MINELRES: ERRC submission to UN CRC on Hungary

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Sep 13 18:25:33 2005

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

European Roma Rights Centre Submits Written Comments to UN Body
Reviewing Hungary's Compliance with International Law on the Rights of
the Child

Budapest, 13 September 2005.    
Today, the European Roma Right Centre submitted a shadow report to the
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) concerning
Romani children's rights issues in Hungary. The CRC will formally review
Hungary's compliance with the International Convention on the Rights of
the Child in January 2006. Prior to that, in October 2005, a
pre-sessional working group of the Committee will meet to assess
preliminary issues and main areas of focus with respect to Hungary. The
ERRC's comments are intended to provide information on the situation of
Romani children in Hungary, to supplement the Hungarian government's
report to the Committee.

The ERRC comments focus on the following issues:

Anti-discrimination law: Hungary adopted a comprehensive
anti-discrimination law in December 2003. The ERRC shadow report
addresses areas of concern with respect to the scope of the law, as well
as its 

Ethnic statistical data: The ERRC submission also addresses issues
related to the lack of adequate statistical data on the situation of
Roma  including Romani children  in Hungary.

Child protection: In its discussion of issues related to the best
interests of Romani children in Hungary, the ERRC describes the worrying
phenomenon of high rates of removal of children from Romani families.
The shadow report also notes problematic features of the child
protection system in Hungary. The ERRC notes imprecision in the
definition of key terms operative in the child protection system, as
well as the influence of arbitrary criteria in decisions to remove
Romani children from families. The ERRC also calls the attention of the
Committee to reports of racial discrimination in adoption and related

Racial segregation in schools: The ERRC submission notes very high rates
of racial segregation in schooling. The ERRC also provides the Committee
with statistical data on rates of advancement to secondary education by
Romani children, noting differences in rates of advancement between
children coming from schools with greater or lesser percentages of
Romani children.

In addition, the ERRC notes a number of areas of concern in which
problematic policies and practices in Hungary with respect to Roma
generally have pernicious effects on Romani children. These include:

Health care: According to some studies, approximately 17% of the total
Romani population in Hungary lives in settlements where there is no
general practitioner. The ERRC shadow report also presents data about
discrimination experienced in hospitals and other health care
institutions or by general practicioners, as well as worrying statistics
concerning the refusal of provision of ambulance service.

Housing: Forced evictions, racial segregation and refusal to allocate
social housing for Roma are practices that dramatically worsen the
housing situation of Roma, as well as hindering the ability of Roma to
realize a range of other fundamental human rights. In its shadow report
to the Committee, the ERRC notes concrete cases concerning the above
phenomena, as well as surveys concluding that many Romani settlements in
Hungary are manifestly inadequate for living. According to the World
Bank, 54.9% of Romani households in Hungary do not have access to hot
running water, 34.7% do not have access to cold running water. More than
half of the houses do not have indoor toilets and 13.2% have one or more
members sleeping on earthen floors in their homes.

The full text of the ERRC shadow report concerning the situation of
Romani children in Hungary to the UN Committee on the Rights of the
Child is available at: 

For further information on matters detailed in the shadow report, please
contact ERRC Legal Monitor Rita Izsak at rita.izsak@errc.org or on


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax:   +36 1 4132201



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