Roma family hopes for stay on deportation to Hungary

Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

A Roma family facing deportation to Hungary on Thursday is asking for a last minute stay on humanitarian grounds.

Renata Buzas and her three children - a 13-year-old boy, Tibor, and two girls Lili, aged nine, and Mercedesz, 11 - have one last chance to stay their deportation when they go before a federal court on Wednesday.

If their appeal for a stay is not granted, they will be forced to return to a country where they say they face constant harassment, poor schooling and threats of violence.

But those claims did not convince the refugee board committee which reviewed their application.

In its ruling the board acknowldedged that Roma face widespread discrimination in Hungary, but that it did not amount to outright and targeted persecution.

Refugee advocate Richard Goldman says all Hungarian Roma face severe racism in their daily lives.

"They did suffer a serious enough discrimination in terms of the physical violence and schools," he said. He noted that Roma children are often sent to schools for children with learning disabilities, stunting their intellectual growth, and that the schools are run-down. 

"Even the commissioner at the Immigration and Refugee Board said it'severywhere in Hungary. The decision that it's not persecution is very debatable."

The family came to Canada after the mother and son were attacked and beaten in public

The son is said to be suffereing from post-traumatic stress disorder but has improved greatly since being in Canada.

His family worries that he will relapse if he forced to return to Hungary.

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