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Human rights of Roma migrants in Europe

Strasbourg, 18/10/10 – What are the root causes of Roma migration in today's Europe? What are the human rights of Roma when they move from one country to another? What should receiving countries do to ensure that the human rights of Roma migrants are fully respected?

The study republished today by Commissioner Hammarberg and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, aims to shed light on these topical questions. It reviews the situation of Roma migrants in host states, in particular their access to key services such as education, employment, health and housing. It examines the ways in which shortcomings in these areas impact on the exercise by Roma of their freedom of movement.

The study reveals that a massive gap persists between law, standards and commitments to eliminate racial discrimination, on the one hand, and national policies concerning migration, on the other. It shows that there is a need to ensure that the benefits of European integration are enjoyed at all levels and without regard to ethnic origin.. In particular the urgent need to extend an effective ban on all forms of discrimination based on perceived race or ethnicity to matters involving border administration, immigration control and related decisions pertaining to non-citizens is highlighted.

Finally, the authors present a series of practical recommendations for the organisations concerned and the governments.

More documentation about the Commissioner's work on the human rights of Roma and Travellers is available on our thematic page.