Auteur: | By Lucia Kubosova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Roma have emerged as the group facing the highest levels of discrimination across Europe, according to an annual study by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) in Vienna, published on Wednesday (23 November).
According to the report, evaluating all 25 EU member states, the critical situation of the Roma communities has been registered mainly in the countries of central and eastern Europe, like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
"The particular histories and population characteristics of the new member states mean that the Roma and people from the former (Soviet Union) are often the targets of racist sentiments and acts," the report noted.
The Roma - sometimes referred to as gypsies - face discrimination in employment, housing and education as well as being regular victims of racial violence.
Muslim minorities and migrant workers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America are also subject to discrimination and live in "particularly challenging conditions" in many west European member states, according to the study.
Anastasia Crickley, chairman of the EUMC management board, suggested the inequalities range from "poor housing being provided to migrants and minorities, and segregation of certain groups in 'special education' schools, to employment agencies which were willing to accept employers' instructions not to send immigrant applicants for jobs."
The Roma are ethnic Indians who spread into Europe in a diaspora dating back almost 1,000 years.