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Children's Rights Committee Concerned at Expulsions of Romani Children

5 February 2003

The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) welcomes the Concluding Observations, published this week, of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, concerning matters related to Germany's record on child rights issues. The Committee expressed concern that Romani children may be forcefully expelled to countries from which their families have fled, and recommended that German authorities "take all necessary measures to review its legislation and policies regarding Roma children and other children belonging to ethnic minorities seeking asylum in the State party."

Speaking on the occasion of the release of the Committee's findings, Mr Boris Tsilevich, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe involved in the investigation of the forcible expulsion of Roma from Germany to Serbia and Montenegro, said, "The Committee's conclusions are very important. Our work has caused us deep concern about Germany's respect for children's rights where Romani children are at issue."

In recent years, the German government has carried out high numbers of forcible expulsions of Roma to countries in Central and Southeastern Europe, notably Serbia and Montenegro and Romania. German authorities have expelled Romani children who have been born in Germany, have attended German schools for significant periods of time, and who have formed real and lasting ties to Germany. In the extreme case, German officials have expelled Roma and others regarded as "Gypsies" to Kosovo, despite serious concerns that such persons are under threat of persecution in the province.

Many of the Romani families currently being expelled from Germany have been in Germany for more than a decade, sheltered under a temporary protection mechanism called "tolerated" ("duldung"). The repeated provision of extremely short-term "duldung" status has effectively prevented tens of thousands of foreign Roma in Germany from integration in Germany.

ERRC Executive Director Dimitrina Petrova, commenting on the UN committee's findings, said, "We turn to the UN on Fortress Europe matters, because justice is for the most part out of reach for Romani migrants abused in Europe."

The Concluding Observations of the Committee on Germany's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child are available HERE. Written comments on Roma rights issues in Germany submitted by the ERRC to the Committee can be accessed at: Advocacy Submissions.

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ERRC submission to UN HRC on Hungary (February 2018)

14 February 2018

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Hungary to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 122nd session (12 Narch - 6 April 2018).

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The Fragility of Professional Competence: A Preliminary Account of Child Protection Practice with Romani and Traveller Children in England

24 January 2018

Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be 3 times more likely be taken into public care than any other child. 

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Families Divided: Romani and Egyptian Children in Albanian Institutions

21 November 2017

There’s a high percentage of Romani and Egyptian children in children’s homes in Albania – a disproportionate number. These children are often put into institutions because of poverty, and then find it impossible ever to return to their families. Because of centuries of discrimination Roma and Egyptians in Albania are less likely to live in adequate housing, less likely to be employed and more likely to feel the effects of extreme poverty.

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