Manchester Town Hall and the University of Manchester are collaborating on a project to tackle discrimination towards the Roma community among social services and schools.
Manchester Evening News reports that Professor Yaron Matras from the University of Manchester has warned that the “persisting prejudice” against Roma families needs to be tackled in Manchester – including discrimination by schools, health workers and social services in the city.
The university and Manchester council will launch the new project with the aim of giving the Roma community in Manchester “a voice” – and help them access services.
It is also hoped that the project will help tackle negative public perceptions of the Roma community.
Prof Matras is one of the project’s co-ordinators and said:
“There are big issues of segregation and prejudice within schools. This is also a problem in health and social care, where Roma families are often accused of neglecting their children.
“However, there are very few cases where there has been a serious case of neglect – yet there are cases of Romani children being wrongly taken into emergency foster care.
“This is an issue that really needs to be tackled,” said Prof Matras.
“Unlike other immigrant and ethnic minority communities, the Roma have so far lacked community representation.
“The main aim of our outreach work is to release Roma from being dependent on others and to encourage self-reliance,” he added.
The project involving the Big Life Group and Manchester University’s Romani Project is funded by the European Commission and is supported by the European Roma and Travellers Forum – an organisation that represents the Roma at the Council of Europe.
A founder of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, Ramona Constantin, said:
“We have many young people in our community who are talented and motivated – one of our goals is to help them identify opportunities to develop their skills.”
Labour MEP Afzal Khan added:
“The Roma are Europe’s largest minority – they continue to suffer exclusion and discrimination.
“The community group is an excellent initiative – it will help make Manchester a model for the integration and participation of Roma in the European Union.”
Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers
Duncan Lewis is a leading firm of child care and family lawyers, able to advise on all family and child care matters – including children taken into Local Authority care, care proceedings, pre-proceedings letters, Section 47 enquiries, Court of Protection cases and Judicial Review in a child care matter.
Duncan Lewis is also a leading firm of Legal Aid solicitors – and our Civil Liberties department can also advise on miscarriages of justice and cases involving discrimination or Human Rights breaches.
For expert legal advice on family and child care law, call Duncan Lewis children lawyers on 020 7923 4020.
For urgent child care law advice – including urgent social services legal advice – call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036, where a specialist family and child care lawyer is available 24/7.