A Council of Europe conference in Odessa (Ukraine) from 24-25 June brings together representatives from police forces of Moldova, Slovakia and Ukraine to discuss hate crimes against Roma people in the three countries and how to better prevent such crimes. The two-day meeting will be held in the premises of Odessa State University of Internal Affairs.
The Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has reported that “Roma appear to be the most frequent victims of racist violence” in Ukraine.
While the Ukrainian authorities have addressed the problem on some occasions, perpetrators of numerous attacks against Roma have enjoyed near impunity, according to NGOs working in the field. Between 21 April and 15 July 2018 several brutal attacks against Ukrainian Roma communities or Roma individuals took place.
Regarding the Republic of Moldova, ECRI recently concluded that the country risks facing an increase in hate speech and hate crime against Roma and other vulnerable groups. In the Slovak Republic, ECRI highlights that police ill-treatment and abusive behaviour towards Roma have been reported by civil society and international organisations.