UN CEDAW's Concluding Comments on Women's Rights in Hungary Expresses Concern About Situation of Roma
31 August 2007
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), today welcomed the concluding comments of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in their review of Hungary's compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The ERRC had previously submitted a report to the Committee bringing attention to the critical situation for Romani women in Hungary as well the lack of implementation of the Committee's recommendations in the 2004 coerced sterilisation case, Ms. A.S. v. Hungary.
CEDAW's comments highlight the particularly vulnerable position of Romani women with regard to education, health, housing, employment and participation in political, public and economic life as well as "the prevalence of violence against Roma women and girls, including harassment and abuse at school, and "the gaps in Roma women's formal education and the high rates of school dropout among Roma girls."
The Committee noted concern "about the situation of Roma women and girls, who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on sex, ethnic or cultural background and socio-economic status." It called for "a holistic approach to eliminating the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that Roma women face and to accelerate their achievement of de facto equality".
In its concluding comments, the Committee recommended that the Hungarian Government take concrete measures to overcome stereotypical attitudes towards Roma women.
In terms of policy the Hungarian Government is recommended to ensure "the effective coordination of all entities working on Roma, non-discrimination and gender equality issues; the implementation of "targeted measures, within specific time frames, in all areas and to monitor their implementation" and; the inclusion of a gender perspective "into all aspects of the Programme for the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015."
CEDAW also recommended "that the State party collect and make available statistical information in the areas of education, health, employment and social, economic and political status of Roma women and girls with a view to developing further specific policies to respond to their needs," and address the high rate of unemployment among Roma women by adopting measures to enhance their participation in public life at all levels.
With regard to the implementation of the Committee's 2006 decision in the Ms A.S. v. Hungary individual complaint filed by the ERRC and the Legal Defense Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities, the Committee expressed concern at the Hungarian Government's failure to implement the Committee's recommendations, "[…] specifically the recommendation to provide appropriate compensation to Ms. A.S., to review its domestic legislation pertaining to the principle of informed consent and ensure its conformity with international human rights and medical standards, and monitor public and private health centers which perform sterilization procedures […]". The Committee urged the Hungarian government to "provide appropriate compensation to Ms. A.S."
The full text of the CEDAW Committee's concluding comments on Hungary available here.
The ERRC parallel report on the situation of Romani women in Hungary is available in English and Hungarian.