“Foreigners should be treated as your own citizens”- Immanuel Kant. Kant understood the simple fact that we are all equal and divisions should not be made.  Peace seems to be unachievable at times, but if we take Kant’s words are taken seriously, maybe the stirrings of war and conflict will slow.  The Roma, a minority group, are being forcibly removed from France and Germany and returned to Kosovo, Romania, and Bulgaria.  Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution”, according to this article, France and Germany are performing a blatant violation of human rights.

France and its president, Mr. Sarkozy have been compared to Nazi Germany for the expulsion of thousands of Roma, Mr. Sarkozy has supported this policy which pushes the entire ethnic group out of a country to Romania and Bulgaria, where they also face discrimination and forced evictions. Germany is following the footsteps of France by attempting to force the Roma people; as well Ashkali, and Egyptians back to Kosovo.  These people left Kosovo because of armed conflict and marginalization. The marginalization includes lack of access to housing, education, healthcare, and employment.  These people left to seek asylum from persecution, and a greater recognition of human rights.  Germany and France have failed in that recognition.

France is committing open discrimination and Germany is willingly sending people back to despicable situations.  The Roma are attempting to survive and housing permits are difficult to come by. In my opinion, energy should not be spent on xenophobia.  France and Germany should work with these people and not commit demeaning acts to humanity.  The Roma should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  Willingly placing someone in a life-threatening situation is immoral, and grouping by ethnicity will cause mass conflict.

This divisiveness based on a form of ethnic cleansing will lead to horrifying places.

If you want to use your voice or learn a bit more:

Emily Harmon

Iowa UNA

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