Roma and the enforcement of anti-discrimination law

The current situation around the enforcement of Roma’s non-discrimination rights is varied, not only among the Member States but also within most EU countries. While positive and encouraging developments can be noted, whether in legislation, case law or policy, many setbacks are still taking place, and there is still a wide array of persistent gaps.

The Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directives were adopted 17 years ago, and have been fully transposed in all EU Member States.1 National legislation transposing them is being actively and effectively implemented to a large extent throughout the EU, ensuring the right of residents to non discrimination.

Yet, it clearly appears that the Roma population of Europe are not benefitting equally from the non-discrimination legal frameworks, and are suffering from a lack of effective enforcement of their rights. The areas of education and housing, which are both covered by the Racial Equality Directive and constitute crucial pillars of every person’s life and wellbeing, seem particularly affected by discrimination and a generalised lack of enforcement of non-discrimination rights when it comes to Roma.

This report aims to examine the current situation of the enforcement of non-discrimination law in Europe with regard specifically to Roma and their rights.

The report includes five sections:

  • What is the general situation of the enforcement of anti-discrimination law for Roma?
  • How did the enforcement situation evolve during the period 2011-2015?
  • What are the specific points of progress and the deficiencies in this regard in the field of education?
  • What are the specific points of progress and the deficiencies in this regard in the field of housing?
  • What are the major developments that took place with regard to Roma’s anti-discrimination right  in 2016?