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New research on environmental justice in Roma communities

Environmental injustice and the social exclusion of Roma communities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has roots in historical patterns of ethnic exclusion and widening socioeconomic inequalities, according to a new report.

Tamara Steger, Vice-President of HEAL and assistant professor at the Centre for Environmental Policy and Law in Hungary, has co-authored a new publication on environmental justice in Roma communities. The report finds that historical patterns of ethnic exclusion and widening socio-economic inequalities, following the collapse of state socialism and the transition to multi-party parliamentary governments in 1989, have lead to the current environmental and social injustices experienced by Roma communities in CEE.

The report examines some of the methodological considerations in environmental justice research and the theoretical perspectives on environmental inequalities and social exclusion. Particularly, they discuss the dynamics of discrimination and environmental protection regarding the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe, summarising two case studies on environmental justice in Slovakia and Hungary.

The authors argue that with the perception of some landscapes and social groups as outside the limits of environmental regulation, public participation and civil rights, local means of avoiding environmental harms can be created.

Last updated on 10 June 2011

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