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Amnesty asks for Justice – Europe’s failure to protect Roma from racist violence

Amnesty_Roma_Report_BildAmnesty International publishes a new report “We ask for justice: Europe’s failure to protect Roma from Racist Violence”. On International Roma Day, Amnesty blames the EU and its member states for failing to respond to discriminations and racist violence against Roma communities. The International Roma Day celebrates Romani culture and wants to raise awareness of discrimination faced by Europe’s largest ethnic minority.

APRIL 8, 2014 ǀ Amnesty International

Amnesty asks for Justice – Europe’s failure to protect Roma from racist violence

Full report is available at: (also available in French, Greek and Czech)

Around ten to twelve million Roma are living in Europe, facing increasing risks of racist assaults, violence and discriminations like in the form of e.g. poor living conditions without having access to basic services like water and sanitation. “There has been a marked rise in the frequency of anti-Roma violence in Europe in the last few years. The response to this alarming phenomenon has been woefully inadequate. It is unacceptable that in modern-day Europe some Roma communities live under the constant threat of violence and pogrom-like attacks,” says John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty.

In this context Amnesty International publishes its report “We ask for justice: Europe’s failure to protect Roma from Racist Violence”. On the occasion of International Roma Day Amnesty demonstrates perpetrations against Roma by looking at cases in the Czech Republic, France and Greece.

Amnesty’s report follows another recent event on the problems Roma are facing today. April 2-4, 2014 the third Roma Summit was held in Brussels. Around 500 representatives of EU and its member states and civil society organizations talked about inclusion of Roma in the European Union’s member countries and the implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies adopted in April 2011. The framework is intended to better include Roma by improving their access to healthcare or jobs. The summit, however, stated there still was widespread discrimination.

In line with this, Amnesty emphasizes violence against Roma. According to the report, the EU and its member states fail to respond adequately to anti-Roma sentiments and to ensure their human rights.  Quite the contrary, Amnesty states, some European authorities brand Roma as being badly integrated, self-marginalized and prone to being criminal. Roma are widely considered responsible for their poverty and living situation themselves. Thus, politicians and officials are contributing to a social and political environment regarding Roma as a problem and attributing racist prejudices.

No wonder, Roma more and more feel afraid and abandoned because of increasing racist violence, police investigations and harassment and discrimination through anti-Roma protest as well as missing protection through law and by government authorities of the EU and its members.

Amnesty calls on the EU and its members to increase investigations in any human rights violation and discrimination against Roma and the motives behind it, and to clarify that this is not to be tolerated under any circumstances. Amongst other things the domestic legislation had to be adjusted and data about violence against Roma to be collected and published.


More on the EU summit and its outcomes:

More on the situation of Roma in Europe:


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