BBC Program “This World” - “Child Thieves”

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While this program has come under attack, some rather severe, from several quarters, especially from academics in the field of Romani Studies in the West, including Romani People amongst them, and also some Romani activists, it is time that we, the Rom, the Romani People, firstly admitted to ourselves and amongst ourselves that this problem exists and then admitted it also to the outside world; and secondly that we, as a People, did something about stopping this practice.

We have out own system of justice but maybe we have to get an international version of this sorted out and then proceed against those criminal elements amongst our People at speed.

As long, however, that we are in total denial of this, publicly and as a people then it will continue and programs of this nature will be broadcast.

Why suppress the truth, as some of the “leaders” seem to wish to do? If we do that we, that is to say those that try to do so, are as guilty as those who perpetrate those things.

This is the same with the issue of Gypsy children being trafficked for this purpose and other more sordid things even and the sale of children by some Roma groups from Eastern Europe to others simply for gain. The same comments are made as to that not being the case and it all having been made up by the media in racist attempts to smear the name of the Romani People.

The fact is that all of this is happening and that some groups are even proud of doing what they are doing, whether it is living of begging and stealing and such or the sale of children for this or that purpose.

The cases in the UK that have been uncovered where Gypsy boys and girls, some as young as four and five, had been trafficked by Rom from Eastern Europe to places such as Glasgow for sordid exploitation and the rings that were smashed by the police are then, I should assume, also made up by the authorities; if one would go with the logic of those “leaders”.

Many of the “leaders”, it would appear, have no interest in accepting the truth and in actually doing anything against those activities. Instead they are employing the “Ostrich Syndrome” and try to claim that this is not happening.

One can but wonder why this denial in the face of the facts?

We must not try to shoot the messenger just because he carries a truth that is somewhat unpalatable to us and we do not like the taste of it. Instead we must try to discover more and then try to put a stop to it.

We must accept the truth of this and not just because the Fagins that were in the documentary openly admitted it and I also personally have experience with Rom from the former Yugoslavia whose children were proud to go out pickpocketing and stealing from shops and parents of those kids who were proud of what they stole.

It happens. So let's face it! And then, deal with it! But do not shoot the messenger.

© 2009