Call for action to promote human rights of Roma

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A Romani settlement in Schinoasa, Moldova. Photo: OHCHR/Claude Cahn (file)

Governments around the world have been urged to take action to protect the rights of the Roma people and combat stereotypes of them.

The call came from the UN independent expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák, on International Roma Day observed on 8 April each year.

She says that strong and tangible political commitment is needed to fight anti-Roma bias and combat the deeply embedded social and structural discrimination against them.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.  

The Roma mainly found in Europe and the Americas are an itinerant ethnic minority.

Sometimes,"Gypsy" which is considered a controversial term, is used to refer to the Roma.

The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues has identified what she calls "anti-Gypsyism" as a root cause of Roma marginalisation.

She calls on governments to look at Roma as people whose human rights, including minority rights, must be at the centre of all State policies.

Rita Izsák says she is alarmed about the lack of Roma representation in local, national and international decision-making bodies, especially institutions explicitly established to protect and promote their rights.

She is preparing a "Comprehensive study of the human rights of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism" which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June this year.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 0’56″

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