“Tens of thousands of Roma live in Europe without a nationality. Lacking birth certificates, identity cards, passports and other documents, they are often denied basic rights such as education or health care” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg.
“This problem exists in many countries in Europe, but it is particularly acute in the Western Balkans where restrictive citizenship rules have been adopted. In Slovenia, thousands of people, a considerable number of them Roma, were erased from the registry of permanent residents in 1992, while in Serbia and Croatia, Roma who seek regularization often face complicated administrative procedures and excessive fees.” Furthermore, conflicts worsened the situation. “Many Roma from Kosovo were forced to flee for their lives, and documents were lost, destroyed or displaced. With lower levels of education and a problem of missing papers it was all the more difficult for many of them to acquire the documents necessary for life and rights in hosting countries.” States should also refrain from policies that worsen the situation. “
The right to a nationality is a basic human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It amounts to a ‘right to have rights’ and must be enforced – for everyone - with much more energy and determination than has been the case so far.” Even with papers, France expelled nearly 100 Rroma, to their native Romania.
What can be done to solve the situation?
New: The European Parliament urged France and other EU states to immediately suspend the expulsion of gypsies / A EU strategy is called for.
1. inclusion in decision making process at gross-root/community level 2. encourage them to organize themselves as community groups and NGOs 3. create awareness about their rights and duties through informal education 4. create awareness among them regarding government actions /programs for their wellfare 5. need to educate mainstream population regarding their attitude towards Roma people
Fields marked with * are mandatory.
This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of SMART Development Center and can in no way reflect the views of the European Union.