This is an on-going debate, both in North America and in Europe. Take, for instance, the situation of Romany in Hungary. The European Roma Rights Center published the following 10 FACTS ABOUT HUNGARIAN
ROMA to remind everyone that Hungarian Roma are an
integral part of Hungarian society. As you read, think about your own (long-term) neighbors.
Roma have been living as part of Hungarian
society since the 14th century.
Today approximately 750,000 Roma live in
Hungary. That is 7.49 % of the population.
All Hungarian Roma speak Hungarian and only
17% of them speak Hungarian as a second language.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49 the
Roma sided with the Hungarian cause, and many repaired weapons or worked as
cannon-casters or camp musicians who assisted the county-level recruitment
Numerous Hungarian Roma participated in the
Revolution of 1956. One of them was Ilona Szabó, who was shot dead at the age of
17 by Soviet forces.
Regardless of the shared history and shared
struggles Roma in Hungary face neglect, discrimination and
Thousands of Hungarian Roma were killed for
being Roma during the Holocaust. Later the Roma worked largely in sectors which
went bankrupt after the democratic transition of Hungary in 1990 (mining, heavy
industry) and they have not yet recovered: today, only 26% of working-age Roma
The areas where Hungarian Roma live are mainly
disadvantaged areas and small villages where there are no job opportunities. The
average life expectancy for Roma in Hungary is ten to twelve years less than for
Between July 2008 and August 2009, six Romani
people, among them a 5 year-old child, were killed, and 55 others injured, in a
string of racist attacks in rural Hungarian villages.
The openly anti-Roma radical right-wing
populist party Jobbik secured 20.54% of the votes during the Parliamentary
elections of 2014.
Hungary’s Supreme Court recently declared that
the segregation of Roma children in church schools is legal.