Oslo top Romanian harassment city in Scandinavia / News / The Foreigner

Oslo top Romanian harassment city in Scandinavia. Norway’s capital is worst regarding harassment of homeless Romanians compared with peers Copenhagen and Stockholm, a new report shows. The study by Norwegian research foundation Fafo found that more than 50 per cent of homeless Romanians in Oslo claim that they had been subjected to incidents of spitting, and/or having beer or other liquids thrown at them. They also listed verbal harassment, being pushed, hit, or kicked, as well as theft of money from begging cups and of magazines they were trying to sell.

roma, romanians, oslo, copenhagen, stockholm, harassment



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Oslo top Romanian harassment city in Scandinavia

Published on Wednesday, 17th June, 2015 at 15:09 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norway’s capital is worst regarding harassment of homeless Romanians compared with peers Copenhagen and Stockholm, a new report shows.

Oslo skyline
Oslo skyline
Photo: Inez Dawczyk/The Foreigner


The study by Norwegian research foundation Fafo found that more than 50 per cent of homeless Romanians in Oslo claim that they had been subjected to incidents of spitting, and/or having beer or other liquids thrown at them.

They also listed verbal harassment, being pushed, hit, or kicked, as well as theft of money from begging cups and of magazines they were trying to sell.

In comparison, one-third of those asked in Copenhagen and Stockholm said that they had experienced this/these.

Why is it worst for Romanians in Oslo?

“Breaking the figures down will show that drug addicts in Oslo selling street magazine =Oslo have experienced more competition in recent years,” researcher Guri Tyldum tells The Foreigner.

“Romanians started selling a competing magazine called Folk er folk, with less income for the =Oslo-selling drug addicts developing into large-scale conflict between the groups,” she explains.

Differences

A higher number of homeless Romanians in the Scandinavian capitals have stated that they have been refused access to stores to buy groceries, claim return deposit money on empty bottles, or buy a cup of coffee.

While harassment levels could partly be explained by length of stay, taking this into account still showed that there was a higher prevalence of experiencing harassment in Oslo than in Stockholm.

The Fafo researchers cite that it might be that this reflects a harsher public discourse in Norway regarding migrants than that in Sweden.

 “Since the accession of Romania to the EU, and in particular in the wake of the economic crisis in Europe, the Scandinavian countries have experienced an influx of migrants from marginalised segments of Romanian society, in particular Roma, who make a living through begging, collecting bottles and other types of informal street work and who sleep outside in parks, on street pavements, in parked cars or camped in the woods,” write the researchers.

Oslo’s Roma population systematically reported more harassment than the non-Roma did, while harassment in Copenhagen takes other forms – with Roma and non-Roma seeming to be equally at risk.

Terminology

According to the researchers, there is a difference of classification between homeless Romanians and homeless Roma people, though this is not uniform when it comes to the three Scandinavian countries.

“In Sweden, migrants who live on the streets, begging and doing other kinds of ‘street work’ such as collecting bottles or selling small items, are consistently described as ‘EU migrants’. In the public debate, ethnicity is rarely mentioned, but the term ‘EU migrants’ is usually associated with homelessness and begging, and not with the much larger numbers of regular working migrants coming from other EU countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Germany and Spain,” it is stated.

 “In Norway, the situation is different. Here, homelessness and begging among migrants are almost exclusively referred to in ethnic terms, and the population is consistently referred to with the rather recent Norwegian linguistic coinage Romfolk (‘Roma people’), obscuring the fact that there are large numbers of non-Roma who are homeless and living from street work in Oslo. While the debate in Sweden refers to administrative categories, and Norwegians use ethnic categories, poor and homeless migrants in Denmark are usually referred to in nationality terms as ‘Romanians’.”

Norwegian politicians and police have advocated a renewed ban on begging, with responsibility for the Roma people and Oslo’s foreign jobless becoming a political ping-pong process.

The Council of Europe has told Norway that the treatment of the Roma people requires improvement.

Across-the-board

Harassment of homeless Romanians by citizens in Oslo is “not less” than in the Danish and Swedish capitals, either. Moreover, respondents said that most of these acts of harassment are performed by ordinary Swedes, Danes and Norwegians.

“However, the level of harassment by police is higher in Copenhagen. It’s much less from officers and Securitas personnel in Stockholm, while harassment in Oslo is somewhere in the middle,” Guri Tyldum comments.

At the same time, the Fafo researchers state that “our respondents were often reluctant to talk about harassment, but rather wanted to talk about the kindness they had received from people they had met in Scandinavia. However, they admitted that they needed to be careful with certain individuals, in particular when those individuals were drunk.”

The study is a joint collaboration between Guri Tyldum, Anne Britt Djuve, Jon Horgen Friberg, and Huafeng Zhang.

In order to carry it out, they say that they needed a clear definition of the target population that can be used for all three capitals.”

Their focus group, therefore, was homeless street workers from Romania” defined as people who come from Romania,  do not have a regular place to live in Scandinavia, and do not have a regular job in Scandinavia.”

The statistics for all three capitals, given below, show how many homeless Romanians were asked, as well as these cities’ estimated share of the total population.

Stockholm (446 people): Men – 58%, 56% Roma – 86%, 86%, and those under 30 – 41%, 41%.
Oslo (438 people): Men – 68%, 71%, Roma – 70%, 63%, and those under 30 – 35%, 36%.
Copenhagen (385 people): Men – 86%, 87%, Roma – 55%, 52%, and those under 30 – 38%, 33%.

The entire When poverty meets affluence: Migrants from Romania on the streets of the Scandinavian capitals report can be read here.



Published on Wednesday, 17th June, 2015 at 15:09 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: roma, romanians, oslo, copenhagen, stockholm, harassment.





  
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