Silenced and Stuck in Squalor: Roma’s Right to Fair and Equal Opportunity to Speak
In December of 2010, local authorities evicted 56 Roma families to a dump in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Though nearly seven years have passed since local authorities moved families from the center of the city to the outskirts of the city, these families still wait in squalor and in silence for justice at the dump known as Pata-Rât. Local, national, and international law have all failed to adequately address the housing crisis caused by the forced eviction. As demonstrated by the unjust process of the forced eviction itself and the inadequate responses to the housing crisis that followed, democracy alone will not result in justice for Roma. Thus, for moral and practical reasons addressing the housing crisis Roma face will require what feminist theorist and political philosopher Iris Marion Young calls “inclusive communicative democracy.” This model of democracy calls for Roma representation and participation in debate and decision-making, particularly at the local level. There is neither a simple nor an immediate solution to the housing crisis at Pata-Rât. Arriving at a fair solution, which considers the interests and opinions of all those involved, will require exhaustive discussions in which Roma have a fair and equal opportunity to speak and be heard.
Kassie Ann Scott is a member of the class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT WILL BE FREELY AVAILABLE FOLLOWING A TWO-YEAR EMBARGO PERIOD.]