Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that international community should take this growing risk to Roma safety very seriously and do something concrete about it. Continued racism, discrimination, xenophobia and violence against an already persecuted community should not be acceptable to the 21st century Europe and world.
Rajan Zed stressed that mechanisms should be urgently developed to protect the vulnerable Roma and racist narrative like “Gypsy crime” should be banned. It should be an EU wide priority to integrate Roma.
Zed pointed out that in Hungary, despite various so called government initiatives, Roma reportedly continued to face blatant discrimination, shanty town living, an atmosphere of hostility, huge unemployment rate, lower life expectancy, prejudice, significantly higher school dropout rate, racism, stereotyping, school segregation, social exclusion, mistrust, human rights violations, etc.
Harvard report also stated: Hate speech…, hate-motivated killings, stigmatization of Romani people, discriminatory practices, and social and economic exclusion were on the rise in Hungary...Roma faced blatant discrimination, violence, and insecurity on a daily basis…Implementation is the most important test in combating hate crime and racially motivated violence, and it is this very test that many states in Europe fail, particularly in regard to the Roma.
According to US Department of State Report for 2012 on Human Rights Practices in Hungary: Roma were discriminated against in almost all fields of life, particularly in employment, education, housing, penal institutions, and access to public places, such as restaurants and bars.
Jennifer Leaning is Director of FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Julio Frenk is Dean of Harvard School of Public Health and Drew Gilpin Faust is President of Harvard University.