Hungarian authorities and OSCE cooperate to combat hate crimes against Roma
According to the Financial, Mr Lenarcic ,who is Director of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said that Hungary had done much to promote the integration of the Roma. The statement was made at a meeting on recommendations made in an ODIHR report on the situation of Hungarian Roma published earlier in the year.
OSCE said that the ambassador emphasised that: " a series of killings of Roma in 2008 and 2009, which prompted the ODIHR report, showed the importance of intensifying efforts to counter any incitement to violence and to unequivocally condemn all forms of violence against Roma at the highest political level ".
He further noted that: "Hungary is by no means the only country in Europe that faces the challenge of integrating Roma into mainstream society. But with its experience in addressing this challenge, Hungary is uniquely placed to redouble its efforts and lead the way by example".
Mr Lenarcic offered OIDHR support to Hungarian authorities in combatting violence against Roma and developing a training programme to identify and investigate hate crimes. Other areas of cooperation could include activities to strengthen trust between Roma and the police.
In an action plan adopted in 2003, all OSCE members committed themselves to improving the situation of Roma and Sinti minorities, including by combatting violence and discrimination.
The OIDHR report is based on findings of a field visit conducted following the killings in 2008 and 2009. It includes recommendations on how to move ahead with fighting violence and improve integration.