Horizontal Rule

Racial Segregation in Croatian Primary Schools: Romani Students Take Legal Action

7 November 2002

Branimir Pleše1

On April 19, 2002, a group of 57 parents of Romani pupils in Međimurje County, Croatia, assisted by local counsel, Ms Lovorka Kušan, and the European Roma Rights Center, filed an action with a Croatian court challenging their segregation into separate Roma-only classes in what are otherwise "regular" primary schools.

The lawsuit, filed with the Čakovec Municipal Court, charged the Croatian Ministry of Education, the Međimurje County local government, as well as four primary schools in Orehovica, Macinec, Kuršanec and Podturen, with segregating the plaintiffs and numerous other Romani children into separate and educationally inferior classes based solely on their racial/ethnic identity. The complaint further alleged that the result of this practice is the denial of equal educational opportunities for most Romani children.

In this article I will focus on both the specific facts of this case and the more general context. I will also outline the main legal arguments included in the complaint filed by the plaintiffs, discuss what would constitute adequate and comprehensive redress, and explain briefly the legal nature of the proceedings currently pending before the Croatian courts.

The Situation as Described by the Ombudsman

In his annual report for 2000, the Croatian Ombudsman described the Romani predicament as follows:

"Romani people meet with many more difficulties than others in exercising their human and civil rights, and particularly … the right to compulsory elementary education … Due to discrimination, which several schools in Međimurje carry out in the form of segregation and under the excuse that Romani children do not have a minimum of hygienic habits and do not speak Croatian language well enough, Romani children themselves often perceive school as a place of unpleasant occurrences and experiences. This, inter alia, leads to the early abandonment of schools even by those children who have already been incorporated into the educational system. Although the problem is publicly known, adequate action by the authorities is absent. Quite frequently, justification is given to the effect that the segregation of Romani children is for their own good as they attend smaller classes and class teachers can therefore pay more attention to their needs. However, the fact that the curriculum for Romani children in such 'pure' classes is based on a special programme, devised for children with developmental disorders, always remains concealed. Naturally, after two to three years of such education, even exceptional children find it very hard to compensate for what they have missed and to catch up with their peers who were not educated under the so-called special programme. Such a situation, which is utterly unacceptable from both a moral and a pedagogical standpoint, is not only tolerated, but is also approved of by the school authorities …"2

Victimisation

It has now been more than months since the case was brought before the court. Throughout this time, and in particular during the last several months, the Romani plaintiffs themselves, their families, as well as their local communities, have all been subjected to a concerted and sustained campaign of intimidation aimed at forcing them to give up their legal case.

To this end, the primary schools at issue, the Međimurje County local government and indeed the municipal welfare centers have respectively a) organized at least one parent-teacher meeting in order to put pressure on the Romani parents to withdraw their complaint, b) cancelled various social programmes aimed at improving the situation of Roma, c) threatened withholding social benefits, and d) informed the Romani parents that as of the school year 2002/2003 they will have to pay for their children's textbooks themselves.

Mr Željko Balog, a local Romani leader who played an important part in bringing the case before the court, has also been criminally indicted for "threatening" after a trivial argument with a local government official. Domestic observers have informed the ERRC that, in general, such a minor incident most probably would not have prompted such legal action on the part of the public prosecution service, were it not for Mr Balog's activism in connection with the school desegregation lawsuit.

Finally, the ERRC notes that the non-Romani parents whose children attend the primary school in Macinec have recently all signed an open letter requesting that their sons and daughters be allowed to attend/continue attending segregated classes - i.e. separate classrooms for non-Roma only. In this undoubtedly racist petition, the non-Romani parents "explain" that integrated education is unacceptable as it includes all children regardless of their abilities and that, therefore, the non-Romani children suffer in terms of not being able to realise fully their educational potential which is far beyond that of the majority of Romani students.

In view of the above, on July 1, 2002, the ERRC sent letters to the Croatian President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education urging them to protect the Romani plaintiffs and their families, and indeed local Romani communities in general, from all forms of victimisation in relation to the desegregation lawsuit filed with the Municipal Court in Čakovec. To date we have received no official response.

Official Government Statistics

According to the data provided by the Office of Education, Culture, Information, Sport and Technical Culture of Međimurje County, in the school year 2000/2001, all primary schools in Međimurje county had a total of 4,577 pupils, of whom 865 were Romani. Of the total number of Romani pupils, 511 or 59.07% attended separate Romani classes, while 354 children or 40.93% attended ethnically mixed classes. 3

In the same school year, there were a total of 24 separate Romani classes at the county level. They were organised both for the more junior grades, where Romani children make up a higher percentage in the overall number of pupils, and for higher grades, where Roma account for a lower percentage of the total student population.4 In particular, there were 9 separate Romani classes in the primary school in Kuršanec, 6 in the primary school in Macinec, 2 in the primary school in Orehovica and 1 in the primary school in Podturen.5

As regards the school year 2001/2002, there was one separate Romani class in the primary school in Podturen, two in the primary school in Orehovica, seven in the primary school in Macinec, and nine in the primary school in Kuršanec.6 Also, and just for illustration, we note that in the primary school in Macinec, of the total number of Romani pupils (191), 83.33% attended separate Romani classes, and 16.67% were placed in ethnically mixed classes.7 Similarly, in the primary school in Kuršanec, of the total number of Romani pupils (191), 88.49% attended separate Romani classes, and 11.51% were placed in ethnically mixed classes.8

Finally, in the school year 2001/2002, and again based on official statistics, in the four primary schools in Međimurje county, Romani children accounted for 73% of the total number of pupils in the first year, only 17.34% of the total number of pupils in the seventh year, and 8.86% of the total number of pupils in the eighth year. These figures clearly demonstrate that Romani pupils have a much lower chance of finishing primary school as compared to their non-Romani peers.9

Position Taken by the Authorities

The four primary schools in question, the Međimurje County local government and, indeed, the Ministry of Education have all, more or less explicitly and on various occasions, attempted to explain away the segregation by stressing that most Romani students have problems with i) basic Croatian language skills, ii) hygiene, iii) motivation, and iv) a profound general absence of comprehensive socialization, all of which makes it reasonable that they be placed in separate classrooms as compared to the other students who do not face similar difficulties.

Chronology

  • Fifty-seven plaintiffs filed the complaint on April 19, 2002.
  • The first hearing was held on June 12, 2002.
  • At the hearing, the attorney representing the plaintiffs was served with the respondents' own written comments dated May 7, 2002.
  • On June 26, 2002 the attorney acting on behalf of the plaintiffs responded by filing a supplemental submission wherein, in addition to discussing the relevant legal issues, she informed the court that as a result of the harrassment they suffered, five of her clients had decided to withdraw their complaints.
  • On July 1, 2002, the ERRC sent letters to the Croatian President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education urging them to protect the Romani plaintiffs and their families from all forms of harrassment.
  • On October 16, 2002, the lawyer for the plaintiffs was served with the written decision of the court rejecting the claim that the forced separation of Romani children into segregated classes was illegal. Despite existing evidence to the contrary, the court found that alleged language problems justify the existing separate classes for Romani children. The court implicitly accepted the defendant's claim that even those Romani children who were fluent in the Croatian language were not placed in mixed classes because the school authorities did not want to break the homogeneity of the Romani group. The plaintiffs filed an appeal with the County Court in Čakovec on October 17, 2002. The case was pending as this issue of Roma Rights went to press.

This view, however, fails to take into account the following: i) it is the role of the authorities themselves to make sure that the Romani children get all the necessary assistance they need in order to be fully integrated into the mainstream educational system, ii) this applies not only to possible Croatian language problems but also to all other obstacles that may hinder integration and multicultural education, and iii) any genuine Croatian language problems that may exist can and indeed must be remedied though a process involving Romani teaching assistants, pre-school training and/or supplemental language classes, together with parallel integrated education, and not through a blatant practice of racially based segregation.

Finally, we note that the non-Romani parents whose children attend the primary school in Macinec have recently themselves publicly stated the real reasons underlying racial segregation in Croatian primary schools. In an open letter dated 18 June 2002 they requested that their sons and daughters be allowed to attend/continue attending segregated classes – i.e. classrooms for the non-Roma only. In this undoubtedly racist petition, the non-Romani parents stated that integrated education is unacceptable as it includes all children regardless of their abilities and that therefore the non-Romani children suffer in terms of not being able to realize fully their educational potential which is far beyond that of the majority of Romani students.

Instead of tackling the problem head on, the authorities have, and somewhat incredibly so, repeatedly failed even to acknowledge awareness of the letter in question and have, at the same time, certainly done nothing to combat its adverse consequences and at least attempt to ensure integrated education for all.

Findings of International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations

Notwithstanding the excuses offered by the Croatian education authorities, the segregation of Romani children in Croatian primary schools has been noted by numerous international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities has expressed concern "about reports that in certain schools, Roma children are placed in separate classes and school facilities are organised and operated in a manner that appears to stigmatise Roma pupils."10

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has emphasized that the "[e]ducation of Roma … children is a serious problem in Croatia" and that "many Roma … children do not go to school, having either dropped out or having never attended". Hence, the Commission chose to stress the "need to increase the participation of Roma … children at all levels of education" and encouraged the Croatian authorities "to make special efforts in this regard."11

Concerns about segregated school patterns in Croatia, outside of Međimurje County, have been voiced by international non-governmental organizations. Thus, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights recently noted that:"In some schools they [the Roma] were subjected to segregation. The school principle of the settlement of Strmec near Varaždin decided that Roma pupils were to be put into a special department and had to attend special courses."12

The United States Department of State, in its latest annual report on human rights practices in Croatia, also found as follows: "The majority of students continue their education to the age of 18, with Roma being the only notable exception. Romani children face serious obstacles in continuing their schooling, including discrimination in schools … In Medjimurje County, local officials operate segregated classrooms for Romani children, reportedly with less-qualified staff and fewer resources."13

Finally, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has itself recently made its views known: "The Committee expresses concern at the continued practice of segregation of Roma children within the educational system and at the reports of discrimination against the Roma regarding access to employment, health, political representation and citizenship rights. The Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the situation of the Roma and take effective measures to prevent the segregation of Roma children within the educational system. The Committee further recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to address the high drop-out … rates of Roma children and guarantee non-discrimination … The Committee also encourages the State party to reinforce its efforts to train and recruit Roma teachers and to prevent discrimination against the Roma …"14

Specific Situation of the Romani Plaintiffs

The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit in April 2002 are all Romani pupils who were placed by primary schools in Orehovica, Macinec, Kuršanec and Podturen into separate Roma-only classes based solely on their racial/ethnic origin. Various excuses put forward by the respondents, and as explained above, though offering a conceivable justification for possible supplemental training, clearly cannot validate an overt and overwhelming practice of racial segregation. At the same time, the teaching organised for the plaintiffs attending separate Romani classes was significantly reduced in scope and volume as compared to the prescribed teaching plan and programme for elementary education adopted by the Croatian Ministry of Education on 16 June 1999. As a result of this practice, stretching back to the very beginning of their primary education, the plaintiffs have suffered, and indeed continue to suffer, severe educational, psychological and emotional harm. In particular, they have i) been subjected to a curriculum far inferior to that in mainstream classes, with attendant damage to their opportunities to secure adequate employment in the future, ii) been stigmatized with the effects of diminished self-esteem and feelings of humiliation, alienation and lack of self-worth, and iii) been forced to study in racially segregated classrooms and hence denied the benefits of a multi-cultural educational environment.15

Legal Foundation of the Plaintiffs' Case

Placing Romani students into separate Roma-only classes clearly violates Croatian domestic law, the Croatian government's international commitments, numerous binding international treaties ratified by Croatia, including the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the relevant comparative legal standards.

  1. Constitutional Guarantees

In their complaint, inter alia, the plaintiffs allege that the following provisions of the Croatian Constitution bare particular relevance to their case: i) the general right to equality and the prohibition of discrimination under Article 14, ii) the specific right to equality for members of national minorities under Article 15, iii) the prohibition of ill-treatment under Article 23, iv) the right to respect for and legal protection of personal and family life, dignity, reputation and honour under Article 35, v) the protection of children and young people under Article 62, vi) the right to education under Article 65, and Article 62, vii) the general obligation of the state to respect human rights and the rule of law under Article 3.

  1. Primary Education Act

The plaintiffs also invoked the relevant provisions of the Primary Education Act.

Namely, pursuant to Article 2 of the Primary Education Act, the purpose of primary education is to enable pupils to acquire knowledge and skills, adopt new concepts, attitudes and habits necessary for life and further education, and thus ensure the continuous development of every pupil as a spiritual, physical, moral, intellectual and social being respecting thereby his individual abilities and aptitudes.

The above is to be realised within the teaching plan and programme adopted by the Ministry of Education which is compulsory and the same for all children from six to fifteen years of age and is conducted in all primary schools in Croatia.

A school programme of a reduced scope/volume, as compared to the one defined by the teaching plan and programme, is called an "adapted programme" and is prescribed only for pupils with developmental disorders – i.e. pupils with borderline intellectual abilities and mild mental retardation. It is not envisioned in the law that ethnicity can be a ground for an "adapted programme".

Finally, under Article 37 of the Primary Education Act, children of Croatian citizens returning from abroad are entitled to special help in the form of supplementary education. This is organised with a view to helping them overcome educational differences arising from different school systems, as well as to give them additional Croatian language instruction.

  1. Croatian Government's International Commitments

In July 1998, the Croatian government and its Office of Ethnic Communities and Minorities, adopted the Programme of Integration of Romani Children into the Educational and School System of the Republic of Croatia, with the following goals: i) to introduce additional instruction for Romani children in primary schools with the help of Romani assistant teachers, ii) to organise additional programmes of professional training for teachers and other persons involved in the process of educating Romani children, and iii) in particular, to educate school children in the spirit of tolerance and acceptance of Romani children, especially in towns and villages with a sizeable Romani population.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs quote portions of this document and, in addition, point out that it was an integral part of the Croatian government's report submitted to the Council of Europe on 16 March 1999 under Article 25(1) of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

  1. Relevant International Law

The plaintiffs also relied heavily on the relevant international legal standards, and, in particular, on the following: i) the right not to be subjected to inhuman and/or degrading treatment, as guaranteed under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ii) the right to education under Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 26 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, iii) the right to non-discrimination in relation to the prohibition of inhuman and/or degrading treatment, as secured under Article 14 taken together with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, iv) the right to freedom from discrimination in education under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights taken together with Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, and v) other anti-discrimination provisions contained in Articles 2, 3 and 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Articles 2, 24 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Finally, the plaintiffs invoked the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the European Union, under which Croatia, inter alia, undertook to respect democratic principles and human rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international documents as well as to harmonise its own legislation with the relevant European Union requirements. Along those lines, they then went on to refer to the relevant provisions of the European Union Race Equality Directive and, in particular, to Articles 7 (1), 8 (1) and 9 thereof which set the highest standards with regard to combating direct and indirect discrimination as well as the practice of victimisation.16

  1. Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

Plaintiffs have stressed that the purpose of the prohibition of degrading treatment is to prevent interference with human dignity of a particularly serious nature, whereby inhuman treatment may include not only physical injury but also mental suffering.

In particular, and in the context of race, they referred to the case of East African Asians v. United Kingdom,in which an action was brought by applicants claiming to have been denied admission into the United Kingdom based exclusively on their racial origin. The European Commission on Human Rights ultimately found that Article 3 of the Convention had indeed been violated, affirmed that "a special importance should be attached to discrimination based on race", and then went on to state that "publicly to single out a group of persons for differential treatment on the basis of race might, in certain circumstances, [in and of itself] constitute a special form of affront to human dignity." It concluded that "differential treatment of a group of persons on the basis of race might therefore be capable of constituting degrading treatment when differential treatment on some other ground would raise no such question."17

On September 9, 2002, in front of the primary school in Držimurec, Međimurje County, Croatia, non-Romani parents whose children attend this school, as well as numerous other non-Romani residents, blocked the school gate and thus in effect prevented both Romani and non-Romani children from attending their first day at School.

The move was intended to challenge the policy of integrated education, as initially envisaged by the Ministry of Education. The non-Romani parents thus took the opportunity to publicly request that 5 out of 7 classes be racially segregated and only two classes be racially mixed. They stressed that the racially mixed classes ought to be attended only by those Romani children "who can keep up with their non-Romani peers" in relation to "Croatian language skills, manners, hygiene etc." Finally, the non-Romani parents "explained" that totally integrated education would be unacceptable as it would include all children regardless of their abilities and thus place the more "advanced" non-Romani children at a distinct disadvantage as compared to their Romani schoolmates.

On September 10, 2002, the non-Romani parents had a meeting with representatives of the primary school in Držimurec, Međimurje County local government, and the Ministry of Education. At this meeting all of the above-mentioned demands put forward by the non-Romani parents were accepted. Romani parents did not take part in the meeting nor were they invited to do so.

On September 11, 2002, the Ministry of Education sent a formal letter to the Međimurje County local government approving this arrangement. By doing so, the Ministry clearly sided with the non-Romani parents and, for the first time, officially condoned the practice of racial segregation in Croatian primary schools.

In the said letter, the Ministry of Education appears to urge the primary school in Držimurec to adopt programmes aimed at ensuring gradual racial integration and commits to providing the necessary technical and substantive support in this regard. There are, however, no specific tasks assigned, no clear time line, no vision and leadership, and in general nothing that would suggest that the Ministry understands the gravity of the situation as well as the fact that racial segregation as such is always illegal, that it can never be justified or tolerated, and that this applies equally to segregation on a supposedly temporary basis.

On September 23, 2002, the ERRC faxed a letter to Mr Vladimir Strugar, the Croatian Minister of Education, urging him to take the necessary decisions and/or measures in order to ensure immediate cessation of all racial segregation in Croatian primary schools. The ERRC recommended that the Ministry of Education adopt and implement an adequate and comprehensive educational integration strategy and offered assistance in this regard. Finally, the ERRC stressed that anything short of this will be in direct violation of both the relevant Croatian domestic legislation and of Croatia's numerous and binding international commitments.

To date ERRC received no response from the Croatian Ministry of Education.

Citing the so-called Belgian Linguistics case, the plaintiffs pointed out that differential treatment constitutes discrimination in violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights only when there is no objective and reasonable justification, no legitimate aim, or, indeed, when there is no proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised.18 However, they also underlined that the Strasbourg organs have already, and on several occasions, concluded that some grounds for differential treatment are so "suspect", i.e. that they are so unlikely to be found proportionate to any legitimate aim, that they in and of themselves are in violation of Article 14 almost without exception. For example, in Hoffman v. Austria, and along those lines, the European Court of Human Rights held that "[n]otwithstanding any possible arguments to the contrary, a distinction based essentially on religion alone is not acceptable."19 The plaintiffs thus concluded that the same reasoning ought equally apply to cases of discrimination based solely on racial grounds.

  1. Standard-Setting Comparative Jurisprudence

The complaint filed with the Municipal Court in Čakovec also quotes portions of the landmark United States Supreme Court desegregation ruling of May 17, 1954 – the judgement in the case of Brown v. Board of Education in which the court held as follows:

"Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments ... [I]t is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment … [I]t is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education … We [thus] come … to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does ... To separate … [children] … from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone … Segregation of white and coloured children in public schools, has a detrimental effect upon the coloured children … [T]he policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of Negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system ... We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." 20

  1. Conclusion

In view of the facts of the case and the cited legal authority, the complaint concludes by stating that the segregation of Romani plaintiffs into separate Roma-only classes constitutes: i) inhuman and/or degrading treatment, ii) a breach of the plaintiffs right to education, and iii) discrimination with respect to both the plaintiffs right to freedom from inhuman and/or degrading treatment and their right to education.

In addition, the plaintiffs stress that neither segregation, nor discrimination based solely on race, can ever have a reasonable and objective justification, or indeed be in pursuit of a legitimate aim. Likewise, the doctrine of "separate but equal" also has no place in the field of public education, as separate educational facilities as such are always profoundly unequal.

In any case, and as documented in the Croatian Ombudsman's annual report, the respondents themselves have not offered any objective and reasonable justifications for their actions, but have rather relied on excuses based on racial prejudice. Similarly, given that the plaintiffs were taught on the basis of a considerably reduced curriculum, compared to the standard curriculum prescribed by law, their situation is not one that could even for the sake of argument be described as "separate but equal". It has unfortunately been and firmly remains both "separate and unequal".

A Comprehensive Remedy

In their complaint, the plaintiffs request: i) judicial findings of racial discrimination/segregation, of a violation of their right to education, and a violation of their right to freedom from inhuman and/or degrading treatment ii) an order that the respondents desist from future segregation, iii) an order that the respondents develop and implement a monitoring system and a plan to end racial segregation and discrimination and to achieve full racial integration, and iv) an order that the plaintiffs be placed in racially integrated classrooms and provided with the compensatory education necessary for them to overcome the debilitating effects of past discrimination/segregation.

Nature of the Legal Claim Filed by the Plaintiffs and Next Steps

The plaintiffs' complaint is based on Article 67 of the Croatian Administrative Disputes Act. The legal requirements for the submission of this complaint are essentially: i) that there is an unlawful action that has already taken place, ii) that it has been undertaken by a government official, a government body/agency, or another legal entity, iii) that it has resulted in a violation of one or more of the plaintiffs constitutional rights, and iv) that the Croatian legal system does not provide for any other avenue of judicial redress.

On October 16, 2002, the Čakovec Municipal Court rejected the complaint submitted by the Romani parents. The negative first instance decision has been appealed with the competent County Court. Should the entire proceedings take too long, or should the second instance decision be rendered in favor of the respondents, the plaintiffs would still have the possibility of filing a complaint with the Croatian Constitutional Court.

Failure to secure effective remedies in domestic courts will result in an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Endnotes:

  1. Branimir Pleše is ERRC Senior Staff Attorney.
  2. Report published in March 2001, p. 98.
  3. Official data provided by the Office of Education, Culture, Information, Sport and Technical Culture of the County of Međimurje in a letter dated 29 May 2001, Class 602-01/01-01/70 reg. no. 2109-03-02/01-03.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Official data provided by the Office of Education, Culture, Information, Sport and Technical Culture of the County of Međimurje in a letter dated 7 December 2001, Class 602-02/01-01/86 reg. no. 2109-03-02/01-02.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Opinion on Croatia, adopted on 6 April 2001, para. 49.
  11. Council of Europe, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Second Report on Croatia, CRI (2001) 34, Strasbourg, 3 July 2001, para. 41.
  12. International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights in the OSCE Region: The Balkans, the Caucasus, Europe, Central Asia and North America Report 2001, (Events of 2000), Croatia, p. 105.
  13. U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2001, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on 4 March 2002.
  14. Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Croatia. 21/05/2002. CERD/C/60/CO/4., para. 11.
  15. These conclusions are based on the findings of an independent psychologist's report commissioned by the ERRC and completed in February 2002.
  16. Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin Official Journal L 180 , 19/07/2000 pp. 0022-0026.
  17. 3 EHRR 76, decision of 14 December 1973, para. 207.
  18. 1 EHRR 252, judgement of 23 July 1968.
  19. Judgement of 23 June, 1993, A-255-C, para. 36.
  20. 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

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