The Long Road: The Roma of Eastern and Central Europe and the Freedom of Movement and Right to Choose a Residence

By Haun, Alyssa | The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics, January 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

The Long Road: The Roma of Eastern and Central Europe and the Freedom of Movement and Right to Choose a Residence


Haun, Alyssa, The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics


I. INTRODUCTION

Originally from Northern India, the Roma have been present in Europe since the beginning of the fourteenth century.1 Also referred to as gypsies, persecution and hatred are dominant themes in this group's volatile history and anti-Roma sentiments continue to prevail throughout Eastern and Central Europe today. This Note discusses the barriers to the recognition and implementation of the Roma's rights to freedom of movement and choice of residence at the domestic, European, and international levels, and suggests strategies aimed at advocating and securing freedom of movement for the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe. A discussion of the history of the Roma and the problems they have faced in exercising freedom of movement will incorporate an introduction to the various instruments available for protecting such freedom. The effectiveness of those instruments and other efforts undertaken to secure freedom for the Roma will then be analyzed.

Finally, this Note proposes that the European human rights proponents hold the most potential for guaranteeing the freedom of movement to the Roma, offering a more direct enforcement system than the international human rights regime. The political pressure they and their organizations can exert upon non-compliant parties increases the chance that states will incorporate European human rights norms into their domestic systems.

International and regional human rights treaties are self-executing in most of the countries examined here, and are therefore incorporated into domestic law. Unfortunately, in practice, these treaties and any domestic laws securing the freedom of movement protect only citizens of the countries at issue. However, some Roma are not considered citizens or even legal aliens. Restrictive citizenship and naturalization requirements prevent a large number of Romani individuals from legally residing in a country and gaining the protection of its laws. Popular sentiment in most of Eastern and Central Europe supports the denial of citizenship for the Roma. The negative view of Romani culture is largely based on ancient stereotypes of the Roma as an unclean people who make a living from thievery.2 Without the proper papers the Roma cannot travel freely between countries nor can they try to claim citizenship or legal alien status in a particular country.

The Roma struggle to become a recognized minority group. Recognition would afford them some human rights protections, but the Roma do not fit the current definitions of "minority."3 The majority of Roma are stateless, thereby falling outside the scope of modern human rights regimes. They have no one to intervene for them at the international level. Roma rights activists urge the various human rights regimes at all levels to acknowledge the reality of the Romani situation, and strive for changes that will identify the Roma as a unique group entitled to the protections afforded others under various international treaties and domestic laws. The ability to move freely is essential to the Roma. For some, it is a part of their nomadic culture.4 For others, they must travel both within and between countries to escape persecution or to find jobs. The situation of the Roma transcends national boundaries and can best be addressed by a broad European human rights forum.

II. DISCUSSION

A. History of the Roma

The history of the oppression and exclusion of the Roma in Eastern and Central Europe dates back to the fourteenth century when they first arrived in Europe from India.5 Southeastern Europeans enslaved the Roma beginning in the 1350s; other European countries put Romani individuals to death or forbade them from entering the country.6 European rejection of the Roma forced them into a nomadic way of life, though only about a quarter continue to live as nomads today.7 Negative perceptions of the Roma continued into modern times, reaching their peak during the Nazi regime when they fell victim to Hitler's extermination program. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Long Road: The Roma of Eastern and Central Europe and the Freedom of Movement and Right to Choose a Residence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.