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There are approximately 10 million
Roma living in Europe. They are present in almost all
Council of Europe member states and indeed, in some Central
and Eastern European countries, they represent over 5 % of
Although Roma have made an important contribution to the European cultural heritage, they remain one of the most marginalised groups across Europe. They are Europe's largest minority and often stateless.
Roma face many different problems - difficulties in accessing education and finding jobs, discrimination in health care and housing, intolerance and even violence.
The Council of Europe believes that Roma are European citizens and therefore their citizenship and human rights must be recognised. It is a host organisation of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and it also runs the Dosta Campaign which promotes the fight against stereotypes and prejudices towards Roma.
At a High Level meeting organised in Strasbourg on 20 October 2010, representatives of the 47 Council of Europe countries, the EU and the Roma community gathering unanimously condemned widespread discrimination against Roma and their social and economic marginalisation.
The project to train Roma mediators has begun in March 2011, signalling a period of innovation in work for the Roma at international level.