Monday, November 30, 2009



Bernard Rorke, Director of OSI Roma Initiatives, reflects upon a month of anniversaries and Europe's failure to ensure the well-being of Roma children.

"The commemorations, reflections, and ruminations around the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet revolutions overshadowed another November 20th anniversary of profound historical significance: the United Nations' adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We would do well to pause and remember the fates of three Roma children this year.

In February five-year-old Robika Csorba and his father were shot dead as they fled their firebombed house in Tatarszentgyorgy in Hungary. In April, in the Czech town of Vitkov, two-year-old Natalka Sivkov sustained 80% burns when her home was attacked with Molotov cocktails. In the Hungarian town of Kisleta in August, 13-year-old Ketrin Balogh suffered multiple gunshot wounds in an attack on her home that killed her mother Maria.

The Convention which proclaims that 'the child shall enjoy special protection… to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity' rings tragically hollow for these three victims of racially motivated violence."

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