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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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BBC's This World wins prestigious FPA award

The BBC's This World – Gypsy Child Thieves has won Best Documentary at the prestigious Foreign Press Association Awards.

The documentary, which was made by BBC Current Affairs, produced and directed by Liviu Tipurita working with series producer Sam Bagnall and executive producer Lucy Hetherington, transmitted on BBC Two on 2 September 2009.

The programme examined how Romanian Gypsy children across Europe children are being forced onto the streets to beg and steal. They come from one of the poorest communities in Europe. For centuries Gypsies have lived on the margins of society and faced discrimination. Many steal and beg to survive. But in the last 20 years, organised crime has taken over. And since 2007, when Romania joined the EU, Gypsy children have been trafficked and exploited on a much larger scale.

In an attempt to understand what's happening to these children Romanian filmmaker Liviu Tipurita embarked on a journey through Europe which takes him inside the closed world of the Gypsy community, and talked to the authorities and institutions meant to be dealing with this disturbing phenomenon.

Jana Bennett, Head of BBC television and multi-platform, says: "This World's award for Best Documentary at the Foreign Press Association Awards tops a fantastic week of accolades for the BBC. Gypsy Child Thieves combined incredible undercover work with compelling observational documentary and, along with our earlier wins this week at the Cultural Diversity Network and Mind, it's good to see our thought-provoking factual programming getting the recognition it deserves."

This win comes on the back of a number of other accolades picked up this week by BBC factual and current affairs programmes at a number of awards celebrating diversity in media.

At the Mind Mental Health Media Awards earlier this week, BBC programmes won more than half of the prizes, including Alistair Campbell's documentary Cracking Up which was part of the BBC's Headroom campaign and Newsnight, both on BBC Two.

Meanwhile at the Cultural Diversity Network Awards the BBC Four Storyville documentary Heavy Load, about a punk band featuring musicians with learning disabilities, won the "excellence in creative output – diverse content" award.

LD

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