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ERRC Welcomes CESCR Concluding Observations on Ukraine

4 December 2007

Concluding Observations of the CESCR on Ukraine welcomes the progress but underlines the need for further action.

The Concluding Observations, issued on 23 November 2007, followed the fifth periodic report of the Ukrainian government on its implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Concluding Observations underlined the cooperation of the Ukrainian government and acknowledged the legislative measures adopted to promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination against women, and disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups. The Committee also welcomed the recent ratification of the Revised European Social Charter by Ukraine.

However, the Committee express its concern "regarding the reports about police abuse and denial of effective protection against acts of discrimination and violence committed against ethnic and religious minorities", including Roma. Furthermore, the Committee noted with concern that more than 1,000 Roma lack personal documents, which are necessary to access employment, health services and education. The Committee underlined that few Roma can find regular employment in State institutions, that the majority of the employed Roma work as unskilled labourers and that discrimination against Romani job applicants is reportedly rife in the country. As far as housing is concerned, according to the Committee, many Roma live in informal settlements and camps lacking basic infrastructures and services, without legal security of tenure and under a constant threat of eviction. The Committee also expressed concern regarding the high drop-out rate amongst Romani children frequent refusal to enrol Romani children in mainstream schools, and their segregation in special classes or special schools for children with mental disabilities.

The Committee issued the following recommendations for the Ukrainian government to improve the situation of Roma in Ukraine:

  • Adopting comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and amending its Criminal Code to include provisions on racially-motivated crimes;
  • Removing administrative processing fees and bureaucratic requirements, to provide all Roma with personal documents, with a view to enabling them to access employment, health care and education, as well as other economic, social and cultural rights;
  • Taking effective measures to combat discrimination against Roma in the field of employment and increase its efforts to reduce Roma unemployment through specifically targeted measures, such as vocational training, job training and placement, financial incentives for employers, and assistance for Roma opening their own businesses;
  • Securing the access of all Roma to adequate and affordable housing;
  • Adopting special measures to increase school attendance by Roma children, combat discrimination against Roma pupils, promote their admission to mainstream schools and classes, raise awareness among Roma families on the importance of education, including for girls, and provide additional catch-up and Ukrainian and Russian language classes for Roma pupils.

The ERRC calls on the Government of Ukraine to take all the necessary measures to improve the situation of Roma, in accordance with the Committee's recommendations.

The full text of the Committee’s Concluding Observations are available at:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!.

In the run up to the review, the ERRC submitted a parallel report to contribute to the Committee’s review of Ukraine. The ERRC notes with pleasure that the Committee’s findings echo the very serious concerns raised in its parallel report. The ERRC’s parallel report is available at: cms/upload/media/02/8A/m0000028A.pdf.

For further information on the situation of Roma in Ukraine, please contact:

Olga Demian, ERRC Legal Advisor, olga.demian@errc.org, +36.1.413.2200

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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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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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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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