ERRC Highlights Romani Children’s Rights Issues before UN Treaty Bodies

Budapest, 27 July 2011: This week the ERRC sent parallel reports to UN bodies overseeing the implementation of legal standards on racial discrimination and children’s rights, expressing concern about violations of the human rights of Romani children in the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy.

At the time of submission, ERRC Executive Director Robert Kushen emphasised the urgency of protecting children’s rights: “European states must act to stop practices of segregated education, forced evictions and systemic discrimination to ensure that future generations of Romani children do not grow up in poverty and exclusion.”

Addressing the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the ERRC raised concerns about the ongoing segregation of Romani school children in special education in the Czech Republic. Access to quality, integrated education is also an issue in Greece, as the submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Greece explained. Research by the ERRC and the Greek Helsinki Monitor in 2010 showed persistent obstacles to education for many Romani children, including refusal by school authorities to enrol Romani children, lack of transportation in remote settlements and the existence of segregated, Roma-only schools.

In a joint submission with Associazone 21 luglio, the ERRC also informed the Committee on the Rights of the Child that in Italy, constant forced evictions and poor housing conditions undermine the access of Romani children to education, compromise their health and threaten their right to family life. The organisations also informed the Committee about discrimination in the State child protection system and the negative impacts of child marriages on Romani children in Italy.

For further information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324

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