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On the road with the Roma people

Video by Carlotta RANIERI , Virginie HERZ , Gulliver CRAGG , Willy BRACCIANO

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-02-19

Europe's Roma people are often the target of discrimination. Last September, a huge Roma camp just outside Paris was cleared. Still, many feel there is more hope in France than back in Romania.

This week, Caring focuses on the Roma people in Europe.

Rom, Roma, Gypsies, "travellers" - this is a people difficult to define, and as a result easily tagged by stereotypes.

The Roma are a people with ancient origins, dispersed across the world but linked by blood, by language, by their traditions, by their spirituality, and - as you will see in this report - by the discrimination and racism they are often subjected too.

Last September, a huge Roma camp just outside Paris was very publicly, and very controversially, cleared. Some of the slum-dwellers were rehoused and given social assistance. Most were just "deported" or told to leave.

Without qualifications or the right papers, it's hard for many Romanian Roma to live and work legally here in France. Many find themselves in the odd position of being paid by the state to return home. But as EU citizens, they can come back whenever they want. And many do want to - despite the squalid conditions they often find themselves living in here; when asked, many said they felt there was more hope in France than back home in Romania.

Our reporters spent time following a Romanian Rom family as they meander through the frustrating maze that is the red tape and bureaucracy of being a Roma in Europe. An exhausting and expensive journey.

Date created : 2009-02-19

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