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Discrimination in access to housing is the main focus of the report “Discrimination and the Roma Community 2019”, published by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano and now available in english version. [editar]

Following its presentation last 20th November in Seville (Factoría Cultural – ICAS), we now share the English version of the annual report.


Discrimination in access to housing is the main focus of the report “Discrimination and the Roma Community 2019”, published by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano and now available in english version.The report covers 334 cases of discrimination and antigypsyism in areas such as employment, education and access to goods and services, a number which represents a 44% increase compared with the number of cases documented in the previous edition of the report. 

This year’s report presents, as usual, cases of discrimination recorded across Spain by the FSG in the previous year, along with areas of progress, good practice and the most recent case law relating to discrimination. The central topic of its feature articles reflects the focus this year on discrimination in access to housing.

“This year we have focused on the problem of discrimination in access to housing, which affects all members of the family, including children. This discrimination endangers many of their rights, from the right to education to the rights to leisure and to play. It is important to highlight this on this day, which sees the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”, explained Isidro Rodríguez, general Director of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano, during the presentation, which was also attended by Rocío Ruíz Domínguez, Minister for Equality, Social Policy and Conciliation in the Government of Andalusia; Beatriz Carrillo, Second Vice-President of the State Council of the Roma People; and Mar Fernández Sabugo, Sub-Director General for Equal Treatment and Diversity in the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with Parliament and Equality.

Also attending the presentation were institutional representatives, political parties, State security forces and the prosecution service, representatives of the State Council of the Roma People, members of NGOs, and other parties. 

334 cases recorded

The report Discrimination and the Roma Community 2019 covers 334 cases of discrimination and antigypsyism recorded and attended by staff at FSG offices, where the victims were Roma people. This is 44% more than in the 2018 report. The cases occurred in areas such as Communications media and the internet, with 121 cases; Employment, with 56 cases; access to goods and services, with 57 cases; Police services, with 12 cases; Education, with 31 cases; Housing, with 25 cases and in Health, with 10 cases. 

Regarding the profile of the victims, it can be seen that discrimination most often affects young Roma people of between 16 and 30 years of age, and women, who accounted for 238 of the 408 victims identified.

A new feature of the report this year is the chapter on strategic litigation undertaken by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano in cases of discrimination, hate crimes and antigypsyism. In this chapter are details of the 20 cases undertaken, along with lessons to be learned from their use as a tool to defend both the rights of Roma people and the principle of non-discrimination. 


Under-reporting of discrimination, along with the lack of adequate legal or institutional responses in many cases, forms one of the seven main factors which make it difficult to mount an effective defence against this social scourge. The report’s conclusions also reveal that Roma women continue to suffer situations of specific discrimination due to the intersection of their ethnic origin and their gender. The specialised support service offered by the equality officers working for the Fundación Secretariado Gitano’s Calí Programme, promoting equality for Roma women, fosters greater empowerment and response capacity for many women. They are thus able to react to these situations by making formal complaints and demanding that their rights be respected, or by reporting the discrimination either to the Fundación or to members of the security forces.

The fact that news stories often mention the ethnicity of the protagonists, and the hate-filled comments seen on social networks, are also among the primary factors contributing to the spread of stereotypes relating to Roma people. These factors have been observed over successive years in the Annual Reports. Discrimination in access to housing, barriers to accessing the labour market, school segregation, discriminatory actions by the police and ethnic profiling continue to recur as themes in the cases covered by this 15th report.

The support offered to victims is seen to be a key factor in the fight against discrimination. It is also one of the most important ways in which we can defend the rights of Roma people, along with strategic litigation and the demand that Spain comply with the the latest recommendations made by international organisations.

Discrimination in access to housing

The barriers Roma people face in seeking access to housing mean that their human rights are endangered, as their ability to exercise their human rights depends in practice on their ability to exercise other rights. Moreover, Roma people’s rights are sometimes endangered by events in the settlements where they live, such as forced evictions in which the principle of legality is not respected. This is what occurred in a case described in the Report which occurred in La Cañada, Madrid and which was successfully brought to court.

The victims speak

In its work in the area of active defence and the fight against discrimination, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano advises and supports victims of discrimination, reports incidents to the relevant authorities and undertakes strategic litigation before the Courts. 

Victims who have suffered discrimination have provided first-person accounts of eviction and the destruction of their homes, as in the case of the family of Mercedes Borja, or eviction followed by a refusal to provide further housing on the grounds of Roma ethnicity, as in the case of the family of Tomás Fernández.

The presentation of the Report concluded with the participation of Juan Manuel Flores, Deputy Mayor responsible for Social Welfare, Employment and Integrated Plans for Social Transformation at Seville City Council, Francisco José Vidal, General Director of Social Services at the Ministry of Equality, Social Policy and Conciliation in the Regional Government of Andalusia and Carolina Fernández, Deputy Director for Impact and the Defence of Rights at the Fundación Secretariado Gitano.


La Fundación Secretarido Gitano presenta su Informe Discriminación y Comunidad Gitana 2019. Canal Sur. Noticias 1
Informe Discriminación 2019 en Gitanos RNE

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