What is National Minority? No definition. Selected in good faith.
  • The existence of a minority is a matter of fact not a matter of legislation by a State ( UN HR committee)
  • Monitoring of State compliance with the Convention: Advisory committee (AC) + Committee of Ministers (CM),
  • State reports (every 5yrs or upon request of CM, if needed AC sends States written questionnaires),
  • AC Country visits, alternative reports from NGOs
  • AC adopts an opinion,upon which the State can comment
  • CM adopts a resolution with conclusions and recommendation to the State on the implementation of the FC.
  • Resolution incl Comments and opinion available on CoE web site
un conventions and committees
UN conventions and committees
  • Declaration of HR
  • CRC
  • CAT
  • Geneva Convention 51
  • UN Commissioner for Human Rights
universal declaration of human rights article 1
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1

„ all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood ( and sisterhood)“

Europe´s challenge is to work twds realisation of this right.

How to help transform established law ( national or intl.) from pieces of paper to popular practice ?

Who are the key policy making and policy implementing actors?

ngo projects
NGO projects

Roma Rights and Access to Justice in Europe

Overview Report and First Year Report


6th World Romani Congress pledges fight against racismLanciano, 10. 10. 2004, 13:07 (Ustiben, by Grattan Puxon)

what next
What next?

Decade of Romani Inclusion in CZ- pessimism

WB +UNDP Reports: chapters on CZ

Revision of the Conception of Romani Integration in CZ 2004

Public policy vs public opinion:

International Romani Day 8th April, Intl Day against Racisms 21 March