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Danish Authorities Find Romani Classes Illegal

16 December 2004

On September 13, Copenhagen’s State County Board of Control issued a decision to end so-called “Romani classes” in the municipality of Helsingør, according to the decision provided the ERRC by Johannes Busk Laursen and Henrik von Bűlow, following a complaint submitted in December 2002 by the Danish Romani organisation Romano, Mr Laursen and Mr von Bűlow. Mr Laursen and Mr von Bűlow are independent activists involved in Romani issues. In the decision, the Copenhagen’s State County Board of Control gave the municipality until September 27 to terminate the illegal classes. The decision was made on the basis that the reason for the classes is not in line with the provisions of the Primary Education Act related to special education: Namely, special educational classes in Denmark are to be formed to promote the educational development of pupils with special learning needs, determined on the basis of professional pedagogical and psychological evaluations, whereas the Romani classes were initiated for pupils who had been absent from school for prolonged periods, without any formal testing having been undertaken. Copenhagen’s State County Board of Control however stated that there was insufficient evidence to prove racialdiscrimination as the municipality had insisted the only reason for the classes was the prolonged absence of the children from school and that any students, regardless of ethnicity, could attend the classes.

According to the decision, the Borupsgård elementary school, which currently houses the Romani classes, was to report at the city council meeting on September 27 as to the actions they intend to take with regard to closing the Romani classes. On September 14 Mr Per Tćrsbøl, the mayor of Helsingør, announced during a broadcast of the Danish radio station DR4 that the municipality was considering keeping open one of the racially segregatory classes until the pupils reach the 9th grade. According to the website of the Helsingør Municipality, at a meeting on October 10, 2004, the city council decided to apply to the Ministry of Education to set aside the decision of the Board. (ERRC)

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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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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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