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ECHR rules on discrimination by educational segregation of Roma in Greece

December 13th 2012
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) established that Greek authorities have been discriminating against Roma children by implementing educational segregation.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the failure of Greek authorities to integrate Roma children into the ordinary education system amounts to discrimination.

The applicants of the case Sampani and Others vs Greece were 140 Greek nationals of Roma origin. They complained to the court that they or their children had been enrolled at the 12th school primary school in Aspropyrgos which was attended exclusively by children from their own community and provided a lower standard of education than other schools.

The Greek Ombudsman had been involved in the national legal process, stating that the failure to comply with the law that all pupils living in a particular school’s catchment area had to be transferred to that school had had the effect of transforming the 12th school into a “ghetto school”, since no non-Roma pupils from the region were enrolled there.

The ECHR established a case of discrimination due to the placement of Roma children in special classes, coupled with a number of "racist incidents provoked by the parents of non-Roma children". The court also held that Greece was to pay monetary compensation to the applicant families.

Read the detailed article here