In common with mosts sites on the web, this site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies  Accept & Close

Beggar's Oasis on - The Best Documentaries... Instantly On Demand

The world's best documentaries, from Wikileaks to Lance Armstrong. Available to stream instantly for £1 rental or unlimited access subscription.

- Please do not use this film as a teaching aid without purchasing an educational licence.
The Roma can be found in towns and cities across Europe, but how do local populations feel about their presence? This film follows the bid in Lausanne for a ban on begging that will effectively force the Roma out of the Swiss town. In doing so, it sheds a spotlight on a people shunned by respectable society. In an increasingly hostile Europe, their way of life has few safe havens, leaving the Roma will a serious dilemma - where to next?

"Spare change, Madame... Please?" begs Loan, a young Roma man on the streets of Lausanne. Loan, along with the rest of the Roma community in the city, faces persecution at every turn, denied jobs and education, turned away from hostels and evicted from campsites. Now a new law proposes to convict him for begging. "Our only wish is to work. We are not professional beggars, but we have no other way to live", protests one young man.

"Lausanne cannot be the last oasis for organized begging... It has left a mark on our streets: this cannot go on", protests the city counsellor. The Roma community in Lausanne are stigmatized as criminals, and locals are fearful of their presence. Those begging are unfairly seen as gang members working for organised criminals. As a result, strict new laws are being proposed to outlaw begging and the unauthorised campsites in which the Roma live. The Roma are effectively being driven from the city, and they are powerless to resist. As one Roma man protests, "Gang bosses? Where are the gang bosses? Do you know who my boss is? My one year old daughter... I'm here because of her."

"It's just that, the city doesn't want you to stay in Lausanne", explains Madam Vera. A Swiss native, she is one of the few voices fighting for rights of the Romani in Lausanne. She is challenging the city's proposals to outlaw begging and persecute the Roma, but even she is resigned to the harsh reality of a city that does not want them there.

Beggar's Oasis provides a moving snapshot of one Roma community's tragic struggle; with nowhere to turn in a city that rejects them, they must once again move on in the search of a better future.


  • No Comments

Create an account with your post below.
If you already have a account, just Login & Post

Just letters, numbers and underscore(_).
This is your unique name on
(This will be your login)
We don't Spam & your email is kept private.
Confirmation of your login email entered above.   
Just letters and numerals   
Just letters, numerals and spaces     
Please enter the 5 character code from the image below   
Please check the box to confirm the terms and conditions I agree
to the T & C's and Privacy Policy.