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Roma must be equally treated and protected, OSCE human rights head says

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WARSAW, 8 April 2022 – Roma continue to face discrimination and marginalization where support and inclusion should be provided, a fact clearly demonstrated by the situation of Roma currently fleeing Ukraine, said the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on today’s International Roma Day.

“In times of crisis, support for the most vulnerable in our societies is more important than ever,” said ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci. “It is shocking to see that Roma are currently facing growing discrimination in the face of unprecedented danger. The Roma who have fled Ukraine in recent weeks need assistance and access to everyday services as anyone else does, free from segregation or stereotyping.”

From one generation to the next, Roma remain Europe’s most marginalized community. OSCE countries have committed to combating discrimination against Roma, including in access to housing, citizenship and residence, education, employment, and health services. They have also pledged to ensure that Roma refugees and others who have been forcibly displaced are provided with the documents they need to receive state assistance. Much more needs to be done to fulfil the promise of their full integration in societies in which the human rights of all people are recognised equally.

It is crucial that national authorities consult Roma communities and civil society before deciding on temporary measures to help those fleeing combat zones, in line with the Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti within the OSCE Area. ODIHR works to increase Roma inclusion by providing much-needed space for dialogue between Roma civil society and governments across the OSCE region, helping to move towards inclusive societies.


OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Public Affairs Unit
Office: +48 22 520 06 00
Fax: +48 22 520 06 05

Katya Andrusz
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
Ul. Miodowa 10
00-251 Warsaw
Office: +48 22 520 0640
Mobile: +48 609 522 266