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Roma community in Italy is worried about census

Latest update : 2008-07-22

FRANCE 24's special correspondent Alexis Masciarelli brings us rarely-seen images from the heart of an illegal Roma camp in Italy. The Red Cross is conducting a census there, worrying the inhabitants.

A European human rights watchdog travelled to Italy Monday to examine the situation of the Roma population, following a spate of attacks against the gypsy minority, the OSCE said in a statement.

The week-long trip by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Milan, Naples and Rome comes after the Italian government announced a scheme to fingerprint all Roma, including children, drawing criticism from human rights groups and EU lawmakers.

"The purpose of the visit is to work with the Italian authorities to identify issues of concern and develop recommendations on how to address them in line with Italy's OSCE and other international commitments," delegation leader Andrzej Mirga said in the statement.

The team includes experts from the OSCE's high commissioner on National Minorities, its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) and the office of the Council of Europe human rights commissioner, as well as Italian non-governmental organisations.

Their conclusions will be given to the Italian government in a report in September, the statement said.

Romas have been the target of a wave of racist attacks in recent months as anger has spread among Italians, who blame gypsies for rising crime and insecurity.

In mid-May, two Roma camps outside Naples were attacked with petrol bombs.
   

Date created : 2008-07-22