European Roma Rights Centre reports on human rights violations against Romani people during the pandemic this spring
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) released a report on 9 September about the human rights violations that were committed against Romani people in 12 European countries during the spring wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, entitled "Roma Rights in the Time of COVID", demonstrates the degeree to which Romani people were affected by discrimination and institutional racism during the first half of 2020.
"From February to June 2020, when the attention of the world was focused on the COVID-19 illness, Romani people were being attacked and harassed by racist police officers, were being forcibly evicted, scapegoated by ultra-right political parties and denied access to health care," the ERRC says in the report, which describes the situation in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Moldavia, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. The report describes in detail how Romani children were denied access to education, how the quarantining of Romani people was undertaken in some countries, and how some media outlets used deceptive, exaggerated allegations that led to the demonization of Romani communities.
"This happens when they believe nobody is watching them," ERRC president Đorđe Jovanović said. "Generally speaking, it is the case that if a chaotic situation arises such as the one we are now in, those in power demonstrate how they actually want to behave toward miniorities and those who are different, which means showing them no mercy. The lack of empathy and solidarity with Romani people that we have seen during this time is very disturbing."
The report also contains recommendations both to the European Commission and to individual states on how to address the questions of systemic discrimination that affect Romani people. The ERRC has called on international bodies to make sure emergency measures do not become routine during the pandemic.
The report also counts on local authorities developing plans for renewal once the pandemic is over that will be inclusive and that will take into consideration the dignity and rights of Romani people and all other minorities throughout Europe. While the report offers a summary of the human rights violations committed during the pandemic, the ERRC believes such information must be viewed against the background of the all but absolute economic and social exclusion to which Romani people are customarily subjected.
- European Roma Rights Centre gives legal aid to victims alleging Slovak police brutality
- ERRC Condemns Collective Punishment of Roma in Europe
- Dom refugees from Syria tell ERRC "We just want to live"
- ERRC suing Czech Republic over discrimination of Romani children
- ERRC against testing pupils as it could intensify Romani segregation
- ERRC and Amnesty International call on Czech Govt to eliminate violence against Romani people
- ERRC Highlights Romani Children’s Rights Issues before UN Treaty Bodies
- ERRC: Romania Continues to Flout European Court of Human Rights
- AI and ERRC call for protection of the Roma in Nový Bydžov from neo-Nazis
- ERRC criticizes Czech Republic for ongoing segregation of Roma pupils
- ERRC Opposes Ethnic Boarding Schools in Slovakia
- ERRC presented the prestigious Silver Rose Award
- The European Roma Rights Centre Calls on the EU to Reaffirm Human Rights Standards in Policies on Roma
- ERRC Calls Italian Government to Stop Anti-Romani Pogroms
- ERRC Welcomes CESCR Concluding Observations on Ukraine
- ERRC Condemns Anti-Romani Actions in Russia
- Czech MP publishes collage comparing vaccinations against COVID-19 to the Holocaust and using imagery of the gate at Auschwitz
- COMMENTARY: Romale, Bill Gates does not want to track you, vaccinations against COVID-19 will not kill you and do not involve microchips
- Czech churches condemn those wearing yellow Stars of David at anti-vaxxer events, call on them to apologize
- Czech Federation of Jewish Communities: Yellow Star of David at Prague demonstration is textbook abuse and relativization of a Holocaust symbol
- Czech capital sees demonstration in support of Trump and against COVID-19 pandemic suppression measures by the same extremists who march against the Roma
- Czech Pirates criticize Govt report on education of Romani children for not reflecting COVID-19 impact and lack of access to distance learning
- MEP Peter Pollák, a Romani community member from Slovakia, posts footage of his vaccination against COVID-19 to combat conspiracy theories influencing the community
- The other Czech pandemic: Disinformation about anti-COVID vaccination. Romea.cz refutes the most frequent hoaxes and manipulations
- Slovak quarantine measures in Romani settlement are over, police and soldiers no longer on guard there
- Fundraiser underway in Czech Republic for Romani taxi driver who was one of the country's first serious COVID-19 patients
- Slovakia closes Romani settlement because of COVID-19, police and soldiers deployed
- COVID-19 virus mutation means Czech Republic introducing quarantine for arrivals from Britain, flights stop today at noon