Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-01-Speech-4-045"

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"Ladies and gentlemen, I propose the adoption of the report drafted by Mrs Járóka, addressing the situation of Roma women living in Europe. Although the report paints a very dark picture of the situation of Roma women and of the Roma in general – of their multiple social disadvantages, poverty, defencelessness, and the discrimination they are faced with, especially in the new Member States and candidate states – every word of the report is true. The Roma are indeed the most disadvantaged group of society: their life expectancy is shorter than average, they are often excluded from health services, Roma women fall prey to white slavery more easily, and the gap between the education level of Roma and non-Roma women is unacceptably wide. This state of affairs was also supported during two sessions of the Roma Forum of the European Parliament, held on 28 June 2005 and 22 March 2006, by debating country reports and presenting personal experiences. Based on the values and policy of the EU, European Union legislators have already created several laws against racial discrimination and in support of equal rights for women. However, I am convinced that we need to do much more, both at Member State and EU level, in the area of legislation, of raising awareness of human rights and sanctioning discrimination. Even where we do have appropriate laws, their enforcement at Member State level falls behind the legal requirements of the European Union. Therefore we need integrated Community assistance and policies that create opportunities. We need solidarity in combating poverty. We need resources that are actually able to change the situation of the Roma and of Roma women. We need education and employment. We need small region development. I also believe that the positive role of mass media is very important in combating prejudices, in strengthening the identity of the Roma and in propagating their culture."@en1

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