Roma and Travelers Rights

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Hungary upholds Romani women’s right to equality in health institutions

In February 2016, a Romani woman gave birth a public hospital in Miskolc, north-eastern Hungary. During labour she cried out with pain and the midwife yelled at her “if you shout once more I will push the pillow into your face”. When the woman apologised, the doctor said to her “if you had shouted once more I would have called the psychiatrist to take away child away and then you wouldn’t receive Child Benefit, because anyway, you gypsies give birth only for the money!”

The Committee analyzed three issues regarding the right of Roma to housing in Portugal: the “precarious and difficult housing conditions for a large part of the Roma community”; “the high number of Roma families that live in segregated settings”; and “the inadequacy of re-housing programmes for the Roma community in terms of their family composition, cultural habits and ways of life”.

FEANTSA alleged that France was in violation of Article 31 of the Revised European Social Charter (RESC) due to its failure to ensure an effective right to housing for its residents in a range of different contexts.

Sally Chapman purchased a piece of land in 1985 with the intention of living on it in a caravan. She was refused permission to live on the land by the District Council and was given 15 months to vacate it. She claimed her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated, including Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 14 (violation of prohibition of discrimination).

 The case concerned a resolution adopted by the Dobšiná municipal council, under pressure from right‑wing anti‑Roma groups, to cancel a previous resolution in which the council had approved a plan to construct low‑cost social housing for Roma inhabitants living in very poor conditions. The petitioners contended, amongst other things, that the State party had failed to safeguard their right to adequate housing, thereby violating Article 5(e)(iii) of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  

This collective complaint, made by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), alleged that Roma in Greece were denied an effective right to housing.

The Committee held that the implementation of Article 16 with regard to nomadic groups, including itinerant Roma, implies that adequate stopping places should be provided. The Committee stated that, in this respect, Article 16 contains similar obligations to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.