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Germany Criticised at United Nations Childrens Rights Hearing over Expulsions of Roma

16 January 2003

Germany faced criticism today as it came under review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child over policies of expelling Roma, particularly to Kosovo, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro.

The review process - convened regularly to assess the compliance of states with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child - was challenged today over allegations brought by the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) that Germany has in recent years, by policy and practice, carried on a campaign of forcible expulsions of Roma from the country.

Speaking on the occasion of the review, Mr Rudko Kawczynski, a long-time Roma rights advocate in Germany, said, "Germany expels any Roma it can, whenever it can. In recent years, thousands of Roma have been forced out of Germany and expelled to south-eastern Europe. When Roma are at issue, the German government routinely disregards even basic human rights standards."

The ERRC noted that Germany has on a number of occasions even forcibly expelled Roma to Kosovo, despite serious concerns that persons considered "Gypsies" in Kosovo are persecuted in the province.

ERRC comments presented to the Committee also criticised a temporary protection mechanism provided to Romani third country nationals known as "duldung" - "tolerated". A "duldung" is not a residence permit -- it is merely a stop on expulsion, and it must be renewed at very frequent intervals, in some instances after only several weeks. The "duldung" status also frequently includes restrictions on freedom of movement, access to employment and various forms of social protection. Some Roma in Germany have had no administrative status in Germany other than a "duldung" for periods sometimes longer than ten years.

Commenting on German policy on individual establishment, ERRC Executive Director Dimitrina Petrova said, "The current system radically blocks integration. Our research indicates that in some instances, treatment Roma have endured before the German administration may rise to the level of cruel and degrading."

The ERRC urged the Committee to press the German government to urgently review and amend all laws, policies and practices related to individual establishment, integration and expulsion to ensure that they are fully in compliance with Germany's commitments under international human rights law.

The full text of ERRC submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of
the Child is available on the Internet 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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