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Parents of 633 students boycott the admission of three Romani children in Spain

11 July 2000

Beginning April 14, 2000, parents of the 633 students of San Juan Bosco school in the Basque town of Barakaldo protested against the admission of three Romani children. The children have been without schooling since March 31, 2000, when the public school they attended was closed. At this school there were only thirteen children, all Roma. The other students have reportedly been placed in surrounding schools.

On Wednesday, May 10, 2000, the Romani children had their first day at San Juan Bosco school, but were the only students present. They were accompanied by Mr Jesús Gimenéz of the association Iniciative Gitana, the thirty teachers of the school and a police escort, while parents vocally protested in the street. The parents had voted to boycott the school. According to media reports, the vote was 29 parents in favour of the admission, 438 against and 163 abstentions. The parents association denied that their protest was racist. Local authorities put the matter in the hands of the district attorney for juvenile affairs, who threatened parents with legal action if they did not comply with the obligation to send their children to school. Under this threat, over 90% of the students were back in school on Monday, May 15, although the parents insisted they would carry out other protest measures. The three Romani children have been placed in a separate classroom with no other students.

The school belongs to a Catholic religious order and receives 250 million pesetas a year of public money. Barakaldo is a working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Bilboa, the Basque country's largest city. In 1995, a conflict reportedly took place in this area when a group of neighbours mobilised to demand the expulsion of several Romani families. Currently, approximately 2570 young Roma attend elementary and high schools in the Basque country.

(El País)

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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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