Roma and Sinti delegation meets with House speaker

Minority representatives ask for end to segregation

Rome, 08/04/2013 - A delegation of Roma and Sinti met with Italian House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Monday in Rome on the UN-established international day celebrating the minority group that has been defined as Europe's most discriminated. Representatives from eight Romani families living in Italy met with the former spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and spoke about their living conditions and situation in Italy. "We have two requests - that we are recognized officially as one of Italy's ethnic minorities and that an alternative to the system of segregated camps as housing be eliminated," the delegation said. "I know how ancient your history is, as well as how it is marked by tragedies and attempts at extermination. More needs to be done to make your history known...and to overcome prejudice and discrimination," Boldrini said. International Roma and Sinti Day has been celebrated yearly on April 8 since 1979 and was created by the UN to highlight the past and present struggles of the ethnic minority. Italy has continuously been criticized by human rights watchdogs like Amnesty International for ongoing discrimination against the Roma people's rights to education, housing, health care and employment.