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Roma Sinti Travellers

Roma, Sinti and Travellers and International Legal Instruments

This research investigates international and European law on minority protection of Roma, Sinti and Travellers, focusing on the question whether it is possible to develop a defensible model for minority integration encompassing old and new minority groups that reconciles unity and diversity. This approach is particularly useful to address the issues related to the integration of Roma: while many of them are ‘new minorities’ who migrated to the country in which they reside, others are considered ‘old’ minorities by many European countries.

A central focus of this research is the European Court of Human Rights and its case-law on Roma rights, in particular the relationship between Romani mobility and respect for their traditional lifestyle and cultural identity, education and the so-called ´special` schools as well as housing and positive actions and whether from the Strasbourg case-law we can derive social policy prescriptions that can be imposed on member states with special reference to the Roma minority.

An interlinked aspect in this research is to look at the Roma communities from the perspective of the CoE Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM):  How the FCNM finds application among its Contracting States towards the Roma? What is the status and minority rights recognized to the Roma communities by Members States of the FCNM ?  What is the impact of the FCNM, in particular of the opinions of the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention (ACFC), the supervisory organ of the FCNM, on the protection of Roma ? Is it possible to identify positive trends in the implementation of the FCNM vis-á-vis Roma ?

A further aspect is linked to the analysis of the risks behind certain policies aimed at the protection of groups’ identity and diversity, namely the ‘culturalisation` of minorities’ problems and claims and the illiberal practices within minority groups, including the Roma communities.


Roberta Medda-Windischer (Senior Researcher), roberta.medda@eurac.edu

Selected Bibliography

Medda-Windischer, R., Housing Rights and the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers: Towards Positive Action Measures from the Rulings of the European Court of Human Rights?, in J. Vrielink and D. Cuypers, “Equality is not Enough” (Intersentia, Antwerp, 2016).

Medda-Windischer, R., The Roma and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities : a Tool to Disentangle the Dichotomy between a Socially Disadvantaged Group and a National Minority, Journal of the Institute for European Studies (IES), Bruxelles, Fall 2012.

Medda-Windischer, R., La "question Rom" dans la perspective des droits des minorités, in 46 Ètudes Tsiganes, 2012, 154‐171.

Medda-Windischer, R., The Roma: A Socially Disadvantaged Group or a National Minority ? : Unravelling the Dichotomy through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, in European Yearbook of Minority Issues, Vol. 10, 2010/11 (http://www.brill.com/publications/european-yearbook-minority-issues).

Medda-Windischer, R., Dismantling Segregating Education and the European Court of Human Rights. D.H. and Others vs. Czech Republic: Towards an Inclusive Education?, in European Yearbook on Minority Issues, 2007/08, Vol. 7 (http://www.brill.com/publications/european-yearbook-minority-issues).

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