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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 the EU Roma Framework (February 2016)

19 February 2016

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on progress in 2015 with the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS).

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ERRC submission to UN CEDAW on the Czech Republic (January 2016)

22 January 2016

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning the Czech Republic to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women at the 63th session (23 February 2016). 

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Combating Hate Crime and Hate Speech in France and Italy

4 February 2016

Introduction

For years, the ERRC has been documenting hate crime and hate speech in various countries. With support from the Open Society Initiative for Europe, the ERRC is carrying out a project designed to expose the extent of anti-Roma hate crime and hate speech in France and Italy and improve the authorities' response to these problems. The purpose of this project is to introduce a new methodology for this work and apply it in these two Western European countries, where the extent of anti-Roma hate speech and hate crime is largely recognised, but poorly documented or addressed. 

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