Joint NGO and National Bodies Statement for the OSCE Conference on Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination (2003) (excerpts)

[excerpt]

Joint NGO & National Bodies Statement

for the OSCE Conference on Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination

September 4-5, 2003

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In light of this we draw your attention to the following recommendations:

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Roma

· Racial Segregation in Education and in Housing: Without delay end the practice of segregating Roma in the educational system in schools for the mentally handicapped; in inferior ghetto schools; and in Roma-only classes in mainstream schools. Implement comprehensive and long-term desegregation plans to ensure that Roma may fully realise their right to education. Eliminate segregation of Roma in housing and ensure access for Roma to adequate living conditions. Guarantee security of tenure to Romani occupants of houses and land, ensuring, inter alia, a general protection from forced evictions. Guarantee due process in line with international standards related to forced evictions and ensure that victims of forced evictions are provided with adequate alternative housing.

· Positive Action for Roma: Governments which have not yet done so should adopt and implement in full Roma-specific policies providing detailed plans and adequate funding for action aimed at remedying the currently unacceptable human rights situation of Roma in Europe. Governments of states with existing plans should ensure that implementation is thorough, and that actions thus far undertaken are effective as Roma rights policy.

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