#SaveRomafromCorona : Protect Roma communities from a disaster!

Dear President von der Leyen,                                                                                

We hereby turn to you as Members of the European Parliament and as Members of National Parliaments to express our concern about the situation of some of the most vulnerable among us. Amid the COVID 19 crisis, we have to act in solidarity and unite forces to protect all people living in Europe.

We explicitly welcome the communication by Commissioner Dalli emphasizing that the COVID 19  creates complex challenges and greater risks to Romani communities. We do support her demands towards the Member States to take urgent measures to support the Romani communities in this devastating situation.

We want to call your attention that – regardless of the current pandemic – most of the Romani people, especially in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, live in precarious situations and experience unequal access to healthcare services. This is due to a combination of antigypsysm – the specific form of racism towards people with Romani background-, poverty and social exclusion.

The health conditions of members of the Romani communities are strongly determined by their housing situation. Most households in Romani settlements do not have clean water or basic sanitation for example. These conditions do not even allow for complying with basic measurements to slow down the spread of the virus, such as following strict hygienic rules.

The economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable Romani people will be catastrophic. Many Roma across Europe work in the informal sector. Now that they are not allowed to leave their homes, they are left without any income, have no savings and do not receive unemployment benefits, or any other form of social assistance.

 There will be an urgent need for targeted assistance to these communities.

For that reason, Romani people are especially exposed to the severe consequences of a Covid-19 infection. Precarious Romani settlements are at risk of becoming hot spots of the pandemic.

It is important that the European Commission also takes over responsibility for vulnerable groups such as Romani people, in order to mitigate the potentially severe consequences of Covid-19.

We call on the European Commission to

  • make the protective and preventive measures against Covid-19 equally accessible for all people living in Europe, independent from their nationality, ethnicity, religious belief or residency status;
  • publicly condemn and actively counter public discourse making Romani people the scapegoats of the Coovid-19 epidemic;
  • call on Members States to ensure access to food, drinking water, protective equipment and health care services to Romani people living in poverty and isolated communities;
  • call on Members States to immediately stop all discriminatory measures against people with Romani background in European countries;
  • make Covid-19 emergency funding from the EU and other international organisations available to Roma communities in precarious situations in Europe;
  • integrate aid for Romani communities at risk into the Covid-19 civil protection mechanism of the EU.

Thank you for your consideration and for taking these indispensable measures into account.

Yours sincerely,

Romeo FRANZ, MEP

Filiz POLAT, MdB

Rasmus ANDRESEN, MEP

Alviina ALAMETSÄ, MEP

Katrin LANGENSIEPEN, MEP

Tineke STRIK, MEP

Tabea RÖSSNER, MdB

Ottmar VON HOLTZ, MdB

Katja DÖRNER, MdB

Maria KLEIN-SCHMEINK, MdB

Christian KÜHN, MdB

Kirsten KAPPERT-GONTHER, MdB

Saskia BRICMONT, MEP

Gerhard ZICKENHEINER, MdB

Claudia ROTH, Vice-President of the German Parliament.

Konstantin VON NOTZ, MdB

Ulle SCHAUWS, MdB

Beate MÜLLER-GEMMEKE, MdB

Franziska BRANTNER, MdB

Markus TRESSEL, MdB

Margarete BAUSE, MdB

Lisa BADUM, MdB

Kai GEHRING, MdB

Stefan SCHMIDT, MdB

Sven LEHMANN, MdB

Erhard GRUNDL, MdB

Ciarán CUFFE, MEP

Margit STUMPP, MdP

Canan BAYRAM, MdB

Claudia MÜLLER, MdB

Luise AMTSBERG MdB

Ekin DELIGÖZ, MdB

Erik MARQUARDT, MEP

Magrete AUKEN, MEP

Kira PETER-HANSEN, MEP

Verwandte Artikel