The Misery of Law: The Rights of Roma in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine

The Misery of Law: The Rights of Roma in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine

A comprehensive report on the human rights situation of Roma in Transcarpathia is a long-term research project of the ERRC. The present report is limited to focusing primarily on police abuses and the failure of the judicial system, in cases involving Roma, to censure and remedy such abuses. This report portrays only a narrow sliver of the human rights concerns of Roma in Transcarpathia. More work in Transcarpathia is sorely needed, including evaluations of topics less dramatic than violence by representatives of the state. However, police brutality and the inability of Roma to attain even the pretence of justice are significant hindrances to progress in all other areas. The ERRC therefore describes areas of necessary emergency intervention by the state. The legal remedies sought by the report constitute the bare minimum necessary to repair the torn fabric of social life between Roma and non-Romani society in Transcarpathia. This report is organised as follows: First of all, there is a brief discussion of the demographic and historical situation of Roma in Transcarpathia. The report then describes police policy vis-a-vis Roma and a regular pattern of police abuse ofRoma. The chapter "Roma and the Criminal Justice System" describes the difficulty marginalised groups such as Roma have in gaining access to the legal system, and the near-impossibility of achieving a just settlement when the rights of Romani individuals have been violated. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 sketch some of the laws and social practices which displace Roma or render them legally vulnerable in Transcarpathia. Chapter 8 attempts to place the situation of Roma in Transcarpathia in regional perspective. Finally, Chapter 9 makes specific recommendations to the national and regional authorities for changes which might begin to alleviate the dire conditions of Roma life in Transcarpathia.

The Misery of Law: The Rights of Roma in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine

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