Friday, September 19, 2008

Etnic fingerprinting? Or just fingerprinting?

This week the European Union is holding it's first ever "Roma Summit, IPS reports. The main topic is, of course, the fingerprint registers that Italy wants to build up.

The article I linked to describes the issue well. It also quotes Jaques Barrot, the European commissioner for justics saying this: "We have let the Italian government know that the
census cannot be carried out on an ethnic basis," he said. "It has
undertaken to follow our recommendations. There are proposals and there
is reality. We have seen the proposals; they are acceptable. And I will
not tolerate any practice that is incompatible with European rights. I
will make this my personal business."

That the commissioner of justice is against discrimination shouldn't be surprising... However, to me this signalized a compromise with human rights. The statement points out exactly how Italy can continue registering Roma families without EU interference - through avoiding the word "ethnic". the Italian government claims that it is not registering roma people per se, but homeless, illegal immigrants.

However, it was Roma settlements that burned in May, and it is Roma people that get registered now. European citizens of Roma etnicity. Are they guilty of any crime? Noone knows, but let's register them anyway... just in case.

No comments: