Integration of Roma is the way forward, says Kyenge. Minister pushes for minority's interaction with Turin citizens
Integration of Roma is the way forward, says Kyenge
Minister pushes for minority's interaction with Turin citizens24 June, 16:42(ANSA) - Turin, June 24 - The city of Turin is having trouble coping with its 4,000 Roma, but the national government will lend a hand, Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said on Monday.
''We hear Turin's cry for help. The city won't be left on its own'', Kyenge said at a City Hall meeting with Mayor Piero Fassino (Democratic Party - PD), Sinti and Roma community representatives and cultural mediators. ''We will work jointly with communities and institutions to remedy the problem. The objective is integration and helping people out of the camps''.
There are currently 4,000 Roma people living in 13 Turin camps, of which nine are illegal settlements not authorized or built by the State. Social services and integration councillors Elide Tisi and Ilda Curti also attended the meeting.
Kyenge also met separately with councillors from the anti-immigration Northern League. ''It was a turning point, a very important meeting'', said Kyenge, who has recently suffered racist slurs by Northern League representatives and supporters. ''Dialogue is always useful when it takes place within the boundaries of respect for the opinions of others and of the institutions''. ''We must not criminalize ethnicity'', the minister went on. ''We must judge the crime and the individual perpetrator.
Much depends on the opportunities we are granted. And I can't stress this enough: integration means interaction''. ''Our city is committed to finding a solution based on integration and civility'', the mayor added. ''Clearly this effort needs the support of other institutions, at the regional and the national level''.
Roma camps destroyed by city authorities in Turin and Rome
Groups protest 'violation of human rights'12 September, 14:46(ANSA) - Turin, September 12 - Two operations to forcibly evict Romani inhabitants from camps in Turin and Rome were carried out on Thursday, human rights groups and city officials said.
City-ordered operations to dismantle the via Salviati camp in Rome, where 35 Romani families live, began in the early hours and were carried out by 70 officers from three police units, human rights observers from the European Roma Rights Center, Amnesty International and the association 21 Luglio said.
The 120 Roma, living in the Salviati camp since June, recently sent an appeal to Rome's mayor, Ignazio Marino, asking to be allowed to integrate with the rest of the city.
"We do not want to live in a ghetto, we don't want to be in camps. We want to integrate," the letter read.
A joint letter from the three monitoring organizations said that "the dismantling does not respect standard, guaranteed procedures and continues to repeat human rights violations of the city's (Rome) past administration".
"Beyond being a serious violation of human rights, today's dismantling is a undeniable step back in regards to the European Union Framework for Roma Integration Strategies guaranteeing social inclusion of Roma and the elimination of the 'camp' model, to which Italy is a signatory," the note from the human rightsgroups said. Roma inhabitants from another camp on the outskirts of the Piedmont city of Turin were evicted by city authorities on Thursday. The Cascina Continassa area, inhabited by approximately 100 Roma for over 10 years, will make way for a new training camp for the city's Juventus soccer club that will be closer to the team's lucrative stadium.
"The delivery of the area marks a critical step in the redevelopment of this part of the city area that has long been subject to strong degradation. It makes way for the start a major project to revitalize the area and achieve economic benefits," a communication from Turin city authorities said.
The Cascina Continassa encampment was attacked and set on fire in December 2011 by a violent mob after a local Italian girl said she had been raped by a Romani man from the camp.
The girl later admitted she had been lying and she had not been raped at all.