Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-405"

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". − Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, this morning the report on an EU strategy on the rights of the child was adopted. One of its priorities is combating poverty and discrimination. On this point, we decided to devote a special paragraph to Roma children, who are often excluded from health and social provision and from schooling. It is a well-known fact that a very high percentage of Roma children do not go to school, or attend only occasionally. Many Roma children are actually forced to attend special schools, if not institutions for the disabled. Available data show that in some Member States early school leaving by Roma children exceeds 60%. It is clear that children who do not go to school, who are illiterate or in any case have an inadequate level of education or vocational training, are children who have no future, but are forced to beg or to work on the black market. In any case, their fate is sealed: in the best-case scenario they will be condemned to poverty and social exclusion, while in the worst-case scenario they will be victims of organised crime. It is worth bearing in mind, by the way, that the Roma population is very young, with approximately 45% of individuals aged under 16; for this very reason it would be extremely useful and important for the Commission to lay down specific, concrete actions for Roma children, particularly with reference to combating early school leaving and the promotion of appropriate, high-quality schooling. Without a right to education there is no guarantee of equal treatment and, above all, no right to a future."@en1

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