ERGO Network met with the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights

15 March 2016

Brussels, 14.3. 2016

Zeid Ra´ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights, met with more than twenty Brussels-based civil society organizations, including ERGO Network, to discuss the human rights challenges of today's world. Meeting took place in the Human Rights Watch premises. The debate focused on various issues ranging from the Global Human Rights strategy, refugees, and children to religion and  disability. 

The ERGO Network representative, Mrs. Gabriela Hrabanova presented to the Commissioner a concern about the growing antigypsyism in Europe, having a systemic nature. According to the FRA Eurobarometer 2015 findings, Roma people reported the highest levels of discrimination, with one in two respondents saying they had been discriminated against in the last 12 months. The existence of the European Roma Policy Framework is not translated into a visible commitment and the EU-member states lack the political will to change the situation. The best illustration is the state of France which continues the state policy of evictions. The French government is spending more money on evictions than on the inclusive measures. Evictions in Italian Via Idro is taking place today, because of the State Council decision, even though the local and international civil society were calling for more human solutions (see ERGO article). Last year evictions in Bulgaria also illustrated the bad examples of popular measures that forget about the basic human rights for people to be provided at least with and alternative accommodation. 

Another worry brings the further popularisation of the right wing political parties accords Europe. The recent elections in Slovakia brought for the first time the member of the right-wing political party  Marian Kotleba, the governor of central Slovakia, who has organised marches against the Roma minority. He took 8 % of the vote, nearly three times more than polls had predicted. Such news is not a good signal for the Roma living in Slovakia.

Mr. Zeid Ra´ad Al Hussein shared our concerns and expressed his full support to work on the issue of systemic antigypsyism. 

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