Educational Integration of Roma: Political and Legal Preparation

22 November 2006

Educational Integration of Roma: Political and Legal Preparation

Beginning in November 2006, the ERRC is implementing a one-year project to address the problem of systemic disadvantage including the evil of racial segregation in education of Romani children in Bulgaria and the absence of action at central and local level of government to implement a comprehensive educational integration policy. The project is supported by the Roma Education Fund.

The project sees – and seeks to address -- the following core needs: (i) first to seed the ground for the idea that it is in the public interest to integrate Roma in society; at the level of political elites, not enough has yet been done to mute the widespread conception that Roma have in recent years become a privileged group while the rest of the population suffers; (ii) then to bring powerful research evidence to policy- and law-makers, as well as to the public at large, demonstrating the benefits of desegregation; such research evidence needs to appeal to all three of the core value-clusters identified above (civil liberties/human rights, pragmatic/economic, and nationalist, (iii) and finally to carry these matters home by advocating adoption of comprehensive school reform, via amendments to existing legislation and/or new law to establish positive obligations on institutions to secure an integrated school environment.

The primary aim of the project will be to attempt to secure adoption of a comprehensive school desegregation law, generating positive duties under domestic law and respective financial obligations for public officials to eliminate segregated education. Toward this goal the project undertakes three project components:

A) To build a dialogue among all relevant actors to develop the political will to integrate Roma in the education system;

B) To build a multi-element expert research base in order to move all actors. Key research elements include:

  1. International and domestic human rights law/positive obligations of the state in the context of racially segregated schooling;
  2. Sociological/demographic/economic-geographic concerning the spatial arrangements of segregation in schooling in Bulgaria;
  3. Educational needs analysis.

C) Developing the basis for comprehensive school reform, involving two stages: (i) drafting legislation on comprehensive school desegregation; (ii) legislative advocacy to adopt the draft.

For further information, please contact:


Challenge discrimination, promote equality


Receive our public announcements Receive our Roma Rights Journal


The latest Roma Rights news and content online

join us

Find out how you can join or support our activities