‘Gypsy’ child-abduction claims: time to just stop and think for a moment…

October 24, 2013 at 8:50 am (children, Civil liberties, conspiracy theories, Jim D, Racism, travellers)

Statement from the European Roma Rights Centre:
ERRC Urges Restraint and Responsible Reporting in Child Removal Cases

22 October 2013

Budapest, 22 October 2013: The ERRC is concerned by increasing reports of children being removed from Roma families, following reports about a child taken from her home in a Romani settlement in Greece. Another child has since been removed from her home in Ireland, according to media reports.

We ask the media to act responsibly in reporting the situation, especially as the full facts of the original case have still not been established.

The ERRC is aware of at least one report from Serbia where skinheads tried to take away a two-year old boy from his parents because he was “not as dark as his parents”. Irresponsible reporting could have severe, negative consequences for Roma families across Europe.

If a crime has been committed in Greece, and this is still by no means clear, those who committed it should be treated as individuals, not as representatives of their ethnicity. Such a case could arise in any racial, ethnic, religious or national group.

Criminality is not related to ethnicity. Roma children are, however, much more likely to be put into state care, trapped in segregated education, and forcibly evicted from their homes. These are the stories that don’t make it to the front page.

We urge restraint, and we urge all local authorities, media outlets and other stakeholders to fully examine the facts before acting.


From the BBC website:
DNA tests prove Dublin Roma girl is part of family

23 October

DNA tests have proved that a seven-year-old girl taken from a Roma family in Dublin on Monday is their daughter.
The family said they were “delighted” that their daughter had come home.

They also said they would be taking legal advice, and that serious questions have arisen over the procedures used in the case.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl had been removed by police from her Tallaght home and taken into temporary care.

The family have supported calls from human rights group Pavee Point for an independent inquiry into the investigation.

In a statement issued through their solicitor the family said: “Her removal has been a cause of huge upset to her parents, her brothers and sisters, and the young girl herself.

“They now intend to concentrate on looking after their family and, in particular, in trying to reassure their daughter that she will be left in their care.


“Our clients also wish to say they do not believe that what has happened to their family over the few days should ever have happened.

“They do not accept that this was any proper or sufficient basis to take their daughter away from them.

“They believe that there are very serious questions arising about the procedures used in this case but are going to wait for things to settle down and consider their position and that of their daughter in light of recent events and will be taking legal advice in respect of this.”

A 21-year-old sister of the child, who can not be identified for legal reasons, said their mother had not eaten for three days because she was so distraught.

“Everyone was very sad,” she said. The sister added she hoped no other family would have to go through a similar ordeal.


Meanwhile, a two-year-old boy from a Roma family who was briefly taken into care in County Westmeath has been reunited with his parents.

The boy was taken from his family on Tuesday in Athlone and returned a day later.

Alan Shatter, the Irish minister for justice, said he will be asking the Garda (Police) Commissioner for a report on the two cases.

A Garda statement said: “Protecting vulnerable children is of paramount importance to An Garda Síochána and we continue to work in partnership with the HSE (Health Service Executive) and other agencies to ensure children’s safety.

“An Garda Síochána want to assure the community that we take extremely serious all reports received from members of the public concerning child welfare issues.”

The Irish police action took place against the background of international interest in the case of a blonde-haired child being taken from a Roma family in Greece last week.

Greek police are investigating whether the girl had been abducted


  1. Gypsy child-abduction claims: time to just stop and think for a moment… | OzHouse said,

    […] Oct 24 2013 by admin […]

  2. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    A lot of this can be related to the cult of parenthood against which Suzanne Moore (and more interestingly the Tory MP Rory Stewart) are inveighing against.

    Cyril Connolly identified ‘the pram in the hall’ as a key ‘enemy of promise’ – the crude logistic demands and economic responsibilities of parenthood killing many literary careers (even in an age when only middle class chaps generally wrote anything and had little active role in bringing up baby other than paying for stuff).

    In our ever more atomised and deracinated world children now serve as both psychic anchor and economic shackle, with our terror of losing or just not being able to properly provide a perfect childhood for them keeping countless noses to the grindstone.

    So we can expect more and more Der Sturmer like fantasies of abduction to absorb us as the media exploit our most basic fears.

  3. Rosie B said,

    It taps into an old fear of outlaw gypsies stealing children.

    “My mother said I never should
    Play with the gypsies in the wood.”


    “A curious thing I noticed about the gypsies – I don’t know whether it is the same everywhere – was that you would often see a whole family who were totally unlike one another. It almost seems to countenance the stories about gypsies stealing children; more likely though, it is because it’s a wise child etc.”


    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Well spotted – and as those very diary entries show Orwell was far from immune from casual racism.

      The hop-picking account is interesting as this is what my grandparents from South London regarded as their annual ‘holiday’ until well into the fifties.

  4. Patel Agraval said,

    Another gypsy myth can be seen in this BBC documentary:


    […] Gypsy child-abduction claims: time to just stop and think for a moment… (shirazsocialist.wordpress.com) […]

  6. Rosie B said,

    A travelling family which has traipsed around Europe for almost two hundred years is at the centre of yet another child abduction storm today. Police have taken into protective custody ‘a ginger man’, thought to be around 29 years of age and answering to the nickname ‘Harry’.

    The family is said to have started out with the frankly unbelievable name of ‘Saxe-Coburg & Gotha’, but has repeatedly changed its name across various national boundaries in order to disguise itself.


  7. truelabour said,

    Reblogged this on truelabour.

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