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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
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
 

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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.

 

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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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