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Roma families face disadvantage in child protection proceedings

Date:25 NOV 2020
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Mary Marvel, Law for Life

We have all become familiar with the discussion about structural racism in the UK, thanks to the excellent work of the Black Lives Matter movement. But it is less recognised that Roma communities are also victims of the same structural racism and discrimination in the UK. Like other minorities, Roma have a higher risk of unemployment, of being victims of police brutality, of housing deprivation, and of health inequality. The disproportionate increase in recent years in the numbers of Roma children “in need” and “looked after” also raises concerns.

The reasons for this increase in social work involvement with Gypsy/Roma families are complex. From existing research, frontline casework, and a testimony from NGOs working with Roma in the UK, it is clear that historical disadvantages, linguistic barriers, and that Roma families have predominantly negative experiences with public services and so are reluctant to engage, all play a significant part. Working collaboratively with a range of agencies, public legal education charity Law for Life, looked for ways to address these problems and improve access to justice for Roma families.

The full article will be published in the December issue of Family Law

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