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Legal Action in Roma Rights Cases in Serbia and Montenegro

7 February 2004

At the end of October 2003, the District Court of Šabac in western Serbia upheld the decision of the Šabac Municipal Court, ordering the company Jugen TTT, owner of the Krsmanovac Sports and Recreation Centre, to publish a public apology in the daily newspaper Politika. On July 8, 2000, three young Roma - Merihana Rustenov, Jordan Vasić and Zoran Vasić - were denied access to the centre's swimming pool on the basis of their ethnicity (background information on the case is available at: Prosecuting Anti-Romani Actions in Serbia and Montenegro and Roma barred from sports centre pool in Yugoslavia). The Belgrade-based non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), in co-operation with the ERRC, provided legal assistance in the case.

Earlier, on October 13, 2003, the ERRC, its local partner in monitoring Roma rights abuse, Minority Rights Center (MRC), and the HLC filed a criminal complaint against Mr Kosta Brzak, Mr Slobodan Pantelić and an unknown person, following an assault on three Romani men at the Novi Sad flea market in northern Serbia on August 31, 2003. According to the victims' testimony to the ERRC/MRC, Mr Brzak and Mr Pantelić attacked Mssrs Seljatim, Ljumni and Besim Kolovati, knocking Seljatim unconscious and hitting Ljumni and Besim. At this point, other Romani vendors began to collect their goods and leave the market, and between 20 and 30 men picked up spades and chased the Romani vendors, trying to hit them as they ran. Mr Seljatim Kolovati was taken to the local hospital for treatment, and Besim and Ljumni also sustained injuries. Police filed only misdemeanour charges against Mr Brzak and Mr Pantelić.

On October 10, 2003, the ERRC, the MRC and the HLC filed a criminal complaint against unknown security guards of Belgrade's Acapulco Club after Mr Petar and Ms Ljutvija Antić and Ms Zorica Stojković were denied entrance to the club on the basis of their Romani ethnicity. A civil action, for monetary compensation, an apology and an end to the discriminatory practices of the restaurant, was also filed against the owner of the Acapulco Club. Mr and Ms Antić reported they had been denied, on several occasions, entrance to the restaurant. On July 25, 2003, the HLC and the MRC conducted a test, sending two teams of three persons, one Romani and one non-Romani, suitably dressed and behaved. The Romani team was asked for reservations, which they did not have, and were denied access to the restaurant. The non-Romani team, which followed, was not asked for a reservation and was permitted to enter and seated.

Finally, on September 11, 2003, the ERRC, the MRC and the HLC, on behalf of Ms Mirsada Malićević, a 21-year-old Romani woman, filed a criminal complaint with the Leskovac District Prosecutor against unknown persons for incitement to ethnic, racial or religious hatred or intolerance and causing bodily harm. At around 9:00 PM on September 14, 2003, Ms Malićević was brutally beaten and offended on racial grounds by unknown perpetrators in front of a shop in Leskovac.

(ERRC, HLC, MRC)

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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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