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

Serbian activists arrested for protecting evicted Roma family

25 October 2011

Human rights defenders peacefully attempted to prevent police evicting Mevljude Kurteshi and her six children from their apartment.

Romania to forcibly evict hundreds of Roma

26 August 2011

Hundreds of Roma people could be made homeless as Romanian authorities reportedly prepare to demolish their houses in the town of Baia Mare.

UK: Irish Travellers could face forced eviction

22 August 2011

A planned forced eviction would push up to 86 Irish Traveller families off land they own in Essex, UK, leaving them homeless.

Romania urged to provide accommodation for homeless families after eviction

22 December 2010

Amnesty International has urged the Romanian authorities to provide urgent housing assistance to several Roma families made homeless by a forced eviction last week.

Roma families in Belgrade forcibly evicted

8 October 2010

Amnesty International has urged the Belgrade authorities to stop forced evictions after Roma families, including 17 children and one pregnant woman, were evicted from their homes in the city.


Greece: Preparing for the Olympic games - evicting the Roma

11 July 2004

In this document Amnesty International expresses its concern that the Greek authorities, by evicting Roma from their settlement and failing to facilitate their move to alternative appropriate accommodation, are acting in violation of Article 1.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Greece: Olympic Games must not lead to a trade off of security for human rights

11 July 2004

Amnesty International is concerned about reports that refugees, migrants, asylum-seekers and the homeless are being rounded up and detained as the Greek government mounts the biggest security operation in the history of the Olympic Games.

Slovakia: Failed investigation into allegations of illegal sterilization of Romani women

26 November 2003

Amnesty International is concerned that allegations of illegal, including forced, sterilization of Romani women in Slovakia were not being investigated independently, thoroughly and impartially as required by international law. In October 2003 the official investigation was concluded, finding that no criminal offence had been committed. Amnesty International reiterates its concern that this investigation failed to meet international standards. Furthermore, Amnesty International is concerned about the Slovak government's refusal to accept responsibility for failing to ensure that no sterilizations could be performed without free and informed consent.

Slovak Republic: Death of a Romani man in custody - renewed calls for decisive government action

10 July 2001

The reported torture of three Romani men in police custody, one of whom died in suspicious circumstances, dramatically underlines the urgency of the situation facing the Romani community in Slovakia, Amnesty International said today in a letter to the Slovak government.

Greece: "Shut up, we'll take you barefoot": The alleged ill-treatment of Andreas Kalamiotis by police

30 June 2001

Amnesty International is concerned about allegations that members of the Roma community are being subjected to ill-treatment from the police forces on the grounds of their ethnic identity, and cites the example of Andreas Kalamiotis.

Greece: "It should never happen" Citizenship: Greek, Identity: Romani. The ill-treatment of Nikos Katsaris by police

1 December 1999

Amnesty International is concerned about allegations that members of the Roma community are being subjected to ill-treatment by police forces. This document examines the case of Nikos Katsaris, aged 23 who, along with three other family members, who was allegedly ill treated by police officers during a road identity check.

Hungary: Alleged ill-treatment of Roma in Hajdúhadház

3 June 1999

There is concern about a reported series of police ill-treatment incidents in Hajdúhadház. Most of the victims are believed to be of Romani background and there is further concern that their ill-treatment may have been racially motivated. One incident involved a juvenile, Attila Rezes, who was subsequently hospitalized with head injuries, and another incident was filmed by a local television crew. Amnesty International is calling for a prompt and impartial investigation into these incidents and for the authorities to ensure that victims of ill-treatment are not subject to further police harassment as a result of their complaints.

Slovak Republic: Reported ill-treatment of Roma by police officers

9 March 1999

There is concern at reports of police ill-treatment, including beating and unlawful arrest, of members of the Romani community in Hermanovce on 27 and 28 October 1999. Amnesty International is calling for a prompt and impartial investigation.

Greece: Alleged ill-treatment of Lazaros Bekos and Lefteris Kotropoulos by police officers

18 June 1998

This brief external document accompanies the WERAN Action 12/98 and summarizes the events around the case of alleged ill-treatment of two Roma juveniles by police officers.