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Living conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe

Council of Europe Recommendation on improving the living conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has today adopted a Recommendation on improving the housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe.

Addressed to the governments of the Organisation’s 46 member states, the Recommendation suggests ways to improve the often inhuman living conditions faced by these groups (ghettos, sanitary problems, children’s security), and to prevent and combat discrimination.

The text deals with the problem as a whole, underlining clear links with areas such as education, health, the environment, employment, infrastructure and civil rights. It covers all types of accommodation (houses, caravans and mobile homes) and all different lifestyles: sedentary, semi-nomadic or nomadic.

The Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015) project identifies housing as one of the four priorities – alongside education, employment and health – for the next ten years. Some Decade countries had already used the draft Council of Europe Recommendation when drawing up their housing action plans.

Council of Europe bodies, such as the European Committee of Social Rights and the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) have repeatedly called upon governments to improve the situation of Roma housing.

Other Committee of Ministers Recommendations in this area include:
- Rec (2000)4 on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe,
- Rec (2001)17 on the improvement of the economic and employment situation of Roma/Gypsies and Travellers in Europe,
- Rec (2004)14 on the movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe

More information available at

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