Environmental Justice and the Roma Settlements of Eastern Slovakia: Entitlements, Land and the Environmental Risks
Languages of publication
Exposure of the Roma ethnic minority to social exclusion, segregation, and racial discrimination is well documented in the literature. How these tendencies are reflected in the access to environmental benefits and exposure to environmental risks in the majority and the minority populations is the subject of this article. Using a comparative evaluation and the concept of environmental justice the author analyses the social processes and factors that contribute to differentiated distribution of risks/benefits. Based on a survey of 30 randomly selected settlements and comparative case study analyses the author maps inequalities, identifies the location of a Roma settlement as a strong factor leading to various forms of environmental (in)justice, and subjects the settlement locations to an entitlement analysis (as developed by Amartya Sen). Particular attention is paid to defining and understanding entitlements and how they govern access to land and thus influence the living conditions and well-being of different individuals and groups. Entitlements and the entitlement-based control of resources are discussed here as a dynamic process, the different economic and social factors behind which are identified and analysed to deconstruct the processes that lead to environmental (in)justice. The article concludes with a description of trends and a discussion of the need to re-think our definitions and understanding of the role of entitlements in relation to the distribution of environmental benefits and risks.
Publication order reference