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In Croatia, Ministry of Education Supports Separate Classes for Roma

7 May 2002

The Croatian Ministry of Education and Sport claims: "There is full justification, pedagogical and psychological, for the separation of Romani children from others," according to the Zagreb daily newspaper Vjesnik of December 13, 2001. This statement was made in response to claims that, in Međimurska County, in northern Croatia, every fourth school features separate classes for Romani children. In some schools, this includes separate playrooms and dining facilities, as Vjesnik reported on December 12, 2001. The headmaster of one primary school in Kuršanec was quoted by Vjesnik as having stated, "Roma make better progress in separate classes." Other headmasters quoted by the daily claim that Romani children reportedly "preferred separation," and that non-Romani parents also oppose integrated classes, arguing that their children are "at risk", and complaining of "specific Romani hygienic habits." ERRC research in Croatia in May 2001 revealed that out of five primary schools in Međimurska County, four had separate classes for Roma. According to information provided by the Međimurska County Department of Education, Culture, Sports, and Technical Education, out of the 865 Romani children enrolled in the twelve schools of the County, 511 are educated in separate classes. The practice of segregating Romani children at school was noted by the Croatian Ombudsman in his 2000 Annual Report which stated that "discrimination [towards Roma] finds expression in the segregation of Romani children in most of the schools in the MeÄ‘imurje County under the pretext of lack of hygiene habits and poor command of Croatian language by the Romani children." The Ombudsman also called the practice of segregating Romani children at school "apartheid".

(Slobodna Dalmacija, Vjesnik)

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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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