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LIVE: OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting addresses Roma today and tomorrow, watch online

1.10.2015 2:49 At 10 AM CET today the second week of the OSCE's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) comes to a close with two days devoted to Romani issues. The live webcast of the meeting is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cWS7cst3aUm and will be archived there.  full story

Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia

Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia: Hunger and fear are stronger than barbed-wire fences

23.9.2015 1:32 The following opinion piece by Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia, former Member of the European Parliament and current President of the Spanish Romani Union, was first distributed through the Roma Virtual Network on 17 September 2015 and is reprinted here with permission.
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Central European artists and politicians call for solidarity with migrants

18.9.2015 20:51 Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the Associated Press (AP) report that Czech film director Jiří Menzel and former Czech Prime Minister Petr Pithart are among hundreds of artists and politicians from Central Europe who have called on the citizens and representatives of their countries to demonstrate solidarity with asylum-seekers. The AFP reports that Central European citizens frequently are antagonistic and sometimes hostile towards migrants coming to Europe.  full story

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European Roma and Travellers Forum calls summer demolitions of Romani dwellings "unprecedented"

3.9.2015 22:03 The European Roma and Travellers Forum has released a statement called "Evictions Unlimited" on what it calls an "unprecedented upsurge" in the demolition of Romani housing and eviction of Romani people both in EU Member States and in countries such as Albania. Whether the demolitions and evictions have involved the use of force or not, the ERTF says they have all been "marked by the policy of rejection".  full story

Czech Constitutional Court says verdict in housing discrimination lawsuit must be reviewed

29.8.2015 2:30 The Czech Constitutional Court instructed the High Court in Prague on 14 August to review a lawsuit filed by a Romani couple against the town of Kladno and the Czech state over alleged discrimination in the allocation of housing. Originally the Regional Court in Prague awarded the plaintiffs an apology and CZK 40 000 (EUR 1500 ) from Kladno, especially because the property owner had never addressed the poor state of the couple's apartment.  full story

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French authorities complete razing of Romani camp near Paris, not everyone rehoused

29.8.2015 1:08 Yesterday French authorities razed one of the largest Romani camps on the outskirts of Paris and police forced between 200 - 300 people to evacuate the site. The Associated Press reports that the local authority of the municipality of La Courneuve promised to provide substitute accommodation for the displaced, but only a few individuals received it, namely, mothers with children and persons with illnesses.  full story

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France: Roma immigrants evicted, travelling community kept from halting

24.8.2015 21:22 British newspaper The Independent reported on 16 August that a shantytown known as Samaritain in La Courneuve suburb north of Paris was slated for demolition "within days". The 80 families living there, most of them Romani, were not scheduled for rehousing by the local council  full story

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Ethnic, religious, sexual minorities now suffering more discrimination in occupied Crimea and Donbas

23.8.2015 20:55 The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency reports that human rights activists have issued a report entitled "In the Crosscurrents: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Ukraine" that finds discrimination has significantly increased against minorities in occupied Crimea and Donbas. Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Trust, presented the report at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.  full story

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Helsinki Agreement marks 40th anniversary

17.8.2015 0:01 Rudolf V. Perina, the U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia, has released an opinion piece that was reprinted by the Slovak daily Hospodarske Noviny on 29 July to mark the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which concluded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, a process that resulted in the creation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The piece explains how Helsinki became the basis for international criticism of various countries' human rights records.  full story

Azerbaijan: Lengthy sentences sought for human rights defenders accused of fraud

13.8.2015 3:34 The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OPHRD) has reported that a fourth hearing has been held in the Azeri Government's case against Leyla Yunus, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) and her husband Arif Yunusov, who also works for the IPD. On 6 August the court was asked to sentence Yunus to 11 years in jail and Yunusov to nine years on charges of fraud  full story

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France: Human rights organizations protest forced evictions of Romani people

6.8.2015 23:35 The European Roma Rights Centre and the Ligue des droits de l'Homme (LDH), a French human rights organization, issued the finding last month that up to 4 000 forced evictions of Romani people have taken place in France during the first half of 2015. The organizations say the confiscation of the Romani people's property during these incidents is even worse for them than the displacement is.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner: Time to cure amnesia about the history of Roma in Europe

30.7.2015 20:03 Nils Muižnieks, the Human Rights Commissioner at the Council of Europe, has written in advance of the 2 August commemorations of the 1944 murder of Romani people at Auschwitz that Europe's amnesia about the history of the Roma needs to be cured. Referencing the historical events at Auschwitz in particular, he writes: "Knowledge about both the Roma uprising and the liquidation of the 'Gypsy camp' remains limited in European societies today."  full story

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Croatia: 500 stateless persons are mostly Roma

9.7.2015 4:12 News server dalje.com reports that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are approximately 500 stateless persons in Croatia and twice as many at risk of statelessness. They have no citizenship or personal identification and are therefore unable to exercise their rights, find jobs, get married or apply for health insurance.  full story

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Canada accused of racially profiling Roma travellers from Hungary at European airport

9.7.2015 0:28 In an echo of the approach taken by the UK toward Romani air passengers from the Czech Republic in 2001, Romani citizens of Hungary say Canadian border officials are stopping them in Europe from boarding flights to Canada, according to thestar.com. Romani author Eva Kalla (age 60), a citizen of Hungary, was stopped at the airport in Vienna and referred to a Canadian border official who refused to let her fly to Toronto - even though EU citizens need no visas to do so.  full story

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Bulgarian NGO to sue over ongoing forced demolition of Romani homes in Garmen

8.7.2015 20:49 News server novinite.com reports that the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) has issued a press release stating its objections to the ongoing forced demolition of buildings in the "Kremikovtsi" Romani quarter of the village of Garmen. The 29 June demolition rendered four families with a total of 15 children homeless and more demolitions are scheduled for 13 July, according to the Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance, which also reports that 124 of the quarter's 134 houses are slated for demolition.  full story

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European Roma and Travellers Forum: Anti-Gypsyism afoot in Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere

7.7.2015 20:52 The European Roma and Travellers Forum has issued the following press release:  full story

Macedonia: Local council votes to dislocate Roma from settlement

27.6.2015 2:24 The website utrinski.mk reported on 12 June that the Kavadarci local council has voted to provide container housing to the inhabitants of a Romani settlement who have permanent residency in the town while requiring the rest to "return to their place of origin". The settlement, called the "Teneke maalo", is said to have been inhabited illegally.  full story

Rita Izsák, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues (PHOTO: Violaine Martin, Flickr)

UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues: The so-called “Roma issue” is not merely a poverty question

25.6.2015 20:23 All Independent Experts of the UN are required by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to present annual reports on their work during one of the HRC's regular sessions in Geneva. Based on an HRC resolution adopted in 2014, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Dr Rita Izsák, was invited to present an additional study on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism.  full story

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EU and UN criticize Hungary for local treatment of Roma and border fence plans

22.6.2015 23:40 On 16 June, politics.hu reported that EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said the Miskolc council's recent moves with respect to the housing of Romani people contravene both the EU's Roma Integration Framework Strategy and Hungary's own Roma Strategy. The Commissioner made the statement in response to a written question submitted by MEP Péter Niedermüller (Democratic Coalition) in March.  full story

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UN side event on discrimination as a root cause of Romani marginalization

15.6.2015 20:03 Tomorrow, 16 June, a side event to the UN Human Rights Council session will further discuss the findings and recommendations of the recent study released by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues on the human rights situation of Roma. The report was officially presented on 15 June.  full story

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