Guest lecture ‘Roma in Conflict’ 23 January

Provided by Jonathan Lee

‘Roma in Conflict: The Kosovo War and the Human Cost for Romani People 20 Years Later’

The Roma are Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Numbering over 12 million, they have often found themselves caught in the middle of conflicts, or on the receiving end of genocidal practices since their first arrival on this continent more than 700 years ago. During the Kosovo War of 1999, more than 200,000 Serbs, Roma and other minorities were displaced from the region as a result of ethnic cleansing by Albanian nationalists. Minorities were terrorised, raped, and murdered by civilians who were backed up by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Negligence and outright discrimination by UN forces exacerbated the situation further, leaving a legacy of ethnic violence, environmental poisoning, and forgotten communities.  The effects of this conflict are still felt by thousands of Roma and other minorities in the country, as well as those refugees who are still unable to return 20 years after the conflict ended.

Jonathan Lee is a Romani activist and writer from Wales. He is the Advocacy & Communications Manager at the European Roma Rights Centre, a human rights law organisation based in Brussels which challenges rights violations against Romani people in more than 15 countries around Europe.

Thursday 23 January 2020

13.30 – 15.15 hrs

VU University Amsterdam, Bellevue Building – BV-0H20