United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Concerned About Multiple Discrimination against Roma and Sinti Women in Germany

28 May 2004

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), on January 30, 2004, issued its Concluding Comments on Germany's compliance with its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. In its Concluding Comments, the Committee expressed concern "about the situation of migrant and minority women, including Sinti and Roma women, who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination based on sex, ethnic or religious background and race, and at the vulnerability of some of these women to trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Committee regrets the lack of specific information provided in the reports with regard to their access to health, employment and education, as well as various forms of violence committed against them and, in particular, data and information about forced marriages. The Committee is also concerned about the situation of some foreign women domestic workers in the households of diplomats."

In the run-up to the Committee's review, the ERRC, in partnership with the Open Society Institute's EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP), submitted a shadow report to CEDAW, outlining Germany's failure to provide legal protection for Sinti and Roma women, who often face both gender and ethnic discrimination. The report noted that many Sinti and Roma women and girls in Germany are excluded from a range of protections guaranteed by the Convention, particularly in the areas of education, employment, health and participation in public and political life. The full text of the Committee's Concluding Comments are available on the Internet at: http://www.ohchr.org/tbru/cedaw/Germany.pdf. (ERRC)

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