Nevada (US), March 8 (ANI): Roma migrants are returned by force to places where they are at risk of human rights violations, according to Thomas Hammarberg, European Commissioner for Human Rights.
Roma reportedly migrated mostly from Indian subcontinent to Europe many centuries ago.
In his "viewpoint" published on his official website, Hammarberg says: European migration policies discriminate against Roma people. Of particular concern is the fact that some Roma who have been forcibly returned have ended up in the lead-contaminated camps of Cesmin Lug and Osterode in northern Mitrovica, inhabited for a decade now by Roma families, including children, with deeply serious effects on their health.
Expulsions of Roma have been carried out in contravention of European Union law. In other cases destruction of Roma dwellings has been used as a method to persuade Roma to leave "voluntarily". Discrimination of Roma in migration policies has met with little or no opposition in almost every country. This may not be surprising in view of the lingering anti-Gypsyism in large parts of Europe, Hammarberg adds.
To push Roma families between countries, as now happens, is inhumane. It victimizes children - many of whom were born and grown up in the host countries before they were deported, Human Rights Commissioner points out.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was shocking to see how inhumanely Europe was treating its about 15 million Roma brothers-sisters.
It was clearly reprehensible, hazardous and immoral and a blatant failure of Europe to meet its international obligations. When it came to Roma, Europe frequently failed to implement its own laws distinctly mentioned in its own books.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that besides the absence of any serious efforts at their inclusion, Roma were being used as "punch bag" and blamed for the social ills of Europe. European neglect was trapping Roma in cycles of persecution and poverty. Roma issue should be one of the highest priorities of human rights agenda of Europe and world, thus reversing the history of persecution, Zed stressed. (ANI)