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Romani Children Face Protesters at Pre-School Programme in Croatia

25 September 2012

Budapest, Zagreb, 25 September 2012: The European Roma Rights Centre sent a letter to Croatian authorities today after a group of Romani children were blocked from attending the first day of their pre-school programme because of a protest by non-Romani parents. The incident happened on 17 September 2012 at the primary school of Gornji Hrašćan. More than 50 children were stopped from entering their new preschool facility by approximately 40 adult protesters. The children have since been able to attend the programme, but tensions remain.

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the segregation of Roma pupils in primary schools in Međimurje was discriminatory. The ruling obliged Croatia to take steps to prevent segregation from happening in the future. Previous protests by non-Romani parents in 2002/03 had encouraged the authorities to continue their practice of separating children in education, according to an ECRI report.

A report by the former Commissioner of Human Rights earlier this year found that Romani children are still sometimes educated in separate classes at mainstream schools in Croatia, and the progress on the successful completion of primary education remains unsatisfactory.

There have been some positive developments for Romani children in Croatia, however. A report released by ECRI today notes some positive developments notes that pre-school facilities are available to all Roma and the enrolment of Roma children at primary school has increased. Measures are being taken to put an end to separate Roma-only classes. This good work should be encouraged at the local level and authorities should take steps to ensure that progress continues.

Croatia assumed the Decade of Roma Inclusion Presidency in July this year. In this context it is particularly important that national and local authorities to act to ease tensions, and to focus on finding inclusive solutions in education.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gokçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324
 

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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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