Belgium's Police Raids on Romani Travellers Deemed Discriminatory by European Committee

20 June 2023

Brussels, 20 June 2023: The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has issued a decision on the complaint “ERRC vs. Belgium (no. 185/2019)”, finding Belgium violated the rights of Romani Travellers during mass police raids in May 2019. The decision is binding, and Belgian authorities must demonstrate the measures it has taken to abide by the Committee’s decision. The collective complaint was lodged by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) after the Belgian police launched the largest police operation the country had seen in over 20 years, targeting Romani communities living on permanent and temporary halting sites all over the country. The complaint relied on evidence and witness testimonies gathered by Unia, Belgium’s Equality Body, in their monitoring of the situation.

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Slovak Ombudsperson Recommends Disciplinary Action for Police Who Tortured Roma in Milhosť

06 June 2023

Bratislava, Brussels, 6 June 2023: The Ombudsperson of Slovakia, Robert Dobrovodský, has issued a decision condemning Slovak police officers who brutalised and tortured a Romani family during a police raid in Milhosť in 2019. The decision finds the officers’ actions to have been disproportionate, constituting humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 3 (prohibition of torture). The Ombudsperson has written to the Head of the Regional Directorate of Police in Košice to recommend he take disciplinary sanctions against the officers and order them to undergo human rights training in relation to the use of coercive measures.  He also recommended the use of body-cameras which would monitor police actions. The decision came in response to a legal complaint submitted by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC).

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New Activist Research Exposes Lack of Action on Anti-Roma Hate Speech Online

17 May 2023

Brussels, 17 May 2023: New, volunteer-led, research published today by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) provides the first ever, data-driven picture of anti-Roma hate speech on major social media networks in Europe. The research was a product of the ERRC’s “Roma Rights Defenders” volunteer section, which was active in the four target countries: Albania, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The data sets, observations, and conclusions drawn by the volunteer research teams provide a vivid and representative snapshot of online anti-Roma hate speech in Europe.

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Romani Activists Launch Legal Actions Against Bulgarian Far-Right for Hate Speech

15 May 2023

Sofia, Brussels, 15 May 2023: Romani activists have launched three separate legal challenges against: the far-right Member of the European Parliament, Angel Dzambazki; the far-right VMRO political party; and the “7 Days” news server, over anti-Roma hate speech. The complaints were lodged with the Bulgarian Commission for Protection Against Discrimination on 2nd May by representatives of the Equal Opportunities Initiative and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). 

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European Court Orders Hungary to Desegregate Romani School and Pay Damages

30 March 2023

Budapest, Brussels 30 March 2023: The European Court of Human Rights has issued a judgment against Hungary for the racial segregation of Romani children in the Jókai Mór Primary School in Piliscsaba. The case was brought by Imre  Szolcsán, a Romani student who attended the school, and complained of segregation and poor teaching.

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War in Ukraine: ERRC Monitoring Report Confirms Discrimination Against Romani Refugees

28 February 2023

Brussels, 28 February 2023: Today, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) published its first report on human rights abuses perpetrated against Romani refugees from Ukraine in Europe. Since the outbreak of full-scale war on 24th February 2022, the ERRC and its partners have engaged in an unprecedented human rights monitoring mission across five countries bordering Ukraine (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova) as well as inside Ukraine itself.

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New Criminal Justice Research Uncovers Police Torture, Judicial Negligence, and Institutional Racism in Serbia

22 February 2023

Brussels, Belgrade 22 February 2023: New research published today by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) catalogues a litany of human rights abuses against Roma at all levels of the criminal justice system in Serbia. The report, Justice Denied: Roma in the Criminal Justice System of Serbia, was produced in partnership with the global criminal justice watchdog Fair Trials. It provides yet  further evidence that, despite claims by judges and prosecutors that justice is blind, racial bias still adversely impacts Romani people in the Serbian criminal justice system.

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