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Breaking the Silence: Trafficking in Romani Communities

19 May 2011

Breaking the Silence: Trafficking in Romani Communities

Estimates provided during research by the ERRC and PiN about the perceived representation of Roma among trafficked persons in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are several times higher than the proportion of Roma among the general population, indicating a disproportionate impact of this practice on Romani communities. Romani women and children were found to be particularly vulnerable to trafficking, which brings Roma to other countries and to other locations within their home countries. Roma are trafficked for various purposes, including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, domestic servitude, organ trafficking, illegal adoption and forced begging. The vulnerability factors identified in this study are closely linked to those commonly associated with non-Romani trafficked persons and include structural forms of ethnic and gender discrimination, poverty and social exclusion which result in low educational achievement, high levels of unemployment, usury, growing up in State care, domestic violence and substance abuse. Gaps in law, policy and practice in the field of anti-trafficking constitute barriers to the fight against trafficking in Romani communities. Few Roma are identified by police as trafficked persons and many are reluctant to report themselves to law enforcement agencies for fear of reprisal from their traffickers or of prosecution for the conduct of criminal acts as a trafficked person. Similarly low numbers of Romani trafficked persons access victim prevention and protection services and general social protection systems are failing to reduce the extreme vulnerability of Roma to trafficking. The overwhelming lack of support available to Romani trafficked persons negatively impacts the ability of many to re-integrate, leaving them highly vulnerable to re-trafficking.

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Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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