The Removal of the Roma

“Foreigners should be treated as your own citizens”. Immanuel Kant understood the simple fact, we are equal, and so divisions should not be created. Peace seems to be an unachievable ideal at times, but if we take Kant’s words for the intelligence that they are, the stirrings of war and conflict will slow. Minorities, specifically the Roma, are being forcibly removed from Germany and France and returned to Kosovo, Romania, and Bulgaria. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution”. France and Germany must stop this blatant violation of human rights.

France and Mr. Sarkozy have been compared to Nazi Germany for the expulsion of thousands of Roma. Mr. Sarkozy has supported a policy that pushes an entire ethnic group out of a country to Romania and Bulgaria, where they also face discrimination and forced evictions. Germany is following the footsteps of France by attempting to force the Roma people; as well Ashkali, and Egyptians back to Kosovo. These people left Kosovo because of armed conflict and marginalization. The marginalization includes lack of access to housing, education, healthcare, and employment. These people left to seek asylum from persecution, and a greater recognition of their human rights. Germany and France have failed in that recognition.

France is committing open discrimination, and Germany is willingly sending people back to despicable situations. The Roma are attempting to survive, and housing permits are difficult to come by. Our energy should not be spent on xenophobia. France and Germany can work with these people. The Roma can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Willingly placing someone in a life-threatening situation is immoral, and grouping by ethnicity will cause mass conflict.

This divisiveness based on a form of ethnic cleansing will lead to a greater form of horrifying, as we have seen happen in the past: The Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Rwanda.  The actions committed by France and Germany must not be allowed to escalate.  We must realize the significance of “Never Again”.

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