Italy: Minorities experts want better protection for Roma, Sinti and Camminanti communities

Minorities rights experts say Italy needs a new national legislative framework to better protect disadvantaged Roma, Sinti and Camminanti communities.

A report from the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) urges Italy to make “sustained and effective efforts to prevent, fight and sanction the inequality and discrimination suffered by Roma, Sinti and Camminanti : improving their living conditions, in order to allow residents to move out of the so called ‘nomad camps’ to adequate social housing.”

According to FCNM experts, “Roma, Sinti and Camminanti remain socially and economically marginalised. Resolute measures are also needed to combat early school dropout and underachievement, ensuring that all children have full access to mainstream education.”

The report recognises that Italy has “continued its efforts to protect persons belonging to national minorities, who are referred to in the domestic legal order as historical linguistic minorities.

“While a general climate of openness and tolerance prevails in Italy towards persons belonging to recognised, long-established linguistic minorities, there has been a noticeable increase of xenophobia and anti-Gypsyism within society in recent years.

“While the use of discriminatory, intolerant, and racist language in political discourse and in parts of the media has become more commonplace, a number of verbal and violent physical attacks against centres for asylum seekers have been recorded.”

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