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Home >> Resources >> External publications >> A persisting concern: anti-Gypsyism as a barrier to Roma inclusion

A persisting concern: anti-Gypsyism as a barrier to Roma inclusion

April 10th 2018

Despite ambitious initiatives, the fundamental rights situation of Roma in the EU remains profoundly troubling. This report by the Fundamental Rights Agency examines the persisting phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism and its effect on Roma inclusion efforts. It first presents data on key manifestations of anti-Gypsyism, namely discrimination, harassment and hate crime.

The report reviews data on specific areas of life, such as education, employment, healthcare and housing – all areas in which prejudice and racism against Roma continue to undermine true progress. The report also frames the issue of Roma exclusion and deprivation in a global context, looking at how Roma in EU countries fare compared to the general population with respect to select Sustainable Development Goals.

Contents

  • Key findings and FRA opinions
  • Manifestations of anti-Gypsyism
  • Effects of anti-Gypsyism
  • Roma deprivation in a global context

Discrimination, harassment and hate crime

The data indicate that the most heinous forms of anti Gypsyism, hate-motivated crime and harassment, continue to hamper Roma inclusion. The results of the EU-MIDIS II survey, conducted in 2016, are worrying. They show that, despite several years of inclusion efforts, on average, one out of three Roma surveyed had experienced some form of harassment – either offensive or threatening comments in person, threats of violence in person, offensive gestures or inappropriate staring, offensive or threatening e-mails or text messages, or offensive comments about them online. More worryingly, four per cent experienced physical violence motivated by anti-Gypsyism – and, of those, only one in three reported this to any organisation, including the police. This shows that insufficient attention has been paid to manifestations of anti-Gypsyism in the form of hate crime against Roma. Unsurprisingly, this diminishes Roma people’s trust in their public institutions, in particular law enforcement and justice, seriously undermining social inclusion efforts.

FRA opinion 3: EU Member States should develop concrete measures to tackle hate crime and hate speech motivated by anti-Gypsyism. Such measures should ensure that Roma, like everyone else, are aware of and can benefit from the protection of the law against hate crime and hate speech. They should also ensure that law enforcement applies effective hate crime recording practices based on the principles endorsed by the EU High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. National Roma integration strategies should include an explicit component on measures to tackle hate crime and harassment caused by anti-Gypsyism. This could include specific actions that law enforcement in cooperation with equality bodies could take to foster an environment where Roma, like everyone else, feel confident about reporting incidents of hate crime and discriminatory treatment, including discriminatory ethnic profiling, in the knowledge that their complaints will be taken seriously and followed up by the competent authorities.

Read about Equinet and equality bodies work on Roma issues.