MRG Podcast: March 2011

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Welcome to the March 2011 podcast from Minority Rights Group International. This month we hear about how minorities are affected by the exploitation of natural resources in their communities, learn about how Dalit children are disadvantaged at school by caste discrimination in India and travel to the Balkans to listen to a rousing Romani brass band.

Narrator’s transcript:

 The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization joined forces with MRG recently at the UN Minorities Forum to bring attention to widespread violations of minority rights through natural resource development projects. Here Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of MRG speaks about the exploitation of natural resources in minority communities without their consent, strongly stating that it is nothing short of outright theft.

 Dalits make up approximately 25% of India's 1bn+ population. They bear the brunt of the worst of Indian society and are considered 'untouchable' and 'unclean' because of the jobs they are forced to do according to the country’s age-old caste system. They face atrocities and discrimination in all aspects of their lives, despite a raft of laws and affirmative action initiatives to protect them. Here Paul Divakar, of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, which is based in New Delhi, reveals to an audience at an event organised by UNICEF and MRG, details of the harsh daily discrimination faced by Dalit children at school.

 Finally our minority music piece this month hails from the so-called Balkan gypsy brass scene and has its roots in the South East and Central European Roma community. There are currently between 7-10 million Roma people in Europe, making them the largest minority in the region, who sadly face widespread public prejudice and official discrimination.

 Fanfare Ciocărlia is a popular twelve-piece Romani brass band from northeastern Romania. Their musical style stems primarily from the traditions of Romani and Romanian folk dance music, but they also borrow freely from Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian musical styles. The song, which features Mitsou, a Roma singer from Hungary, is called Pana cand nu te lubeam.

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Date: 16/03/2011




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