Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Italy Targets Roma

Italy’s interior minister proposed that the government conduct a census of the Romani people, widely known as Gypsies, living in camps throughout Italy. The census would include the fingerprinting of all Roma. The proposal was made a part of Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative campaign to crack down on street crime. The proposal has already been accused of being racist and discriminatory, and the UN Children’s Fund has expressed “surprise and grave concern” regarding the proposal. Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis said, “While I believe the Italian democracy and its institutions are mature enough to prevent any such ideas becoming laws, I am nevertheless concerned that a senior member of the government of one of [the] Council of Europe member states is reported to have made such a proposal.”