Horizontal Rule

Hungarian courts finally acknowledge a racist anti-Romani crime, but punish it inadequately

7 November 2001

The Roma Press Center reported on September 14, 2001, that the Szolnok Town Court had found five juvenile skinheads guilty in connection with a racially motivated assault on two young Roma in 1999. The skinhead group entered the disco at Martfu, around 100 kilometres east of Budapest, on the evening in question and approached a Romani family, including a 12-year-old girl, who had been enjoying themselves. The skinheads attacked two members of the Romani family without provocation, hitting one and kicking the other. Following the assault, the Romani family fled the disco to avoid further danger and the skinheads followed them to a bus stop, yelling "Gypsies get out." The skinheads again attacked the Roma, this time also kicking the 12-year-old girl, according to information provided on September 12, 2001, by the daily Uj Neplap. The attack was reportedly stopped by the police, who happened to be in the area. The Roma Press Center reported that the Roma suffered light injuries from the assault. The September 14, 2001, ruling is the first time a racial motive for an offence has been officially recognised by a Hungarian court in an attack on Roma. Prior to 1996, the judiciary was unable to punish racially motivated crimes as such, due to a lack of appropriate legal instruments. To rectify this, in 1996, the Criminal Code was supplemented with Article 174/B on "Violence Against a Member of a National, Ethnic, Racial or Religious Group." Article 174/B states, "A person who assaults somebody because he belongs or is believed to belong to a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, or coerces him with violence or menace into doing or not doing or into enduring something, commits a felony and shall be punishable with imprisonment up to five years" [unofficial translation by the Roma Press Center]. Two to eight years imprisonment is envisioned where such a crime is committed in one or more of a number of listed aggravating circumstances. Courts have reportedly never before applied Article 174/B in a case in which Roma were victims. In the Szolnok case however, the attackers were only sentenced to suspended prison terms ranging from 20 to 24 months, as well as two years each in a correctional educational facility.

(Roma Press Center, Uj Neplap)

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