ERRC Research Officer Stanislav Daniel on State Response to Violence Against Roma

19 May 2011

ERRC Research Officer Stanislav Daniel on State Response to Violence Against Roma


Since 2008, we in the European Roma Rights Centre have received reports about a shocking number of attacks against Roma. Nine Romani adults and two Romani children died in these attacks as a result of shooting and Molotov cocktails. Many other Romani individuals and families were attacked, even in the safety of their own homes.

Many issues are unclear when it comes to data about anti-Roma violence, because governments do not collect data and because Roma often do not report attacks against them.

The European Roma Rights Centre recently published a report highlighting the state response to 44 selected cases of anti-Roma violence in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The findings are alarming: Courts convicted perpetrators in only 20% of the cases, while police suspended investigations without identifying suspects in 27% of the cases. Courts confirmed racial motivation in only 3 of the 44 cases.

How do we motivate Roma to report their cases when they still meet their attackers in the streets? Add to that the atmosphere created by anti-Roma demonstrations and marches of neo-Nazi and paramilitary groups ongoing around Europe.

Violence and hate speech against Roma have become tolerated in Europe and extremists are ruling the streets. Let’s act now before they rule the governments. We will continue to hold governments accountable by publicizing information on the state response to anti-Roma violence while all Europeans can stand side by side with their Romani neighbors against extremist demonstrations and marches.



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