Roma Rights 3/2003: Personal Documents and Fundamental Rights

29 October 2003

October 29, 2003 Roma Rights 3/2003 takes as its theme "Personal Documents and Access to Fundamental Rights". Research shows that numerous Roma around Europe - and particularly in countries emerging from the dissolution of large federations such as the former Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia remain disproportionately affected by a lack of personal documents, including birth certificates, identity documents, residence permits, documents proving eligibility for state-provided social welfare and health insurance, and passports. Roma are frequently unable to access citizenship, and the anathema phenomenon of statelessness has arisen in a number of states. The lack of one document leads to the inability, in many cases, to access others. The inability of Roma to access such basic personal documents has given rise to a situation in which their ability to access services crucial to the realisation of a number of fundamental rights and freedoms is threatened and, in many cases, denied. Due to a lack of personal documents, many Roma are barred in practice from registering to vote, registering residences, and accessing rights to health care, education, employment and social benefits. Roma living in regions affected by state succession and massive forced migrations, such as the war-affected former Yugoslav countries, are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon. Apart from localised actions by some non-governmental organisations, little work to date has been undertaken to remedy this problem. The contents of Roma Rights 3/2003, including direct links to articles, follows: Editorial

- Privileging the Document Claude Cahn Notebook

- Personal Documents and Threats to the Exercise of Fundamental Rights of Roma in Europe Tatjana Perić

- The Erasure: Administrative Ethnic Cleansing in Slovenia Jasminka Dedić

- Profile of One Community: A Personal Document Survey among the Romani Population of Kumanovo, Macedonia Narrative project report of the Romani organisation Roma Community Center DROM

- Roma in Russia: A Personal Documents Disaster Leonid Raihman

- The Right to an Identity Lindsey Cameron

- Faces of Romani Statelessness in Greece Theodoros Alexandridis

- Exercise of Fundamental Rights by the Roma of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Access to Personal Documents and the Right to Housing Paul Prettitore

- A Step in the Right Direction: Accessing Personal Documents in Montenegro Narrative project report of the non-governmental organisation Humanitarac News roundup: Snapshots from around Europe

- Albania * Bosnia and Herzegovina * Bulgaria * Croatia * Czech Republic * Denmark * Finland * France * Greece * Hungary * Italy * Kosovo * Latvia * Lithuania * Macedonia * Moldova * Romania * Serbia and Montenegro * Slovakia * Ukraine * United Kingdom Advocacy

- Housing Rights in Greece: First ERRC Action Under the European Social Charter Mona Nicoară Legal defence

- The European Roma Rights Center In Action - Developments in Strategic Litigation Gloria Jean Garland Field report

- ERRC in Montenegro Djordje Jovanović Human rights education

- ERRC Scholarship Recipients 2002/2003 Romani language publications

- Konkluzie/phanglipa: Personale Dokumentura Thaj Problemura Pala Astaripe Fundamentale Chachipengo/Xakajengo Mashkar Rroma Ande Purani Jugoslavia (Romani-language translation of conclusions of an ERRC workshop on "Personal Documents and Access to Fundamental Rights", Igalo, Montenegro, September 6-8, 2002) Meet the ERRC

- The Dark Side of the Moon István Fenyvesi Chronicle

- Chronicle Editor-in-chief: Dimitrina Petrova Executive editor: Claude Cahn Associate editor: Savelina Danova Russinova Guest editor: Tatjana Peric News co-ordinator: Tara Bedard Design and layout: István Fenyvesi


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