Anti-Gypsyism, recognized as a specific form of racism by the Council of Europe, is deeply rooted in negative and biased beliefs, prejudices, misconceptions and discriminatory attitudes towards Roma, and as a consequence Roma face a life of alienation, isolation and entrenched poverty.
Interventions to reverse prejudice and stereotyping need to be based on an understanding of how, why, and under what conditions, children make decisions to exclude others, how they experience this exclusion, and how exclusion originates and changes over the course of the lifespan. One of the most powerful influences on the development of children’s attitudes, are children themselves. Children start to understand prejudice by the time they enter preschool, and they can already tell how certain characteristics, like skin color or gender, affect how people see them and their peers.
Schools and education can play a vital and critical role in reversing these trends.
In cooperation with the Children’s Rights Division, the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe reached out to children to develop child-friendly material through a child consultation process, as part of the Dosta! Campaign “Enough! Go beyond prejudice – meet the Roma”, which aims to raise awareness of prejudices and stereotypes and break them down, bringing non-Roma and Roma closer.
This video, aimed mainly at children, uses the metaphor of a black cat, which is discriminated against because of its association with witchcraft and bad luck. The clip urges children to confront similar Roma-related prejudices held by adults, with the aim of better integrating Roma in mainstream society.
The video can be used as campaign material for the 8th April, International Roma Day and for teaching purposes regarding prejudices and their harmful effects.
For more information: https://www.coe.int/en/web/roma-and-travellers/dosta-campaign