MINELRES: ERRC: Action on Roma Women's Rights in Croatia

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Jan 22 10:30:03 2005

Original sender: European Roma Rights Center <errc@errc.org>

ERRC Brings Concerns Before UN Women's Rights Committee

Budapest, New York: 18 January 2005. The United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) begins review of
Croatia's  compliance with the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

In the run-up to today's review, the ERRC provided the Committee with a
report highlighting the most pressing concerns related to Romani women's
rights in Croatia and  recommending Government action to address the
discrimination and social  exclusion of Romani women in  Croatia.  ERRC
Women's Rights Officer Kerieva McCormick and Ms Brigita Bajric, a Romani
activist from Croatia and intern at the ERRC, attended the CEDAW session
and presented the ERRC's findings before the Committee.

The ERRC drew the attention of the Committee to the fact that Roma are a
burdened group in Croatia, facing the stigma of anti-Romani sentiment
and frequently suffering racially discriminatory treatment. Romani women
in Croatia find themselves in a situation of disproportionately lowered
access to rights protected under domestic and international law, and in
particular under the Convention.  The marginalisation of Romani women in
Croatia is an example of intersectional discrimination, on the basis
inter alia of gender and ethnicity.

Lack of citizenship and lack of political representation are among the
major factors determining the particular vulnerability of Romani women
to human rights violations. Discrimination in access to a range of
social and economic rights - most significantly education, employment
and health care - is experienced by many Romani women in Croatia - even
those who have managed to secure Croatian citizenship. Romani women are
often victims of violence and abuse by public officials, especially law
enforcement bodies. Domestic violence as well as other abusive practices
such as child marriage contribute to the social exclusion of Romani
women in Croatia.

The ERRC noted in its report that quality statistical data on Romani
women's access to education, employment, health and participation in
political and public life is for the most part lacking in Croatia. The
Croatian government has to date failed to make public adequate
statistical data on the human rights situation of Roma in Croatia, and
in particular on the situation of Romani women.

The ERRC called on the Committee to urge the Croatian Government to
undertake urgent measures to ensure that Romani women are not precluded
from accessing fundamental rights, on an equal footing with all other
women living in Croatia.  The full text of ERRC submission to the UN
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against women is
available on the Internet at  http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2124

The European Roma Rights Center is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Center, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Center
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax:   +36 1 4132201



The European Roma Rights Center is dependent upon the generosity of
individual donors for its continued existence. If you believe the ERRC
performs a service valuable to the public, please join in enabling its
future with a contribution. Gifts of all sizes are welcome; bank
transfers are preferred. Please send your contribution to:

European Roma Rights Center
Budapest Bank Rt.
1054 Budapest
Bathory utca 1

For correspondence, to subscribe and unsubscribe from this list, please
use office@errc.org.