MINELRES: ERRC: Action on Segregation of Roma in Greek Schools

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Feb 16 18:38:38 2006

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

International NGOs Send Letter of Concern to Greek Education Minister

Budapest, Vienna 13 February 2006. On Friday, February 10, the European 
Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the International Helsinki Federation for 
Human Rights (IHF) sent a letter to Greek Minister of Education Marietta 
Yannakou, expressing concern about the placement of Romani pupils in 
segregated classes in Aspropyrgos on the outskirts of Athens, following
an initial refusal of enrolment and highly inadequate responses by Greek

The letter notes a range of actions undertaken by various agencies and
in particular by IHF member Greek Helsinki Monitor aiming to try to
secure enrolment in equal quality, integrated classes for Romani
children in the Psari settlement in Aspropyrgos. The letter observes
that authorities have been aware of the exclusion of Roma from schooling
and/or efforts at their segregation into separate, substandard schooling
arrangements, since at least 2002. Efforts at securing integrated
education for these children have not yet met with success, and indeed
have provoked a backlash by local non-Romani parents. The letter notes
that these issues are not confined solely to schools in Aspropyrgos, and
cites examples of school segregation of Roma in other parts of Greece.

The letter urges Minister Yannakou to take all measures available to her 
office to remedy, without delay, the situation in the primary schools at 
issue in Aspropyrgos, and indeed throughout the country.

The joint ERRC/IHF letter is copied to, among others, the Council of 
Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as to the Permanent 
Representative of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the Organization
for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The full text of the letter is available at: 

The European Roma Rights Centre 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 Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

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

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


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