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UN Committee Criticises Greece over Treatment of Roma

7 May 2002

On February 1, 2002, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released its concluding observations and recommendations, concerning the compliance of Greece with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The committee made many references to Roma in its reports and noted many concerns regarding Romani children in Greece. Specifically, the Committee expressed concern that: “[…] the right of some children, and particularly child members of some distinct ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural groups such as the Roma, to birth registration is not respected as a result of a lack of information on birth registration procedures, a lack of legal representation for particular population groups and the lack of sufficiently decentralised services.” Regarding assistance to parents, the Committee expressed concern “that the amount of such financial allowances is extremely low and, in addition, that many Roma families do not receive these allowances at all. […] Children from certain groups, such as the Roma and some immigrant groups, have particularly poor access to health care, leading to a high level of health concerns. […] Children from Roma communities are particularly exposed to living conditions without adequate housing, appropriate sanitation and waste disposal or running water. […] the very high estimated figures for illiteracy among Roma children […].” The Committee’s concerns were following by recommendations, in which the Committee urged the government of Greece to: “strengthen its efforts to protect children’s rights to a family environment, including through reducing the numbers of persons living in poverty and ensuring access for all children and parents, in need, to financial assistance giving particular attention, in this regard, to children and parents from Roma communities. […] Give particular attention to ensuring the access to health care of children from Roma communities and other economically disadvantaged groups. […] Give particular attention to assisting Roma families in improving the living conditions of their children. […] Ensure the access to education for all children in the State party, including increasing the enrolment and reducing the drop out rates, giving particular attention to children in rural communities, children from Roma […]. The Committee strongly recommends that the State party continue and strengthen its efforts to develop and implement policies and programmes toward improved respect for the rights of Roma children, including through co-operation with representatives of the Roma themselves and through empowerment of Roma communities.” The full text of the concluding observations of the Committee on Greece are available online at: http://www.greekhelsinki.gr/bhr/english/special_issues/crc.html

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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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