Dis-Interest of the Child: Romani Children in the Hungarian Child Protection System
11 December 2007
This report explores concerns related to the over-representation of Romani children in state care, the role of ethnic identity in state care and adoption processes as well as the disproportionate categorisation of Romani children in state care as mentally disabled. The report is based on focus group discussions held with professionals in Hungarys 7 regions, as well as field research in conducted three counties and several Budapest districts, which included in-depth interviews with children living in childrens homes, professionals in child care and adoption and Romani families whose children were under special protection. While not based on a representative sample, Romani children accounted for 58% of the children living in the children's homes visited by the ERRC, while Romani children account for only 13% of the child population in Hungary. The report concludes with a series of detailed recommendations for the Hungarian government aimed at improving the situation of Roma vis-a-vis the Hungarian child protection system. The work undertake towards this report was groundbreaking in Europe and may serve as a model for other European countries.
The full text of the report is available in English and in Hungarian on the ERRC website.