There are approximately ten million Roma in Europe, making them the continent’s largest non-territorial minority. Despite this fact, the Roma continue to experience routine discrimination and marginalization in European countries. As a result they are seldom engaged in national political activism and are frequently at the bottom of the economic and social ladder. The severity of exclusion experienced by the Roma in societies which have long paid heed to the notion of individual, universal human rights - combined with their geographical dispersal and heterogeneous nature - makes the study of the Roma highly informative. This book examines the theoretical debate concerning the most appropriate way of protecting the fundamental human rights of the Roma, which also illuminates ways in which the rights of minority groups can be protected more generally. As a result, this work will be a valuable resource for social scientists and practitioners in the field of human rights.
Helen O'Nions is Senior Lecturer in law at the University of Lincoln, UK. She has published widely on British Gypsies, immigration control and asylum policy.
'A stimulating contribution to an under-researched area. The strength of this book lies in the impressively wide range of sources which are used to inform the text. Its examination of the education of traveller children in particular brings vividly alive the difficulties faced by the Roma in Europe today.' Fiona Cownie, Keele University, UK 'Does minority rights law have anything to offer the Roma, whose plight Dr O’Nions so eloquently describes? Her response is a splendidly knowledgeable and sophisticated analysis of current debates on individual and collective rights and their application to international and domestic law. Through her advocacy of a complementary approach to human rights, she shows how law can make a difference.' Bill Bowring, Birkbeck, University of London, UK 'Helen O'Nions's monograph is perhaps the first comprehensive academic study that examines the contemporary Romani situation from a legal perspective ...The outcome is one of the most inspiring and well-informed works on the political situation of Roma that has appeared over the past decade, by far overtaking in its thoroughness, accuracy, and quality of analysis all other titles cited in its extended bibliography.' Romani Studies