“Theory of nomadism" in regional laws and national legislative vacuum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the last 50 years, the lack of a national framework on Roma, Sinti and Caminanti (RSC) Communities has left a void that has been filled by regional and local authorities with various voluntary actions. In order to provide answers to the housing needs of Roma groups, regional authorities have promoted legislative texts that, on one hand constituted the only form of recognition of the Roma groups present on the territory, on the other, mainly aimed at regulating the institution of camps and “parking areas” , built in order to house them. These laws were based on a nomadic approach as they assumed that all RSC groups living in Italy were nomads. This has mistakenly made Roma and Sinti culture coincide with nomadism, laying the foundation of what was defined as “Campland”. Formally, authorities claimed to protect the presumed “Roma nomadism” by institutionalising of camps. The approval of the NRIS in 2012 appeared to be a great opportunity to affirm the role of regional and local authorities within a national framework. As it was well explained in the NRIS itself, the National Strategy had to deal with the issue of adopting ad hoc national legislation, in order to promote and support the completion and the improvement of necessary territorial policies, while establishing specific criteria for the effective protection of the RSC communities as a national minority. Unfortunately, what was stated by the NRSI was not addressed. In this disorganised and heterogeneous scenario, everything is left to the discretion of local and regional authorities, that have still the power do decide whether and what to put into action, often producing contradictory results that keep perpetuating the development of discriminatory policies and practices. There are several regions that keep doing nothing, while a few others enacted simultaneously different and discordant laws. This is the case of the Region Piedmont, that has just proclaimed an anachronistic “protection of nomadism” regional act for legitimising the production of regulatory devices that are hostile to Roma and Sinti. On 8 November 2019, the Region has approved the “Rules on the regulation of nomadism and the fight against abusiveness”, L.R. 61/2019.4 The bill seeks, in practice, to abolish permanent Roma camps, without providing adequate accommodation alternatives to the Roma and Sinti residents in the camps. The basic idea of the law is particularly serious and worrying: the theory of nomadism as the main feature of the RSC groups becomes the pretext to justify a discriminatory and segregating approach and system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil society monitoring report on implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy in Italy. Identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy
Pages11-20
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • National Roma Integration Strategy
  • Roma and Sinti
  • culturalism
  • nomad camp
  • nomadism
  • regional laws

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“Theory of nomadism" in regional laws and national legislative vacuum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this