Sweden published on March 26 a white paper on abuses and rights violations against the Roma during the last century. The white paper is significant since it is the first time that the Swedish government has published and acknowledged Sweden’s long history of discrimination against the Roma minority. Should Finland follow Sweden’s example?
If sociologist and economist Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) pointed out that “discrimination breeds discrimination,” contrarily positive concrete steps that challenge discrimination help undermine it. Myrdal referred to this type of knock-on effect as cumulative causation.
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Despite the white paper, discrimination against the Roma is still very much alive in Sweden. Migrant Tales reported last week that a Roma wearing her traditional dress was escorted out of the hotel’s breakfast room. The woman was an invited speaker at the event where the white paper was announced.
In Sweden, compulsory sterilization of the Roma took place between 1934 and 1974.
Already in the middle ages the Roma, which are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe with 6 million members, European states enacted laws that were specifically designed to marginalize and victimize them.