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ERRC statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day -

10 December 2009

Budapest: Today marks the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the General Assembly of the United Nations. This year, Human Rights Day is devoted to non discrimination and the right to equality; it is celebrated around the world with the motto "Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination". On this occasion the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) notes that racial discrimination against Roma is still a common and persistent problem all around Europe. Roma face discrimination in all areas of life, which contributes to exclusion and poverty. As a result of historic and persistent discrimination against Roma, many Roma remain uneducated and unemployed, living in segregated, substandard housing, and facing much lower life expectancy than that of non-Roma. The plight of Romani children remains especially acute. A large number of Romani children from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and other European countries are attending segregated special schools or segregated classes where they study according to an inferior curriculum. They leave these schools unprepared for life in a democratic society and participation in the labour market. They are denied the right to education on equal terms and emerge stigmatised as "stupid" and "disabled". Children are subject to violence at the hands of police and private individuals. In 2009, YouTube viewers could watch a home-made video of Slovak police officers insulting and abusing six Romani boys in their custody. This year, Romani children were the target of racially motivated murder or attempted murder in Hungary and the Czech Republic. In the spirit of the Article 1 of the UDHR, the ERRC urges European governments to take decisive action in order to eliminate discrimination against Roma, and in particular against Romani children. Specifically, governments should:

  • Affirmatively prohibit segregation in education and take immediate steps to ensure that Romani children are provided with a quality education in an integrated setting;
  • Conduct prompt, thorough and unbiased investigation into each case of violence against Roma, with adequate consideration of possible racist motive, and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice;
  • Develop pro-active and comprehensive national strategy to combat and prevent racist or hate crimes and hate speech, including clear and consistent condemnations of all attacks against Roma; and
  • Implement adequately funded positive action programmes in the fields of education, employment, housing and health care in order to promote equality of Roma and their inclusion in mainstream society.

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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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