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Anti-Romani Developments in Italy Highlighted in a Report Launched by NGOs at the OSCE Meeting on Sustainable Roma Policy

10 July 2008

International NGO Coalition Report Outlines Extreme Deterioration of Roma Rights in Italy

Budapest, Bucharest, Geneva, Vienna: Today, a coalition of NGOs launched a report on the deterioration of the human rights situation of Roma and Sinti in Italy, on the occasion of the OSCE's Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Sustainable Policies for Roma and Sinti Integration in Vienna. Coalition members include the European Roma Rights Centre, the Open Society Institute, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Romani Criss and the Roma Civic Alliance of Romania.

The report, entitled "Security a la Italiana: Fingerprinting, Extreme Violence and Harassment of Roma in Italy", includes a concise summary of a series of discriminatory legal and policy measures targeting Roma recently enacted by the right-wing Italian government, in place since the April 2008 elections. The report also includes the results of first-hand documentation conducted by the Coalition in Romani camps Italy at the end of May 2008, exploring the effects of these measures on members of Italy's Roma and Sinti communities, including:

  • Illegal fingerprinting and photographing of Roma for the purposes of creating a database of all Roma in the country;
  • Police abuse, ill-treatment and forced evictions of Roma;
  • Extreme violence by non-state actors and the failure of Italian authorities to prosecute the perpetrators; and
  • Other forms of discrimination against Roma.

The report concludes with a series of recommendations for actions to be undertaken by the Italian government, the Romanian government and inter-governmental actors, in order to end the ongoing human rights crisis in Italy and ensure respect for the rights of Roma in the country.

During the OSCE meeting in Vienna on 10-11 July, Coalition members are hosting a side event to discuss the concerns outlined in the report and are organising a protest outside the site of the OSCE meeting on 11 July, starting from the premises of the Fundamental Rights Agency, Rahlgasse, Gumpendorferstraße, Burgring and Heldenplatz – stopping in front of the Hofburg Palace.

The full text of the report is available on the ERRC’s website at:  View it (Acrobat pdf format)! 

 For further information, please contact: 

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Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

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