Dear friends of the Roma community,
As many of you know from the years of emails that have been shared, Roma refugees in Canada have faced terrible institutionalized discrimination by the Canadian government and it’s agents such as the Immigration Refugee Board and the Canadian Border Services Agency. At the same time, they were often subjected to poor legal representation by those that exploited their vulnerable status and lack of knowledge of the Canadian refugee system. For years, everyone who worked at or on behalf of the Roma Community Centre in Toronto tried to raise awareness about these issues. At long last, the truth is continuing to emerge and the stark reality for Romani asylum seekers is becoming wider known in Canada, and internationally. It is shameful that our Canadian government viciously attacked Roma asylum seekers as ‘bogus refugees’, There never was any sincere attempt to address the widely documented human rights abuses and persecution that Europe’s largest minority group has been subjected in States that have allowed endemic discrimination and racially motivated violence to target their Roma communities. In fact, our government has put significant effort into collaborating with these, especially Hungary, in creating campaigns and new policies to prevent Roma from seeking or obtaining asylum in Canada.
Hopefully, in the near future we will see some changes in place that will prevent the government in power from singling out and attacking certain communities. When this happens, it affects the quality of life for all of us in a country that prides itself on being inclusive, equal rights for all, and embracing of diversity. Unfortunately. for some segments of the Canadian population, these are just words on a policy paper or in a public relations speech – they aren’t the reality of their Canadian experience.
Here are some important Roma related articles that have been published recently.
Wishing everyone a happy easter, passover, or perhaps just a long weekend to enjoy time with family or friends.