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Sweden proposes survey of abuses against Roma

TT/The Local/vt · 31 Jan 2011, 08:29

Published: 31 Jan 2011 08:29 GMT+01:00

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"We have had enough with our current problems," Rosita Grönfors, chairwoman of the International Roma and Travelling Women Forum (IRKF), told news agency TT on Sunday.

The report, which will document historical discrimination, will include forced sterilisations and the lack of voting rights, according to Sveriges Television's (SVT) Rapport on Sunday.

Integration Minister Eric Ullenhag told SVT that the social institutions that have been responsible for the abuses will be singled out. However, the surveying will not result in the state awarding damages to affected Roma.

Maria Leissner, the former chairwoman of the government's delegation for Roma issues, would have preferred a truth commission, but believes that the report on the whole will fulfill the same function.

"What is important now is that they get testimonies from Roma. They must be free to talk about their reality," she told news agency TT on Sunday.

Story continues below…

However, drawing up old abuses from history does not help the Roma now, said Grönfors.

"I think that they should ignore what has happened, it is history. I want the government to care about the Roma who are discriminated against now instead," she said on Sunday.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:48 January 31, 2011 by RobinHood
"Forced sterilisation"! What's been going on? I'm surprised Rosita Grönfors of the Roma women's association isn't interested. Why not?

When? Who by? On whose orders?" If there's something in it, those responsible should be named; and if they are still alive, investigated to see if there has been a crime, under Swedish law, or under international human rights legislation.
09:30 January 31, 2011 by Nemesis
Under the Racial Hygiene laws in Sweden from 1935 to 1975, Sweden admits to sterilising 63000 people, although most of them were Sami. Most likely the real figure, is significantly higher.

The Sterilization Act of 1934, was passed by the Social Democrat government of the day and hailed as a great social advance.

Roma were sterilised under the racial hygiene laws.

The entire episode of racial hygiene should be investigated by external investigators with full powers to look at whatever documents they need and to question everyone involved, no matter which Swedish family they belong to.

Swedes like to claim they only sterilised the alcoholics, mentally ill and disabled. They were a very small minority of those sterilised. Speak to any Sami and you will realise that vey quickly.

Sweden and Swedes are in a very serious level of denial about there nazi supporting past, which includes there Eugenics campaign on their own minorities.

Anyone who is niave enough to believe that an internal Swedish report will bring out the true extent of the horrors under the racial hygiene laws, is not fit to be a representative of any group and is nothing better than a Quisling.

Every single attempt to get compensation by a victim, has been fought by the Swedish government in court and most people lose there case, even though it is clear they were sterilised aginst there will.
09:35 January 31, 2011 by UScitizen
"I think that they should ignore what has happened, it is history."

That's like saying the Catholic Church should forget about all the children who were abused by priests.

Someone once said "If you forget the past, you're destined to repeat it."
10:52 January 31, 2011 by johnny1939
Sweden also steralized people w/ various disorders like dyslexia(if they were poor and could not protect themselves) horrifying!!!Also, people were forbidden to marry that had certain disorders today easily controlled w/ medication. Sweden really have a lot of crimes against humanity to answer to. We are hypocrites!!!
12:54 January 31, 2011 by JulieLou40
Jesus. Scary stuff.
13:37 January 31, 2011 by procrustes
Given the rise of the Social Democrats (what an oxymoron!) revealing this history is doubly important. I personally know of a woman, not Sami, Swedish as one can be, in Helsingland who as a teen was threatened with sterilization because she came from a family of eight children.
14:08 January 31, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Nemeses says a succession of Social Democrat governments sterilised Roma women until as recently as 1975. A woman claiming to represent A Roma womens' group says "we should ignore what happened, it is history". There are Roma women walking about today with no children and no ovaries who probably strongly disagree.

This is beginning to smell like a first-class political scandal, complete with a contemporaneous cover up. If there are some Social Democrats involved in this, still alive, they should be punished. The dead ones should be named so they can be remembered in the way they deserve to be. No matter who they are, and no matter what other contribution they may have made to the party and the country.
14:12 January 31, 2011 by Syftfel
I'm all for documenting abuses against the gypsies, as long as the report also includes in-depth studies of cultural practices, and the reasons for such abuse. Everything out in the open. Nothing swept under the rug out of PC considerations. None of the usual liberal platitudes and meaningless invective. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Is everyone ready for that? Including Ullenhag, Leissner and the romas themselves?
14:46 January 31, 2011 by engagebrain
Many of the doctors and medical staff who performed the sterilizations are almost certainly alive, and should be asked to explain themselves - at a bare minimum.
15:36 January 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
As usual, I'll take the low road here...but who is her decorator, Simon and Tomas?
16:10 January 31, 2011 by zircon
Don't make science make you go mad.
18:05 January 31, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
Good for them, Bad for Tax payers.

International Roma and Travelling Women Forum?

You mean Gypsies of course or Roamers. These are people without a country to settle in, hence the word "Roma" or "Travelling".

At least they have a Traditional Costume though.

It's just another weird and strange thing to see Sweden.
18:36 January 31, 2011 by bocagill
Well i dont agree with the steralized of people, i do however wish the goverment would do something about the theft the roma people do, i use to defend them from others who says that all of them steal intill i met a couple of them and ask them about stealing and their answer was that they dont feel bad about stealing beacuse they feel taking from someone who has more then them is ok, so i told them i guees i wont be inviting you over for coffee anyday soon.aslo i have seen them steal from the grocery stores a lot and i do step in and stop them and they scream very loud at me but i am not scare of them,so if they do a survey i hope they put this in it but i doubt it because like most swedes they will just brush it under the table and try to forget about it
21:20 January 31, 2011 by RobinHood
@Juan Harry Bush

Oh dear. The name Roma does not derive from the English word to roam, or traveller. The name is much, much older than modern English.

Look it up on Google, I can't be arsed to put you right here.
04:52 February 1, 2011 by UScitizen
@ Robinhood

the name Roma "has been in use in English since the 19th century as an alternative for Gypsy." That doesn't seem older than modern English to me. Gypsy was the original term for these people who were originally Egyptians, and considering what's going on there now, I don't blame them for roaming off to Europe.
15:45 February 1, 2011 by zat_xela
This was not a "Made in Sweden" solution to social issues. It was done in numerous countries around the world as well. Sterilization was considered to be the best course of action medically and socially. Obviously, we have learned and advanced since the. I agree with Rosita, move on. That does not mean forget.
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