MINELRES: Fwd: OSCE ODIHR and HCNM joint statement on situation of Roma in Europe

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Apr 12 19:41:19 2010

Original sender: Roma Virtual Network <romale@zahav.net.il>

Press release

OSCE Rights Office, Minorities Commissioner call for greater efforts to
improve the situation of Roma

WARSAW/THE HAGUE, 8 April 2010 - The Director of the OSCE Office for
Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Ambassador Janez Lenarcic, and
Ambassador Knut Vollebaek, the OSCE High Commissioner on National
Minorities, called today on governments, intergovernmental organizations
and civil society to intensify work to improve the situation of Roma and
Sinti in Europe, and to prevent human rights violations.

In a joint statement issued on International Roma Day, the two OSCE
officials expressed their deep concern that only limited progress has
been made in eliminating the discrimination and social exclusion
suffered by Roma and Sinti communities.

"We are particularly concerned by instances of hate-motivated crime and
racist rhetoric targeting Roma in a number of states," they said in the
statement. "Manifestations of intolerance against Roma and Sinti not
only increase the exclusion and marginalization of these communities,
but also pose a threat to social cohesion and peaceful coexistence
within broader society."

The joint statement highlights that it is time to translate action plans
and commitments into concrete work by states to increase inclusion and
combat discrimination into concrete policies. High-level events such as
the Second European Summit on Roma Inclusion, organized today and
tomorrow in Cordoba by the Spanish EU Presidency, provide an opportunity
to emphasize the need for action, they said.

The statement also calls on governments to improve education, and early
education in particular, to help Roma and Sinti communities break out of
the vicious circle of poverty and exclusion they face.

"On this International Roma Day, we confirm our and our OSCE
institutions' commitment to assisting states in combating discrimination
and violence against Roma and Sinti and in meeting the challenges linked
to their sustainable integration," the statement said. 


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