> Three important new publications on Roma people and their rights

Three important publications about Roma people and their rights have just appeared:

  • The London Borough of Brent, The Met Police and the Romanian Police, UKBA and the Romanian Roma: a joint briefing paper with AIRE Centre – Roma and other migrant workers are being denied the right to work in two neighbourhoods of Brent. And Romanian police are working alongside UK Visas & Immigration staff in Brent at the same time. This briefing paper has been prepared by Roma Support Group and the AIRE Centre to explore the why the right to work is being denied. And how the removal of EU migrants workers is already being explored by local agencies; is this a sign of things to come? – Read the full paper
  • Mainstream approaches aren’t working: The European Commission’s 2016 assessment of member states’ progress towards Roma integration: the case of the UK government.  A briefing paper – The European Commission have recently issued a damning indictment of the UK government’s policy towards Roma people (which includes Gypsy and Traveller communities and families). Many organisations have argued that the UK government’s refusal to develop an explicit ‘National Roma Integration Strategy’ – and instead adapt existing social inclusion policies to achieve Roma integration – is destined to fail. It seems that the European Commission has reached the same critical view. This briefing paper summarises the issues raised. – Read the full paper
  • Free school meals and Roma children: a review of recent evidence in twenty local authorities in England – Many Roma families, if they are short of work and unable to sustain themselves, have known that their children will not be made to suffer at school. The children will have free school meals as the family are receiving a particular qualifying benefit; and the school will be able to claim additional funding under the Pupil Premium scheme. Thanks to a series of Freedom of Information requests, we are now able to describe the most recent trends throughout England. It seems that Roma children have experienced a sudden decline in being eligible for free school meals – and so their schools are denied additional funds to support newly arriving children, and children with particular language needs. This decline is not matched by any new found wealth which has been suddenly enjoyed by Roma families. This leads us to believe that the decline in eligibility is due to the impact of benefit changes since 2014 which have been sharply felt across England by Roma families. – Read the full report.