FRANCE FORCIBLY REMOVES THOUSANDS OF ROMA PEOPLE, SAYS ROMA COMMUNITIES ARE ‘BREEDING GROUNDS’ FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING. EU THREATENS LEGAL ACTION
- ABC News: EU taking France to court over Roma expulsions: France’s “controversial expulsions of thousands of Roma [or gypsy people] has led to a row between Brussels and Paris. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has said the illegal Roma camps are breeding grounds for [human] trafficking, prostitution and child exploitation. But the EU’s justice commissioner recently compared France’s actions to events during World War II.”
- Human Rights Watch: France: Reject Anti-Roma Bill: The bill expands France’s power “to expel foreigners deemed to pose a threat to public order, including those liable to prosecution for… drug trafficking, human trafficking, profiting from prostitution by others, exploitation of begging, certain kinds of aggravated theft, and abusive occupation of land under the terms of a 2000 law regulating sites for gens de voyage (the French community known as ‘travelers’).” But, the AFP reports that of the “hundreds of Romanian Roma expelled, none had a criminal record.”
Actress Fairuza Balk, herself of Roma descent, recently decried the forced expulsion of Roma people from France. On her blog, Balk pointed her followers to two online Roma rights resources: RomaRights.net and Roma Rights Centre.
- Guardian: ‘Slavery’ uncovered on trawlers fishing for Europe: “Forced labour and human rights abuses involving African crews have been uncovered on trawlers fishing illegally for the European market by investigators for an environmental campaign group. The Environmental Justice Foundation found conditions on board including incarceration, violence, withholding of pay, confiscation of documents, confinement on board for months or even years, and lack of clean water.”
- MSNBC: Canadian court strikes down prostitution law: “The sex-trade workers who launched the constitutional challenge argued the restrictions forced them to work in secrecy and on the street, and thus made them more vulnerable to violence from both clients and pimps… ‘This means that we no longer have to be afraid. That we can work with the appropriate authorities,’ said Valerie Scott, an advocate for sex-trade workers’ rights in Toronto.