Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Chronology for Roma in Italy

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Roma in Italy, 2004, available at: [accessed 16 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Feb 1990 A neo-Nazi group calling itself "Ludwig" sends letters threatening to "exterminate Roma, black-or-yellow-skinned men and women, beggars, the disabled..." Threats by far-right groups against the Roma occur throughout the period covered in this chronology.
Mar 1, 1990 Masked soccer hooligans armed with baseball bats injure several non-ethnic-Greeks including a Roma during an attack on a group of North Africans.
Dec 23, 1990 Two Roma are killed when an assailant opens gunfire on their camp near Bologna in an apparent racial incident. Responsibility for the attack is claimed by several "keep-Italy-white" groups. The news of this attack sets off a chain reaction of shootings and arson fires directed at Roma in Rome and northern Italy.
1991 Of the 6,700 offenses committed by minors in Rome this year, half are committed by Roma.
Aug 1991 Roman authorities move a Roma settlement from one area of Rome to another, partly due to massive protests by Roman families opposed to the idea of Roma camping in or near their neighborhoods.
Jan 1992 Hundreds of Romans set up 4 road-blocks on the busy Tiburtina road into the northeastern suburbs to demand that the city council drop a plan for a Roma encampment in nearby fields.
1992 There are several incidents of Roma trailers in Rome and Bologna being set on fire.
1993 There are several incidents of Roma trailers in Rome and Bologna being set on fire.
Apr 1993 An increasing number of episodes of violence by neo-fascist groups against Jews, Roma and third-country nationals since the beginning of 1992 leads the government to issue a decree allowing the arrest of members of groups inciting racial, ethnic, national or religious hatred.
Sep 1993 City officials in Florence expel 1,000 Roma from camps that have 3 times as many people as they can hold. The Roma are moved to new camps in surrounding areas. A 10-year-old Roma is killed shortly after he is arrested, reportedly as a result of a scuffle over an officer's weapon.
Jan 23, 1994 Rome police launch a crackdown against Roma child gangs by rounding up their parents who allegedly beat their children and force them to rob tourists.
Jan 25, 1994 A gang of youths believed to belong to a rival Roma clan attack a Roma camp in northern Italy and attempt to kidnap 2 children. Police exchange gunfire with the gang while foiling the attempt.
Apr 28, 1994 Rome's mayor says that immigrants from the former Yugoslavia are behind a wave of petty crime and are using Roma to help them. This includes the use of Roma children as virtual slaves for petty theft and prostitution. In response, the city is opening community centers for the 5,000 Roma who live in camps on the outskirts of Rome and is issuing identification cards to all adult Roma so when child thieves are caught, police can identify their parents.
Jan 1995 In what is believed to be a racially motivated attack, a 5-year-old Roma boy is injured in Pisa when a motorist gives him a booby-trapped book of fairy tales.
Mar 14, 1995 In what is believed to be a racially motivated attack, two Roma children are injured in Pisa when a motorist gives one of them a booby-trapped doll. A few days previous to this incident the mayor of Cascina, a suburb of Pisa, received a letter threatening "further strikes" against Roma. Local and national politicians condemn this as a racist outrage.
Oct 1995 Ten people are arrested for hurling metal bars and stones at a demonstration against Roma and vagrants in Florence.
Nov 16, 1995 A group of Roma from the Lazio region of central Italy march to protest a new Italian immigration law designed to expel illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. They say that this will put Bosnian Roma at risk of expulsion.
Jul 1, 1999 Italian officials intercepted 750 illegal immigrants, including a boatload of 500 Roma men, women and children from Kosovo, off the coast of southeastern Italy. Note: this marked the beginning of an influx of Roma from the area of Yugoslavia and Albania, who claimed the need for asylum because they feared attacks by ethnic Albanians who accused them of siding with the Serbs in the Kosovo war. This ongoing immigration will not be further mentioned unless otherwise noteworthy. (Agence France Presse 7/1/99)
Nov 2, 1999 Police resumed the deportation of illegal immigrants, including Eastern European Roma. There had been a declared lull in these procedures during the summer in the aftermath of the war in Kosovo. (Agence France Presse 11/2/99)

Search Refworld