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Council of Europe calls on Spain to prevent budget cuts from affecting Roma inclusion plans [editar]

Important Resolution of the Council of Europe on Spain and the situation of the Roma community

FSG Igualdad de Trato

Council of Europe calls on Spain to prevent budget cuts from affecting Roma inclusion plans

On 11 July 2013, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in Spain.

Resolution CM/ResCMN(2013)4 highlights the progress achieved in the fight against discrimination, through the creation of the State Council for the Promotion of Equal Treatment and Non-discrimination of Persons on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, the creation of the State Council of the Roma People and improvements in the schooling of Roma students.

Nevertheless, the Resolution points out serious shortcomings in relation to the implementation of policies promoting the social inclusion of Roma.

The recommendations made to the Spanish Government include the following, among others:

  • Take more resolute measures to implement effectively the policies aimed at improving the situation and the integration of the Roma, in close co-operation with Roma representatives; ensure that these policies are adequately resourced and are not disproportionately affected by budgetary restrictions;
  • Complete without further delay the process of adoption of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation; develop a comprehensive system of data collection on discrimination and racially-motivated offences in the justice system, in order to promote a more effective implementation of the anti-discrimination legislation in force; provide adequate support to the work of the Council for the Promotion of Equal Treatment of all Persons without Discrimination on grounds of Racial or Ethnic Origin;
  • Eliminate the practice of “ethnic profiling” by the police which targets persons belonging to some minority groups; increase training of the police to combat racism and discrimination, on the basis of existing good practices;
  • Investigate the reasons for the persisting concentration of Roma pupils in schools located in disadvantaged areas and with lower academic achievement, in order to eliminate these practices; ensure that the implementation of admission rules to schools does not result in discriminatory practices against Roma pupils;
  • Ensure progression of Roma pupils beyond primary education, as well as their successful completion of secondary education; increase the use of school mediators in a more systematic manner; undertake a review of school textbooks in order to ensure that sufficient and adequate information on the Roma culture, history and language is provided to all pupils, at all levels of education;
  • Promote actively the participation of the Roma in elected bodies at all levels; continue supporting the work of the State Council for the Roma People with a view to ensuring its regular and effective consultation on all matters of concern to the Roma; ensure that the composition of the Council fully represents the diversity of the Roma movement in Spain; promote the establishment of consultative bodies for the Roma at the regional and locals levels;
  • Take far more resolute measures to promote access of the Roma to the media, including by supporting the training of Roma journalists; combat the dissemination of prejudice and stereotypes against Roma in the media;

The resolution also calls attention to the profound impact of the crisis on the employment and housing situation of Roma people. It thus recommends:

  • Taking measures to avoid Roma street sellers losing their source of income as a result of the implementation of the new legislation on street markets and itinerant trade;
  • Pursuing the ongoing projects to eradicate slums and segregated and substandard housing, drawing on existing good practices, in order to promote the integration of the Roma families concerned in mainstream housing.