MINELRES: OSCE SPMU - ODIHR book: Police and Roma and Sinti: Good Practices

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed May 5 17:56:01 2010


Original sender: Dan Doghi <dan.doghi@odihr.pl>


Police and Roma and Sinti: Good Practices in Building Trust and
Understanding

Date: 29 April 2010 
Type: Book

The relation between the police and Roma and Sinti communities is
crucial in many ways. Roma and Sinti are often targets of racially
motivated discrimination and violence. They need to be able to fully
rely on the police for protection against - and the full investigation
of - hate-motivated crimes. At the same time, the police face the
challenge of effectively policing Roma and Sinti communities that often
view such efforts with suspicion and mistrust, fed by a long history of
abuse and discrimination at the hands of various state authorities.

In the 2003 OSCE Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and
Sinti within the OSCE Area, participating States recognized the
importance of good relations between the police and Roma and Sinti
communities for the overall goal of combating discrimination and racial
violence, and for ensuring that Roma and Sinti people are able to play a
full and equal part in society. Participating States committed
themselves to a number of measures aimed at closing the gap between
international standards on police and existing national practices.

Seven years after the adoption of the Action Plan, a number of
initiatives of good practice have been developed regarding policing and
Roma and Sinti. At the same time, much remains to be done to fully
implement the commitments contained in the Action Plan. Sadly, cases of
police misconduct and tensions between law enforcement agencies and Roma
and Sinti communities continue to be widely reported from many
participating States. This publication aims to assist participating
States in implementing their commitments under the Action Plan by
identifying principles and good practices that can be used in efforts to
improve relations between the police and Roma and Sinti communities.

http://www.osce.org/odihr/item_11_43671.html 

Summary

Roma and Sinti communities live throughout the OSCE region and
constitute the biggest ethnic minority in Europe. Despite their rich
cultural,
linguistic and historical diversity, a large number of these Roma and
Sinti groups share a common problem: they are subject to sometimes
overwhelming discrimination and marginalization in many spheres of
public life, such as access to public services, housing, health care,
education and employment. Roma and Sinti also are vulnerable to racially
motivated violence, which sometimes results in severe injuries and even
death.

Challenges faced by Roma and Sinti in their relations with the police
range from ethnic profiling, disproportionate or excessive use of force
by police against Roma to failure by the police to respond effectively
to Roma victims of crime and racist violence. Furthermore, Roma and
Sinti often face a lack of means and knowledge to challenge and obtain
redress for police misconduct.

Although many participating States have developed their own
anti-discrimination and integration policies with regard to Roma and
Sinti communities, they are rarely implemented in practice and,
moreover, often neglect the policing aspect or fall short of identifying
the policing issues specific to Roma and Sinti.

The publication will be structured along major issues that are relevant
for improving relations between the police and Roma and Sinti:
assessment of policing policy and practice relating to Roma and Sinti; 
development of legislation, policies, codes of ethics and conduct; and
standard operating procedures; 
human resource management; 
training and professional development; and 
engagement with Roma and Sinti communities: building partnerships and
conducting operations.

This publication aims to assist participating States in implementing
their commitments under the 2003 OSCE Action Plan on Improving the
Situation of Roma and Sinti within the OSCE Area by identifying
principles and good practices that can be used in efforts to improve
relations between the police and Roma and Sinti
communities.

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