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Roma Rights Coalition Targets Italy at Upcoming UN Review - UN Racial Discrimination Committee to Review Italy, as Italian Police Continue to Terrorise Roma in Their Homes

18 January 2008

18 January 2008, Budapest, Florence, Geneva, Mantova: Today a coalition of human rights organisations submitted a comprehensive parallel report on the human rights crisis of Roma and Sinti in Italy to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in advance of the Committee's upcoming review of Italy's compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Coalition members include international organisations European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), and Italian organisations osservAzione and Sucar Drom.

The report is based on extensive first hand research and experience of the submitting organisations, and focuses on targeted anti-Romani racism and actions which have risen to hysterical levels in Italy since 2006. It also includes a series of recommendations for the Italian government to improve the human rights situation of Roma and Sinti in Italy.

Featuring prominently in the report are high levels of anti-Romani hatred propagated by prominent Italian public officials and media, as well as the so-called "Pacts for Security" adopted in various Italian cities in 2006 and 2007, and November and December 2007 emergency decrees amending Italian legislation regulating the stay of EU citizens in Italy. The substance and impact of these legislative and policy actions are analysed in detail, with specific focus on the systemic targeting of Roma and Sinti during police checks and raids on Romani camps, forced evictions and the destruction of personal property and documents, and other physically or otherwise abusive actions by state and non-state representatives against Roma and Sinti in Italy.

The submission also explores concerns regarding failure of the Italian government to grant minority status to Roma and Sinti, the continued segregation of Roma and Sinti in Italy, limitations on the freedom of movement of members of these groups, as well as problems with regard to the segregated education of Romani and Sinti children.

The full text of the report and its annexes are available at:

Main report:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Annex 1: Rome Pact for Security:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Annex 2: Milan Pact for Security:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!
Annex 3: Photo Annex:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)!

For further information, please contact:

Tara Bedard, ERRC Programmes Coordinator, tara.bedard@errc.org
Claude Cahn, COHRE Head of Advocacy Unit, claudecahn@cohre.org
Piero Colacicchi, osservAzione President, pierocolacicchi@tele2.it
Bernardino Torsi, Sucar Drom President, sucardrom@sucardrom.191.it


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