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European Roma Rights Centre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

European Roma Rights Centre
TypeHuman rights organisation
Founded1996; Budapest, Hungary
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Number of locations
Key people
Ðorđe Jovanović, President Ethel Brooks, Board Chair

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is a Roma-led, international public interest law organisation engaging in a range of activities aimed at combating anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse of Romani people. The approach of the ERRC involves, in particular, strategic litigation, international advocacy, research and policy development, human rights focused news production, and the training of Romani activists.

The ERRC is a member of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights[1] and has consultative status with the Council of Europe,[2] as well as with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The organisation was created in 1996 in Budapest, Hungary and is now based in Brussels, Belgium.


The European Roma Rights Centre grew out of a response to a police brutality case in Bulgaria, where Roma rights activists worked with Open Society Foundation lawyers to win a legal victory.[3] A key individual in their early work was Hungarian activist Ferenc Kőszeg, who has subsequently been credited with founding the organisation. The ERRC drew inspiration for their work from the impact of the strategic litigation used by the NACCP during the 20th century to advance the cause of civil rights in the US.[4]

Following its foundation, the ERRC won its first legal victory in the Czech constitutional court in 1996.[3] Over the next ten years the organisation created over 580 publications, lodged 500 cases in a variety of European countries and trained over one thousand Roma activists.[4] During this period, the ERRC was involved in some significant cases including representing Roma people affected by the 1993 Hădăreni pogrom[5] and the Danilovgrad pogrom in Montenegro.[6]


Strategic litigation

An image of a male delegate seated at a table in a grey jacket with papers and a microphone on the desk.
Marek Szilvási speaks on behalf of the ERRC at the European Commission in Brussels in 2015.

Since its inception, the ERRC has taken over 1000 cases relating to Roma Rights, and currently has over one hundred pending in national and international courts. The ERRC's legal work takes different forms including the provision of direct legal representation and support to Romani litigants. The ERRC also creates legal submissions for international tribunals, such as the European court of human rights and for UN treaty bodies.[7] The organisation seeks to influence at both a national and European level, and litigates across a broad range of issues including education, environment, migration, enforcement, identity, health, and issues affecting children.[8]

The ERRC has won cases against France, Greece, Italy and (twice) Bulgaria before the European Committee of Social Rights;[9] besides this, ERRC lawyers have represented the applicants in numerous cases before the European Court of Human Rights, including D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic and Oršuš and Others v. Croatia. The ERRC has also launched strategic litigation in the United Kingdom with a notable case being the 2004 R (European Roma Rights Centre) v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport contested in the House of Lords.

Research and public policy

The ERRC publishes research on a broad range of issues effecting the Roma community. The organisation creates its reports using a wide range of methods including work with a broad network of lawyers, journalists, research partners, monitoring bodies and relevant subject specialists. In some instances, the ERRC plays a supporting role for research happening at a local level or creates research reports that review relevant secondary literature.[10]

The 2004 "Roma in an Enlarged European Union" report has reached a broad audience of policymakers and was published by the Directorate General of Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission. The ERRC has influenced the European Union enlargement by pressuring candidate countries to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and ensuring that the Roma situation is a priority issue. The organisation often reports to UN Committees such as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)[11][12][13][14][15] or the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)[16] about Roma communities. During the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the group published "Roma rights in the time of Covid", an in-depth analysis of discrimination and rights abuses across twelve EU states during 2020.[17]

International advocacy

In 2016 the ERRC became a Roma-majority organisation, and in 2018 launched the ERRC Roma Rights Defenders, a large volunteer network who contribute to the ERRC and its various projects. This includes a broad range of activities including campaigning, field work and online organising.[18]

The ERRC is the recipient of numerous human rights awards including the 2007 Max van Der Stoel Prize, the 2009 Gruber Prize for Justice,[19] the 2012 Stockholm Human Rights Prize, and the 2018 Raoul Wallenberg Award.[20]

Human rights training

An important part of the ERRC's work involves the provision of training and educational projects for Roma activists. Past training has focused on developing the capabilities of NGO's who work with Roma communities, activists who are part of Romani rights groups and others working in the field of civil society, human rights and strategic litigation.[21] Other forms of training have also been delivered by the ERRC, including single-issue sessions that focus on a particular topic such as migration, housing rights or legal rights. Training has been delivered in a large variety of different cities in Europe.[22]

See also


  1. ^ Member committees Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine//Archived IHFHR site
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Our story". European Roma Rights Centre. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b "The 10th anniversary of the Roma rights centre". European Roma Rights Centre. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Romanian Mob Violence Case to Strasbourg". Minelres. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Montenegrin government agrees to pay 985,000 Euro in compensation to pogrom victims". European Roma Rights Centre. 4 July 2003. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  7. ^ "What we do - strategic litigation". European Roma Rights Centre. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Issues we work on". European Roma Rights Centre. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  9. ^ "The European Social Charter". European Social Charter.
  10. ^ "European roma rights center". 28 October 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  11. ^ "BHC and ERRC Written comments on Bulgaria for CERD" (PDF).
  12. ^ "ERRC and CRI Written comments on Montenegro for CERD" (PDF).
  13. ^ "ERRC and ERA Written comments on Turkey for CERD" (PDF).
  14. ^ "ERRC and COHRE Written comments on Italy for CERD" (PDF).
  15. ^ "ERRC and VC Written comments on Czech Republic for CERD" (PDF).
  16. ^ "ERRC and "Chiricli" Written comments on Ukraine for CEDAW" (PDF).
  17. ^ "ERRC releases report on Roma rights violations during lockdown in Europe". Travellers Times. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  18. ^ "ERRC needs volunteer coordinators for our Roma rights defenders network!". European Roma Rights Centre. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  19. ^ "The Gruber Foundation Homepage - The Gruber Foundation".
  20. ^ "Our Story". European Roma Rights Centre.
  21. ^ Uzpeder, Ebru (2007). "Training Programmes Conducted within the Framework of the ERRC/hCa/EDROM Roma Rights Project in Turkey" (PDF). Roma Rights Quarterly. 4: 89–93.
  22. ^ "ERRC upcoming events". European Roma Rights Centre. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 September 2021, at 04:44
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