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Rights group urges Slovenia to protect Roma migrant communities

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday released a report [report, PDF; press release] documenting discrimination and human rights violations against Roma migrants [JURIST news archive] in Slovenia and urging the Slovenian government to protect Roma communities. The report reveals that Roma communities are being denied access to housing, water and sanitation. Much of the Roma population is living in overcrowded shacks without access to adequate health care services, schools, shops and employment. According to the report, the Slovenian government is not taking action to prevent discrimination against the Roma or ensure remedies for victims. AI alleges that Slovenia is violating its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Revised European Social Charter [texts]. AI contends that the Slovenian government has failed to provide basic human rights to the Roma, stating:

Under international human rights law, Slovenia is obliged to address discrimination, to end segregation, to ensure at least a minimum security of tenure to all persons who lack it, to provide adequate housing for all persons without discrimination, to prioritise the most disadvantaged groups in housing policies and programmes, and to guarantee access to at least the minimum essential levels of water and sanitation for all persons. Slovenia has failed to comply with these obligations and confer security of tenure to people living in informal settlements and to provide access to water and sanitation to all persons, including those living in informal settlements.
AI urges Slovenian authorities to address discrimination against Roma from private and public actors, implement programs to monitor discrimination, provide remedies for the victims and ensure that all Roma settlements have access to basic resources.

The Roma population has faced discrimination [JURIST comment] in various European countries. In November, a complaint [text, PDF] filed with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe [official website] by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the European Roma Rights Centre and the Greek Helsinki Monitor [advocacy websites] alleged that the Czech Republic continued to discriminate [JURIST report] against Roma school children. The groups alleged that the Czech government failed to implement a November 2007 European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] decision [text; JURIST report], which determined that the Czech Republic indirectly discriminated against Roma children. In October, the League of Human Rights (LDH) [advocacy website, in French] accused French authorities of improperly collecting DNA samples [JURIST report] from Roma migrants. French police may collect samples of genetic material from indicted individuals, though the organization contended that police have subjected the Roma to such procedures without being either arrested or charged. In September, AI urged EU members to stop forcibly deporting Roma migrants to Kosovo [JURIST report]. AI believed that Roma, as well as other ethnic minority groups, could face persecution or violence upon their return.

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