Global Study on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide


Background to the Study

In its resolution 26/4 adopted on 14 July 2014, the Human Rights Council recognized that Roma have faced, for more than five centuries, widespread and enduring discrimination, rejection, social exclusion and marginalisation all over the world and in all areas of life. It expressed concern that Roma continue to be socially and economically marginalised, which undermines the respect of their human rights, propagate prejudice and impedes their full participation in society and the effective exercise of civic responsibilities. The resolutions also recognised that Anti-Gypsyism constitutes a major obstacle to the successful social inclusion of Roma and the full respect of their human rights.

Anti-Gypsyism has been defined by the Council of Europe as “a specific form of racism, an ideology founded on racial superiority, a form of dehumanization and institutional racism nurtured by historical discrimination, which is expressed, among others, by violence, hate speech, exploitation, stigmatization and the most blatant kind of discrimination”.

In this context, resolution 26/4 recognised the need to carry out a comprehensive study of the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism. In its operative paragraph number 3 invited the Special Rapporteur on minority issues to prepare the above-mentioned study with concrete recommendations in consultation with States, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations, regional arrangements, and relevant special procedures and treaty bodies, and to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session (June 2015 session).

Global Study on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide

The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism, was presented to the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur at its 29th Session, on 15 June 2015. The report provides an overview of the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, applying a minority rights-based approach to the protection and promotion of the rights of Roma, including the protection of their existence; the prevention of violence against Roma; the protection and promotion of Roma identity; the guarantee of the rights to non-discrimination and equality, including combating racism, anti-Gypsyism and structural discrimination; and the guarantee of the right of Roma to effective participation in public life, especially with regard to decisions affecting them. Drawing on the responses to her questionnaire, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues provides an overview of trends in State practice, highlighting positive developments as well as challenges.

Methodology for the study - Questionnaire

Drawing from States and National Human Rights Institutions' response to the questionnaires and adopting a consultative approach with numerous international and regional organisations, non-governmental, grassroots organisations and Roma rights experts, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of trends in State practice, highlighting positive developments as well as challenges in promoting and protecting the human rights of Roma worldwide.

In the report the Special Rapporteur addresses the situation of Roma globally through a minority rights lens, using the four pillars of minority rights:  (a) the protection of a minority’s existence, including combating violence against them and preventing genocide; (b) the protection and promotion of  the identity of minority groups and their right to enjoy their collective identity and to reject forced assimilation; (c) the guarantee of the rights to non-discrimination and equality, including the ending of structural or systemic discrimination and the promotion of affirmative action when required; and (d) the right to effective participation in public life and decisions that affect them.

Side Event - Combatting Discrimination as a Root Cause of Roma Marginalisation

During the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur held, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OSCE, a Side Event to complement her report on Roma . The event, which took place on 16 June 2015 from 11h00 - 13h00 in Room XXIII at the Palais de Nations, aimed to convene a constructive dialogue with Member States, international and regional organisations, UN specialised agencies and monitoring mechanisms, European Union institutions, Roma and pro-Roma civil society organisations, Roma experts and other relevant stakeholders on effective measures to combat anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma as a root cause of their marginalisation and exclusion in all spheres of life.

As part of the Side Event, the Special Rapporteur projected a visual exhibition, Romarising, which is a project by photographer Chad Evans Wyatt that curates images of Roma academics and professionals from around the world that confronts the often stereotypical images of Roma that are wide-spread.

Session
Symbol number
Title
Languages
HRC 29th session - 2015
A/HRC/29/24
Comprehensive study of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism
A C E F R S