The work of the Roma and Travellers1 Team contributes to promoting and protecting the rights of Roma and Travellers in Council of Europe member states and to fostering equal opportunities, diversity and social inclusion by fighting discrimination and anti-Gypsyism.
The Team supports member states’ governments in the design and implementation of laws, policies, programmes and measures so as to ensure that Council of Europe human rights standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit Roma and Travellers. Activities are based on strategic orientations agreed by the Committee of Ministers and set out in the Council of Europe Strategic Action Plan for Roma and Traveller Inclusion (2020‑2025) which focuses on the following priorities:
- combat anti-Gypsyism and discrimination and support real and effective equality;
- support democratic participation and promote public trust and accountability;
- support access to inclusive quality education and training.
Roma and Travellers suffering from discrimination on multiple grounds (intersectionality) are covered by the plan through a cross-cutting approach.
The implementation of the Action Plan is overseen by the intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (ADI-ROM).
Representatives of Roma and Traveller civil society are involved through regular Dialogue meetings with the Council of Europe.
The Team thus provides support to standard-setting, monitoring, and co-operation activities at various levels, including peer reviews and thematic exchanges of expertise at the ADI-ROM, and joint programmes with the European Union, such as INSCHOOL, JUSTROM, ROMACT, and ROMACTED.
To that end, the Team takes into account the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the findings of monitoring bodies such as the European Committee for Social Rights (ECSR), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the Advisory Committee for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) or the Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML).
The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the Council of Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and Ashkali); c) Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the populations designated under the administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies. The present is an explanatory footnote, not a definition of Roma and/or Travellers.