DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ROMA

A new report on discrimination in the workplace has found that the highest unemployment rates in the whole of Europe are among the Roma people, also known as Gypsies. The report, by the International Labour Organization, says that in some countries up to 90 per cent of Roma people of working age are jobless. ILO TV has the details.

Date issued: 18 June 2003 | Size/duration: 00:02:40 (6.48 MB)

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A new report on discrimination in the workplace has found that the highest unemployment rates in the whole of Europe are among the Roma people, also known as Gypsies. The report, by the International Labour Organization, says that in some countries up to 90 per cent of Roma people of working age are jobless. ILO TV has the details.

Arriving at a horse-fair in Portugal, these Roma follow the traditional way of life, moving from place to place. They're known by different names in different countries - Roma, Gypsies or gitanos - but their problems are the same poverty and racial discrimination.

Maria

Maria says that life is very bad. There's no work. There's no food. We can't find work. We have to eat beans. Life is very, very bad.

The biggest population of Roma in Europe, possibly the world, lives in Romania, many in the suburbs of the capital, Bucharest. Here up to 90 per cent of Roma of working age do not have a job. The author of the new ILO report, Time for Equality at Work, Manuela Tomei, says that the Roma suffer racial discrimination throughout Europe.

Manuela Tomei, Senior Specialist, International Labour Organization

Because they are perceived as less committed to work, because they are perceived as being lazy, not reliable and this is certainly related to their history of mobility, all those prejudices, stereotypes, about certain lack of talents which are typically assigned to Romany people, explain also discrimination at work.

Rodica Moishe, ILO Romania

Roma children were identified working on the streets, begging, washing cars, loading and unloading goods in the market, even working during night with their parents. In addition the research highlights that a large proportion of Roma children are not enrolled in school, or even worse, they drop out school in a large number.

This woman lives in one small room with her six children in difficult conditions. She couldn't afford to send all her children to school but she's proud that her son is learning to read. An ILO programme encourages parents to keep children in school. The emphasis now is not on forcing the Roma to give up their distinctive culture, but on respecting their rights as a minority.