MINELRES: Minority Rights Information System - MIRIS Newsletter

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Nov 3 10:15:03 2008


Original sender: Sergiu Constantin <Sergiu.Constantin@eurac.edu>


Dear colleagues and friends, 

The MIRIS newsletter contains some of the most relevant documents that
have been stored recently in the Minority Rights Information System
(MIRIS). At the moment, more than 4500 documents on national minorities,
from 35 European countries, are stored in MIRIS and can be easily
accessed on the website: http://www.eurac.edu/miris

The use of the database is free of charge. 

Any comments and suggestions from your side are very welcome! 

The MIRIS Team

___________________________________________________________________

DOMESTIC LEGISLATION/REGULATION

ALBANIA
Constitution's amendment - April 2008 - in English 

The Albanian Constitution was approved on 21 October 1998, amended for
the first time on 13 January 2007 and amended for the second time on 21
April 2008. The recent amendment has regarded especially the rules of
the electoral procedure to the Assembly. 

MONTENEGRO
Constitution - October 2007 - in English 

Montenegro's parliament has agreed on a constitution on 19 October 2007
with a two-thirds majority. Three ethnic-Albanian deputies and four
ethnic-Serbian parties opposed the draft that established Montenegro as
a state of citizens. Instead, the Serbian parties wanted it to be
defined as a state of nations, a wish that critics saw as an attempt to
lay the grounds for secession. The new constitution, promulgated on 22
October 2007, defines the country's state language as Montenegrin and
replaces the colors of the Yugoslav flag with an eagle on a red
backdrop. 

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Framework law on higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina - August
2007 - in English 

The Law on Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina sets the
organisation of higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
responsibility of competent authorities in this area, establishes bodies
for implementation of the Law and international commitments of Bosnia
and Herzegovina, and sets the methods of quality assurance in the area
of higher education. 

CZECH REPUBLIC
Government decree on 21 February 2007 which amends the Government Decree
no. 98/2002 which determines the conditions and way of providing grants
from the State Budget for the activities of members of national
minorities and the support of integration of members of the Roma
community, as amended by the Decree No. 262/2005 - February 2007 - in
Czech 

The Government decree on 21 February 2007 makes the conditions and way
of providing grants from the state budget for the activities of members
of national minorities and the support of integration of members of the
Roma community more restrictive in comparison with the Government Decree
No. 98/2002. The projects submitted by the members of national
minorities are being evaluated with respect to the principles of
effectiveness and efficiency with the emphasis on the needs of the
relevant national minority. 

ROMANIA
Law no. 489/2006 on the religious freedom and the general status of the
religious cults - January 2007 - in Romanian 

The Law no. 489/2006 seeks to establish a transparent system for the
recognition of religious denominations. To this purpose, the religious
communities need to have been functioning uninterruptedly for at least
12 years (from 1994 onwards) on the national territory and their members
should be Romanian citizens, representing at least 0.1 per cent of the
population of Romania. 

ROMANIA
Law No. 299/2007 on the support granted to the Romanians living abroad -
November 2007 - in Romanian 

The Law no. 299/2007 lists the rights granted to Romanians living
abroad. In order to avoid the discrimination by such a preferential
treatment, it mentions the objective and reasonable justification which
consists in the preservation, promotion and development of the cultural,
ethnic, linguistic and religious identity of persons of Romanian ethnic
origin and persons sharing a common Romanian cultural identity, residing
outside Romanian borders. 

ROMANIA
Law no. 35/2008 on the election of the Chamber of Deputies and the
Senate - March 2008 - in Romanian 

Law 35/2008 stipulates that legally established organisations of
citizens belonging to national minorities which fail to obtain in the
elections at least one seat in the Chamber of deputies or the Senate
shall have the right to one mandate in the Chamber of deputies, in
accordance with Art. 62 (2) of the Constitution, provided that their
share of the vote is at least 10% of the average number of validly cast
votes in the entire country necessary for the election of a deputy. The
minority organisations that are not represented already in parliament
are allowed to participate in the election if they fulfil certain
conditions
SLOVAKIA
Act no. 201/2007 which amends Act no. 308/1991 on freedom of religious
faith and on the position of churches and religious societies, as
amended by Act no. 394/2000 - March 2007 - in Slovak 

The Act no. 201/2007 amends the Act no. 308/1991 on freedom of religious
faith and on the position of churches and religious societies and it
abrogates the Act no. 192/1992 on registration of churches and religious
societies. It introduces the numerical threshold of 20,000 members
necessary for a registration of churches or religious societies. 

CASE-LAWS

CROATIA
Case of Orsus and others v. Croatia - July 2008 - in English 

The applicants' complaints concerned alleged degrading treatment, the
length of proceedings and their right to education and not to be
discriminated against, as well as their complaint about the lack of an
effective remedy in respect of these complaints, to the Croatian
Government. The European Court of Human Rights holds that there has been
a violation of Article 6 of the Convention as regards the complaint
about the length of proceedings before the Constitutional Court; there
has been no violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention
(right to education) taken alone or in conjunction with Article 14 of
the Convention (prohibition of discrimination). 

CZECH REPUBLIC
Case of Jesina v. the Czech Republic - December 2007 - in English 

The applicant complained that the Czech Constitutional Court had
declared his appeal inadmissible for failure to exhaust statutory
remedies in violation of Article 6 (1) of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (right to a fair
hearing by a tribunal). The European Court of Human Rights finds that
the particularly restrictive interpretation by the Czech Constitutional
Court of a procedural rule deprived the applicant of his right of access
to court. Consequently, there has been a violation of Article 6 (1) of
the Convention. 

Case of Druzstevni zalozna Pria and others v. the Czech Republic - July
2008 - in English 

The applicant credit union alleged a violation of Article 1 of Protocol
No. 1 (right to the peaceful enjoyment of possessions). The applicant
credit union complained that the decisions concerning its receivership
could not be contested before independent and impartial national
authorities with full jurisdiction to examine its case. It also
maintained that it had been deprived of access to a court while seeking
to challenge the decisions extending the receivership. In its decision
on admissibility adopted on 31 January 2006 the Court decided to examine
these complaints under Article 6 (1) of the Convention (right to a fair
and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal). The
European Court of Human Rights holds that there has been a violation of
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention in respect of the
applicant credit union and a violation of Article 6 (1) of the
Convention. 

GREECE
Case of Eleftheros Kosmos - September 2008 - in English 

The First Three-Member Court of Appeal of Athens condemned the newspaper
"Eleftheros Kosmos" publisher Dimitrios Zafeiropoulos and former
columnist Theodoros Hatzigogos for anti-Semitism. This condemnation is
the first such decision at the appeals level on the basis of anti-racism
Law 927/79 in nearly thirty years of the law's existence. 

MACEDONIA
Case of Dzeladinov and others v. the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia - July 2008 - in English and Macedonian 

The European Court of Human Rights holds that there has been no
violation of Article 3 of the Convention (prohibition of torture or
inhuman or degrading or punishment) on account of the alleged
ill-treatment. The Court holds that there has been a violation of
Article 3 of the Convention on account of the failure of the authorities
to conduct an effective investigation into the applicants’ allegations
of ill-treatment by the police. 

ROMANIA
Case of Stoica v. Romania- March 2008 - in English 

The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 3
(prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European
Convention on Human Rights concerning the ethnic Roma applicant's
allegation of ill-treatment by the police, a violation of Article 3 of
the Convention concerning the lack of an effective investigation, no
violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and a violation
of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with
Article 3. 

REPORTS

CZECH REPUBLIC
Report on the Situation of National Minorities in the Czech Republic in
2006 - June 2007 - in English and Czech 

This Report on the Situation of National Minorities in the Czech
Republic in 2006 offers, for the sixth year running, a general summary
of public administration measures adopted in relation to the members of
national minorities, and an overview of the activities of members of
national minorities in the last calendar year. 

MOLDOVA
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance: Third report on
Moldova - December 2007 - in English and Romanian 

Since the publication of ECRI's second report on Moldova on 15 April
2003, progress has been made in a number of the fields highlighted in
that report. However, a number of recommendations made in ECRI's second
report have not been implemented, or have only been partially
implemented. There is a problem of inadequate implementation of the
existing law in many fields which are of importance to combating racism
and racial discrimination. 

RUSSIA
Report on the Russian Federation concerning discrimination - July 2008 -
in English 

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
publishes the eighteenth and nineteenth reports of the Russian
Federation under Article 9 of the International Convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. 

SERBIA
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance: Report on Serbia -
December 2007 - in English and Serbian 

Serbia has taken a number of measures to combat racism and intolerance.
It is a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination and to Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention
on Human Rights which contains a general non-discrimination clause.
However, a number of measures remain to be taken. Although a bill on
discrimination has been drafted, Serbia has not yet enacted exhaustive
provisions against racial discrimination in the area of civil and
administrative law. 

SLOVAKIA
The Conception of the education of national minorities - December 2007 -
in Slovak 

The Conception of the education of national minorities has been proposed
with the aim of increasing the quality of current educational process in
the kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. The pupils should be
taught how to develop the communication skills in their mother tongue as
well as in the official state language. The educational system should
promote the advancement of intercultural competences - the acceptance of
ethnic, linguistic and religious differences. The Conception is closely
connected to the new Act no. 245/2008 on education. 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS DOCUMENTS

COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities: Second Opinion on Switzerland - February 2008 - in
English and French 

The protection of persons belonging to linguistic minorities in
Switzerland is highly developed due to the institutional arrangements
and the Federal system, which allow for an effective participation of
these persons at all levels. Major constitutional reforms in several
cantons and important new laws, both at the Federal and cantonal levels,
have been adopted in recent years. 

Recommendation 1845 (2008): The situation of national minorities in
Vojvodina and of the Romanian ethnic minority in Serbia - October 2008 -
in English 

The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 1632 (2008) on
the situation of national minorities in Vojvodina and of the Romanian
ethnic minority in Serbia, invites the Committee of Ministers to take
into account, during its regular monitoring, the recommendations made to
the Serbian authorities in the Resolution 1632 (2008). 

Resolution 1632 (2008): The situation of national minorities in
Vojvodina and of the Romanian ethnic minority in Serbia - October 2008 -
in English 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe encourages the
members of the Romanian and Vlach minorities in eastern Serbia to
combine their efforts and overcome their internal disagreements in their
own interest and in order to preserve the distinctive traits that make
up their identities. The Assembly invites the competent authorities of
the Republic of Serbia to pay greater attention to allegations of
interethnic violence in Serbia. 

ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE
The Bolzano Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State
Relations - October 2008 - in English 

The Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State
Relations build on international law and provide representatives of
States, national minorities and international organizations with advice
on how to address questions concerning national minorities that arise in
the context of inter-State relations in a way that protects and promotes
the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, prevents
conflict, maintains inter-ethnic harmony and strengthens relations
between States. 

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION DOCUMENT INFORMATION
Report: Discrimination in the EU (Eurobarometer) - July 2008 - in
English 

In anticipation of the "European Year of Equal Opportunities for All",
the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal
Opportunity Opportunities commissioned a survey about discrimination and
inequality in Europe, conducted in the summer of 2006. This current
report represents a follow-up to this survey, tracking how perceptions
and opinion in this field have changed in the intervening year. Several
new questions are also asked in the current survey, for example dealing
with the subject of multiple discrimination. 

BILATERAL TREATIES

CZECH REPUBLIC - CROATIA
Treaty between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government
of the Republic of Croatia on co-operation in culture, education and
research - June 2001 - in Czech 

The Republic of Croatia and the Czech Republic want to strengthen and to
develop the friendly relations between both countries and nations by the
co-operation in culture, education and research. Both governments have
committed themselves to foster direct relations between cultural,
educational and research institutions of both countries; especially the
multilateral programmes, projects and initiatives are desired. 

CZECH REPUBLIC - GERMANY
Treaty between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government
of the Federal Republic of Germany on co-operation in culture -
September 1999 - in Czech 

The Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic, aware of the
historical change in Europe, especially of the formation of the unified
German state and the formation of the Czech Republic, are convinced of
the importance of co-operation in culture with the aim to contribute to
the shared European cultural identity. 

MINORITY INFO
Muslims in the European Union
Study by the European Parliament: "Islam in the European Union: What's
at Stake in the Future?" - May 2007 - in English 

This report presents the current stakes concerning the Muslim presence
in Europe. It addresses four main areas: organizational processes
underway within Muslim communities; the questions of education and
leadership; the juridical profiles and political management of Muslims;
cohabitation as a decision to live together. Based on the findings of
the study, proposals are made. 

Roma in the Russian Federation
European Roma Rights Centre: Roma Rights in Russia - June 2008 - in
English 

The ERRC has been monitoring Roma rights in Russia since 2000, revealing
an alarming pattern of human rights abuse of Roma and other people
perceived as "Gypsies". Despite the rich ethnic diversity of a country
that is home to approximately 160 ethnic groups or nationalities, it is
important to single out Roma and assess their human rights situation,
because not all minority groups in Russia are the object of egregious
racist treatment and hate crime. 

Roma and Sinti in Italy
Report on the deterioration of the human rights situation of Roma and
Sinti in Italy launched by NGOs - July 2008 - in English 

In response to recent political and legal developments and the most
recent wave of racism and xenophobia against Roma in Italy, between 23
and 30 May 2008 a coalition of organisations including the Open Society
Institute, the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, the European Roma
Rights Centre (ERRC), Romani Criss and the Roma Civic Alliance in
Romania undertook first-hand human rights documentation in Italy. 

COUNTRY INFO

KOSOVO
Practice of Implementing the Law on the Use of Language in the Kosovo
Education Process - May 2007 - in English, Albanian and Serbian (all
languages in the same document) 

The Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Governance in Kosovo
Article 4.4. and The Law on the Use of Language Articles 19, 20, 21, 22,
23, and 24 guarantee the right of minorities in Kosovo to gain education
in their mother tongue as of preschool institutions, through elementary
and high schools, to universities. The HLC - Kosovo assessed that the
Law on the Use of Language is generally implemented in view of the
Turks, Bosniaks, Ashkalies, Egyptians, and a part of Goranies who attend
schools in Bosnian language. 

Kosovo Institutions Applying the Law on the Use of Languages - October
2007 - in English, Albanian and Serbian (all languages in the same
document) 

Article 4.4 of the Constitutional Framework for Self-Government in
Kosovo and the Law on the Use of Languages guarantee minority
communities the right to use their languages before public bodies, to
obtain documents in the language in which they submit the request, and
to receive information at least in languages that are official in
certain institutions. Kosovo institutions do not entirely respect the
Law on the Use of Languages. In general, the law is respected most in
the multiethnic municipalities. 

Application of Anti-discrimination Law and Law on the Use of Languages
in Kosovo Public Companies - December 2007 - in English 

Anti-discrimination Law Articles 1, 2 (a, b) and 4 (a, b, c, d)
guarantee equal treatment of ethnic minorities, ban direct or indirect
discrimination against any person on the basis of ethnicity and
guarantee equal employment opportunity in public institutions for all
persons. According to Articles 11.2, 11.3, 30.1, 30.2 and 30.3 of the
Law on the Use of Languages, minority communities are guaranteed the
right to communicate in their mother tongues in public companies. Also,
minorities have the right to receive all information, documents and
other services in any of the official languages or in the language which
has "the status of a language spoken in that specific municipality". 

Security Issues, Employment and Application of Law on the Use of
Languages and the Anti-discrimination Law in Kosovo - April 2008 - in
English 

According to the research conducted by the Humanitarian Law Center -
Kosovo, Turks, Bosniaks, Ashkalia and Egyptians have for the most part
integrated into society in Kosovo. However, there has not been any
visible progress in the integration of Serbian and Roma citizens. The
rights of minorities are still violated on daily basis. Kosovo
institutions have not undertaken all measures to prevent the violation
of basic human rights and to apply provisions of the Law on the Use of
Languages and the Anti-discrimination
Law.

---------------------------------------------
This message was sent using Endymion MailMan.
http://www.endymion.com/products/mailman/ http://www.microlink.com/