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Private Foundation School Found Segregative in Hungary

28 May 2004

In February 2004, the Hungarian Examination and Evaluation Center for Public Education (OKÉV) presented its finding that, on the basis of its investigation, the establishment of the Antal Mihály private foundation school in Jászladány is not in accordance with the law and leads to the segregation of disadvantaged students. The Antal Mihály private foundation school, which shares a building with the local municipally-run school, opened at the beginning of the 2003/2004 school year following much controversy related to the alleged intention of the school to segregate Romani children (background information on the school can be found at: Romani Parents Unsuccessful in Enrolling Their Children in Private School in Hungary. The OKÉV further stated that the establishment of the private foundation school resulted in the polarisation of the two halves of the school in such a way that children coming from standard families ended up in the private part of the school, while those coming from disadvantaged families ended up in the municipal section of the school. According to OKÉV, the decision of Jászladány municipal authorities violates the constitutional rights of citizens as well as certain legislative prohibitions.

According to a February 17, 2004 press release of the Hungarian Ministry of Education, it is typical in cases such as that of Jászladány that even though various authorities find a practice unlawful, there are no consequences for those responsible because authorities do not have the tools to enforce the elimination of such a practice. Therefore, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), a liberal political party in Hungary, was considering proposing amending the law on compulsory and higher education, including granting courts the power to revoke per capita subsidies provided by the state so long as the unlawful situation persists.

The Hungarian Act on Equal Treatment and the Furtherance of Equality of Opportunities, adopted in December 2003, prohibits discrimination on ethnic basis in education, stating at Article 27(3) that "It is an infringement of the requirement of equal treatment especially when a person or group is: a) illicitly segregated in an educational institution, or in a division, class or group created within it; b) limited to a form of education or training, or the establishment and maintenance of an educational or training system or institution, the level of which does not reach the requirements laid down in the issued professional requirements, or does not meet professional rules, and as a result of which, does not provide the opportunity required to pursue studies, taking state examinations, or the opportunity of training and preparation expected in general." The measure strengthens existing Hungarian rules banning racial segregation in the field of education. (ERRC)

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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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