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The Roma "Child Sex Scandal"

The Socialist Standard highlighted the persecution of the Roma, particularly in Eastern Europe. But the scapegoating also exists here in Scotland.

A charity group which works to support Roma communities in Glasgow has hit out at claims children as young as primary school age are being forced into prostitution on the streets of Govanhill. Friends of Romano Lav (FoRL) have now released a statement which blasts the "spurious and unevidenced" allegations. Members say they have "not encountered any instances of the child protection issues" highlighted this week. "They would say that," is the response. It's a no-win situation for Roma community workers. If you don't speak, you will never influence or integrate. If you speak, you will not be believed.

Police Scotland said there was "no information or intelligence to substantiate the concerns" 

 The Times recent lurid investigative report by journalist Marc Horne stated that ‘children [are being] sold for sex on the streets of Govanhill’. Yet this claim was not supported by evidence taken to the police, but rather on pub gossip and local hearsay. . The nature of the reporting on Govanhill was remarkably similar to the moral panic over the case of ‘Maria’, supposedly ‘stolen by Gypsies’ in Greece in 2013. That the Roma have a proclivity for selling their children is a racist story that follows them. It is a story hundreds of years old; it is a story that always finds new traction. When the Roma began moving to Sheffield in 2013, newspapers reported that a Roma family tried to sell a child to a chip-shop owner.

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