Europe’s Shame: Anti-Muslim Hatred and the Roma of Bulgaria

‘Europe’s Shame: Anti Muslim Hatred and the Roma of Bulgaria’, by Seyfeddin Kara, Publication date: 17 February 2010, ISBN: 978-1-903718-36-8
This report looks at the situation of Roma communities in Bulgaria, and the discrimination they face.

Fieldwork report summary
The living conditions are dire and inhuman for the Roma community of Varna. In their neighbourhoods they mostly live in small shacks. The rooms consisted of either one or two beds that took up half of the room, with the families having to share these beds or sleep on the floor. The rest of the limited space was being used for eating, laundering and bathroom facilities. Many shacks have mice holes in some of the walls, and they mostly have no windows. In some shacks, there were holes where windows should have been, with people having to use plastic, metal, or wood to protect them from the harsh weather conditions.

Most of the children do not go to school simply because their families cannot afford to pay the fees, buy books or cover other expenses. There is a high level of unemployment. Some of the local Roma claimed that they were victimized by companies who employed them but did not pay their salaries. It seems to be a widespread problem and security forces offer no help. As a result the youth prefer to search through rubbish and collect metal so that they can earn some money to help their families.