Horizontal Rule

Ethnic Croatian Parents Protest in Favour of Segregation

29 October 2003

Around one hundred non-Romani residents of the Croatian village Držimurec-Strelec, about ten kilometres from the town of Čakovec in northwestern Croatia, adopted a declaration protesting the extension of the local school building with a separate section for Romani pupils, according to the Čakovec-based daily newspaper MeÄ‘imurje of March 4, 2003. Instead, the parents requested that a new school be built either in the nearby Romani village Piškorovac or in the town of Mala Subotica; they also accused the local authorities of keeping the school extension plans a secret. Together with representatives of the Držimurec-Strelec local community, the parents threatened that they would take all measures necessary to stop the municipality and MeÄ‘imurje County, to which they administratively belong, in the implementation of the plan. Previously, at the beginning of the school year in this village, nearly one hundred ethnic Croatian parents stopped Romani children from entering the school on September 9, 2002, where the parents protested the formation of integrated classes (for more information on this case, see "Croatian Parents Refuse Integrated Schooling", in the "Snapshots from around Europe" section of the Roma Rights 3 and 4, 2002, available on the Internet at: Croatian Parents Refuse Integrated Schooling.

Additionally, in the nearby town of Podturen, a group of ethnic Croatian parents of pupils from the local primary school sent an open letter to the relevant local and national authorities, in which they complained about the behaviour of Romani pupils at the school, according to Međimurje of February 18, 2003. In their letter, the parents reportedly claimed that some of the Romani children were aggressive towards other pupils and the teaching staff and that they were not interested in schoolwork. The letter also stated that the non-Romani children have "the right to education in a suitable environment". Additionally, the letter stated that the parents did not initially protest against the formation of integrated classes, but that the Romani children showed no progress and "disturb the children who want to study". The letter ended on the note that the parents were prepared to boycott the school until measures were taken to ensure the safety of their children. There is a history of racial segregation of Romani children at school in Podturen: On April 19, 2002, with the assistance of the ERRC and local council, a group of fifty-seven Romani parents filed a lawsuit with a Croatian court against the Croatian Ministry of Education, the local authorities and the primary schools in Podturen, Orehovica, Macinec and Kuršanec, on the grounds that the segregation of Romani children in separate classes in the local schools was illegal. In October 2002, the court rejected this claim. The plaintiffs appealed to the County Court in Čakovec and, on November 14 2002 the Court rejected the appeal. On December 19, 2002, a complaint was filed with the Croatian Constitutional Court which, as of September 16, 2003, was pending. On May 8, 2003, the ERRC and local council filed a pre-application letter with the European Court of Human Rights because, in the event that the Constitutional Court dismissed the case on the grounds that it does not have jurisdiction to rule in such a case, the six-month time limit for filing the pre-application letter would be counted from the November 14, 2002 rejection of the County Court in Čakovec. For further information on this case, including the provisions of both domestic and international laws on which the plaintiffs based their lawsuit, visit the ERRC's Internet website at: Racial Segregation in Croatian Primary Schools: Romani Students Take Legal Action.

 (ERRC, Međimurje)

Horizontal Rule

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).

more ...

horizontal rule

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. 

more ...

horizontal rule

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.

more ...

horizontal rule