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Friday, 4 October, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
France to send home Romanian beggars
Gypsy beggar
Many suggest that some Roma refugees train to beg more successfully
France and Romania have signed an agreement on the repatriation of underage Romanian migrants in France.

Under the deal, agreed in principle earlier this year, children stranded in French cities will receive official protection there while the Romanian Government identifies their natural families.

Gypsy children
Gypsies complain of discrimination in Romania
The accord, signed during a visit to Paris by Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, follows a decision by the new French Government to try to curb child begging and prostitution.

Correspondents say the children come largely from gypsy communities or poor rural areas.

Many are believed to be trafficked by gangs who take the money they earn on the streets.

A Romanian televsion channel has recently shown pictures suggesting Roma refugees in southern France were training healthy children to feign disability so they can beg more successfully.

Gypsies complain of discrimination in Romania, where they suffer from much higher levels of poverty and unemployment than the rest of the population.

See also:

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