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Public Officials in Romania Should Cease Anti-Roma Statements

30 September 2013

Bucharest, Budapest, 30 September 2013:  The Romanian Secretary of State for Minorities within the Ministry of Education has stated he would “not send his child to a school where there was a significant share of Roma.” The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and its local partners in Romania, Romani Criss, Agentia “Impreuna” and the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities sent a letter to Romanian authorities to express their concern about this statement by András György Király earlier this month. The organisations underlined in their letter that Mr. Király’s statement rationalises segregation in education and strengthens negative stereotypes against Roma.

Secretary of State for Minorities Király’s statement appeared in Romanian media on 20 September 2013. He said, “We must also understand the fact that parents want school units where there is order, where there is discipline and where one may also do some learning. It is a general problem, and in relation to those schools where the number of Roma is significant, if there is indifference, if there is disarray, of course I would not allow my child to attend that school.”

The organisations emphasised that Király’s views are discriminatory and are in conflict with national and international law and standards. This statement is particularly harmful given that Király’s office has the responsibility of addressing the education-related problems faced by minorities in the country.

The national and international NGOS are calling on Romanian authorities to publicly denounce Mr. Király’s statement and reaffirm their commitment to full integration of Roma in the country.

The letter is available in Romanian.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
Tel. +36.30.500.1324

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