Friday 2 December 2016

A child dyes her hair so she can look like her family. How sad

Published 02/07/2014 | 02:30

Emily Logan
Emily Logan

The little girl insisted on dyeing her blonde hair dark. Not to look prettier, but to blend in. For at the tender age of seven, she had learned that big people in uniforms can come and take you away from your mummy and daddy, just because you look different to them.

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Child T didn't look like a Roma child should, according to those grown ups. She had fair hair and blue eyes instead of the black hair and brown eyes of many of her race. And the international headlines were full of stories of 'Maria', a blonde child who had been removed from a Roma camp in Greece amid suspicions she had been abducted.

And so, last October, the little girl spent two long nights – an eternity when you're so young – under the roof of strangers, until DNA tests proved that she hadn't been kidnapped or stolen at all. The terrified child was placed with foster parents who tried to reassure her, but she was inconsolable.

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