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Roma migrants in Europe

Doc. 12950: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 12950 | Final version

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ADraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly is concerned that the Roma are amongst the most disadvantaged, discriminated, persecuted and victimised groups in Europe. This situation continues and even gets worse, as is noted in much research and highlighted by the Assembly in its

In the draft recommendation, before paragraph 1, insert the following paragraph:

"The Parliamentary Assembly underlines that States have a justifiable interest in managing migration and to see to it that the asylum system is not abused. "Migration management" must, however, take place in compliance with the relevant rules, which currently may not always be the case."

2This double stigmatisation can be heard and seen in public discussions, media reports and political discussion on Roma in Europe. It is based principally on three deep-rooted prejudices, namely: all Roma are nomads; they all come from abroad; and their migration is illegal.
3As regards Roma being nomads, the reality is that in Europe less than 20% of Roma are nomadic. As regards Roma being from abroad, it can be noted that they have been part of European society for around 700 years and the large majority are citizens of their country of residence. Finally, as regards Roma migration being illegal, it is clear that most Roma migrate in the framework of their right to free movement under European Union law.
4These prejudices, combined with the widespread tendency to make a generalised link between Roma and criminality, have contributed greatly to the plight of Roma in Europe. As a consequence, the Assembly would like to draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers to a number of issues which merit further attention, not only by member States but also by the Council of Europe:
4.1the overall negative depiction of Roma spread by certain media and politicians;
4.2the double discrimination Roma migrants face when it comes to access to education, health care, employment and housing;
4.3the recent, and ongoing, aggressive expulsion policies focused on Roma migrants in several Council of Europe member States, which may amount to
4.4the ongoing forced returns of Roma to Kosovo,
4.5the precarious situation of stateless Roma in Council of Europe member States, mainly in eastern Europe, resulting from the break-up of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, but also in western Europe, for instance in Italy or the Netherlands;

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 4.5, replace the words "the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia" with the following words: "the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia".

Explanatory note

Following the break-up of Czechoslovakia, a number of Roma living in the newly established Czech Republic acquired Slovak citizenship due to the fact that they (or their parents) were born in Slovakia. They did not become stateless and they could, under certain conditions, obtain Czech citizenship. Paragraph 4.5 should therefore reflect the fact that there is no precarious situation of stateless Roma resulting from the break-up of Czechoslovakia.

4.6the criminalisation of begging in certain Council of Europe member States and its impact on Roma, taking into account human rights and other concerns linked primarily to the European Convention of Human Rights (ETS No. 5), the revised European Social Charter (ETS No. 163) and other standards.
5The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers instruct the relevant Council of Europe committees and bodies, such as the Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM), the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), the Migration Coordination Division and the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) to:
5.1analyse legislation and practices in member States aimed at criminalising begging and evaluate the impact of this on Roma and the implications under the European Convention on Human Rights, the revised European Social Charter and other Council of Europe standards;
5.2carry out an in-depth analysis, based on human rights standards, of the various measures taken by Council of Europe member States and the European Commission to stop asylum seekers from Western Balkan countries applying for asylum in EU countries;
5.3pay particular attention to establishing whether the Roma community is affected by and/or involved in trafficking in human beings, and examine whether the standards and measures contained in the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197) are effectively implemented as regards Roma and whether any further specific measures are necessary, including action by the Council of Europe;
5.4consider ways and means of addressing the problem of negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of Roma in the media and in political speech, with due respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
6Furthermore, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to:
6.1urge member States to stop actions which amount to the collective expulsion of Roma and to reconsider their forced return policies of Roma to Kosovo, suspending forced returns until they can be shown to be safe and sustainable.
6.2ask member States to ensure that the special needs of Roma migrants are addressed when developing and implementing national strategies or policies that foster the social inclusion of the Roma;
6.3ask member States to take the necessary steps to naturalise stateless Roma and to sign, ratify and implement the Council of Europe Conventions on Nationality (ETS No. 166) and on Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State Succession (CETS No. 200), as well as the United Nations 1954 Convention relating to the status of stateless persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 6.3, insert the following paragraph:

"urge member States who have not yet done so to sign and ratify Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 177)".

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 6.3, insert the following paragraph:

"ask member States to ensure that fair, impartial and non-discriminatory policing pratices are enforced for dealing with all migrants, including Roma".

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 6.3, insert the following paragraph:

"recommend that member States carry out an in-depth analysis in order to find the general and country-specific causes of movement and migration and to work out and implement measures which could tackle the causes. Furthermore, to recommend that member States and the European Union raise funds which could be used for the above cause".

7Finally, the Assembly informs the Committee of Ministers that it has decided to support the Dosta! campaign devised by the Council of Europe (“Go beyond prejudice, meet the Roma!”) by providing its members with relevant information so as to enhance awareness among and through national parliaments.