Despite reports of the Ukraine’s recent political and economic progress, this investigative documentary finds the conditions of the nation’s Roma community rapidly deteriorating. 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union and only 30 kilometers from the borders of The European Union, we find the situation of Ukrainian Roma characterized by public health disaster, total school segregation, and a level of malnutrition and poverty that is comparable to sub Saharan Africa.
In 2008, Mundi Romani visited the ethnically diverse town of Uzhhorod, a formerly Hungarian area close to the Hungarian border. In this community, Roma are the minorities of the minorities and face pervasive social exclusion. The Hungarian community’s minority status serves as the basis for the total segregation of Roma children in the region’s schools. With shocking accounts from Roma men, women and children, the local school director, a human rights activist and a representative of the local government; we piece together a complex and contradictory picture which provides a unique insight into the lives of Roma in Ukraine and the complex social mechanisms which allow tens of thousands of children across Eastern European to be denied basic education on account of their ethnic origins.