Roma: Demanding equality and human rights

With a population of 10 to 12 million, the Roma are one of the largest and most disadvantaged minorities in Europe. Six million live in the EU.

Hundreds of thousands of Roma have been forced to live in informal settlements and camps, often without heating, water or sanitation; tens of thousands are forcibly evicted from their homes every year.

Thousands of Romani children are placed in segregated schools and receive a substandard education.

Roma are often denied access to jobs and quality health care. They are victims of racially motivated violence and are often left unprotected by the police and without access to justice.

This is not a coincidence. It is the result of widespread discrimination and racism that Roma face throughout Europe.

Governments across the region are failing to protect their rights.

Pushing governments and the EU to take decisive action

When it comes to the treatment of the Roma, EU governments are not just failing to respect binding international human rights standards, but also to enforce EU anti-discrimination law.

Amnesty International has been campaigning with Roma activists and organizations, to put pressure on the European Commission – the executive body of the European Union – to step in, where governments are failing, and put an end to the discrimination Roma face. Follow our work and stand up for equality and Roma rights!

 

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News and Updates

International Roma Day highlights discrimination against European Roma

5 April 2012

The Roma, numbering between 10 and 12 million people, are one of Europe’s largest and most disadvantaged minorities.

Albania: Temporary solutions are no solutions for evicted Roma families in Tirana

3 February 2012

Scores of Roma families in Tirana face imminent forced eviction or have already been forcibly evicted from their homes.

Italy needs to make things right for the Roma

29 November 2011

An illegal "Nomad Emergency" law in Italy has allowed authorities to unleash a wave of forced evictions, making hundreds of Roma families homeless in Milan.

Serbia must stop evicting Roma

25 November 2011

Serbian authorities must stop a long-term policy of forced evictions of Roma families and introduce legislation to ban the practice.

Italy: Decrees that discriminated against Roma are ruled unlawful

18 November 2011

The Italian Council of State has ruled to end the "Nomad Emergency", which has exposed Roma communities to serious human rights violations.

Reports

Slovenia: Amnesty International condemns forcible return of "erased" person to Germany

1 February 2007

Amnesty International condemns the forcible return to Germany, which took place on 1 February 2007, of Ali Berisha, an "erased" person, his wife Mahi, and their five children. In Germany they would be at risk of being removed to Kosovo. There, as members of Romani/Ashkali/Egyptiani communities, with the current uncertainty surrounding the final status of Kosovo and the recent increase in ethnic tension, they would be at risk of ethnically-motivated attacks.

False starts: The exclusion of Romani children from primary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia

16 November 2006

This report focuses on the lack of access to primary education in three countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia and Slovenia. Too often, Romani children in these countries do not attend school, or do so only intermittently, and fail to complete primary education. Some are segregated in "Roma only" groups or classes, where they are offered a reduced curriculum. Racist attitudes and prejudice are prevalent, even among some teachers and educators working with Romani children.

Slovenia: The 'erased' - Briefing to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

28 November 2005

This document details Amnesty International's concerns relating to the implementation of the ICESCR in Slovenia and focuses in particular on the human rights violations linked to the unresolved status of individuals removed from the Slovenian registry of permanent residents in 1992 (the so-called "erased"), including their lack of access to full reparation for the violation of their human rights to which the "erasure" led. At the end of this report the unedited version of the concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, issued on 25 November 2005, is attached as an appendix.

Slovenia: Fear of forcible return/fear for safety

11 November 2005

Ali Berisha (m), aged about 36, his wife Mahi (aged 36) and their four children, Dem (m), aged 8, Egzon (m), aged 6, Egzona (f), aged 4 and Haxhi (m), aged 3, all members of the Romani/Ashkali/Egyptiani (RAE) minority community, are at imminent risk of being forcibly removed from Slovenia to Germany, and from there to Kosovo, where they would be at risk of ethnically-motivated attack.

Greece: Out of the Spotlight: The rights of foreigners and minorities are still a grey area Summary

4 October 2005

Amnesty International's report, Out of the spotlight: The rights of foreigners and minorities are still a grey area,documents the failure of the Greek authorities to ensure that persons residing in Greece who are not members of the Greek majority group enjoy the human rights to which they are entitled, whether they be asylum-seekers, migrants or members of minorities. The report documents the mechanisms that contribute to this failure and makes a series of recommendations to remedy it.

Greece: Out of the spotlight: The rights of foreigners and minorities still a grey area

4 October 2005

This report considers that the ineffectiveness with which authorities have responded to migrants' needs has had a negative impact on the way in which 'foreigners' are perceived in Greece. For this reason, Amnesty International recommends that the reform of the current framework guiding the authorities' migration-related practice should be complemented by policies addressing the problems of discrimination, racism and xenophobia. This document looks at four areas of human rights violations: the legislative framework; detention and ill-treatment of migrants; violations of the ESC rights of the Roma; and, the invisibility of minorities.

Bulgaria and Romania: Amnesty International's Human Rights Concerns in the EU Accession Countries

30 September 2005

The present briefing paper focuses on Amnesty International's concerns in relation to specific areas of inadequate human rights protection in Bulgaria and Romania. The organization urges the European Union to continue to monitor the countries' adherence to universal human rights standards. In particular, Amnesty International is focusing on issues such as the treatment of persons with mental disabilities, discrimination against Roma communities, and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.

Greece: Albanian Roma targeted for evictions and attacks

30 June 2005

Roma have been evicted, their homes demolished by the Greek authorities and attacks against Romani communities have not been investigated in Patras, Western Greece. Roma who have migrated from Albania have been particularly targeted. Amnesty International is seeking assurances from the Greek authorities that no further evictions or demolitions will be carried out until the organization's concerns are resolved, and procedures to safeguard the human rights of Roma of Greek and other nationalities are put in place.

Greece: Olympics "clean-up" hits city's most vulnerable inhabitants

5 August 2004

Athens has worked hard to present visitors of the Olympic Games 2004, and the world's media, with its best face. People living in the city have been rewarded with new sports facilities, railways and road junctions after months of dusty work on buildings and roads. However, all this has come at a price in terms of human rights.