New Country Profiles on Roma from ERRC
Budapest, 17 July 2013: The European Roma Rights Centre has published new country profiles today, which outline some of the major issues affecting Roma in 10 countries. The short reports indicate that, despite some efforts to improve the situation of Romani individuals and communities, they still are denied basic human rights. According to the findings presented in the country profiles, Romani individuals and communities still have to face violence and hate speech and cannot enjoy the same opportunities and standards as the rest of the society in access to essential services such as education or housing.
The ERRC country profiles are produced to give a snapshot of the situation of Roma and the work of the ERRC in the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in 2011-2012, focusing on ERRC core themes such as education, housing, violence and the state response to violent incidents
Sub-standard housing and ongoing evictions continue to be one of the major problems affecting Roma in France, Italy, Serbia, and Romania. In most cases, the evictions that took place violated international standards. Segregation of Romani children in education is still widespread across Central and Eastern European countries. In the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovakia, Romani children are placed in special schools where they are taught a reduced curriculum which lowers their chances of fulfilling their potential, and teaches them and their peers that it is acceptable to label, stigmatise, and segregate. In Russia and Ukraine, many Roma lack proper identification documents, which prevents them from accessing basic services such as education and health care. In Slovakia and Romania, Romani settlements are segregated by walls, creating new ghettos. In Turkey, little progress has been made towards a comprehensive strategy and action plan to address the problems that Roma face.
The ERRC reports underline once more that long-rooted negative stereotypes and strong anti-Romani sentiments are the chief obstacles in improving the life standards of Roma. Discrimination in all fields of life is still the common factor in all countries.
ERRC Executive Director Dezideriu Gergely said, “Our country profiles establish that there is a long way to go to reach a discrimination-free Europe. Roma matters are a litmus test for European values. Governments must put their commitments to fight discrimination into action.”
The ERRC country profiles provide an overview on the situation of Roma in some key countries, and provide information that should strengthen research and advocacy by and for Roma across Europe. The findings were gathered from specific ERRC research, ongoing work by ERRC country monitors, media scanning and research from other sources. The profiles also list the international legal human rights tools that each country is a signatory to.
For more information:
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre