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ERRC Executive Director Robert Kushen on Implementation of Judgments

7 October 2010

ERRC Executive Director Robert Kushen on Implementation of Judgments

 

The morning after a court victory I am often left wondering what we, at the European Roma Rights Centre, have won. For the people we represent, court victories can be at best symbolic: they may receive a little bit of money, but this hardly begins to compensate them for the damage that they’ve actually suffered. Take the case of D.H. v The Czech Republic, which involved the illegal segregation of Romani children in special education. In that case, each of our clients was awarded about 4,000 EUR. But how does this compare to being labelled, falsely, with a disability, denied education and relegated to a lifetime of menial jobs, if indeed any jobs are available to them at all?

For the broader human rights agenda, court victories can also seem hollow. Almost 50% of the European Court judgments against Bulgaria in the area of police abuse have not been fully implemented. The governments of Greece and the Czech Republic have failed to desegregate their school systems, despite court orders to do so.

Given this poor track record, what can we as advocates do? To some extent, we can do more of the same: we can monitor State implementation; we can advocate before Europe institutions and friendly governments; and we can work with local NGOs to assist States in implementation. This is already happening in the Czech Republic, where the ERRC is working with a coalition called Together to School to press the Czech government to desegregate the school system.

The morning after a European Court judgment is when real work begins and it is groups on the ground with their local knowledge and persistence that can get the job done. We cannot do it alone.

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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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