Roma (often referred to as “gypsies”) are Europe’s largest ethnic minority . They are subject to deeply entrenched forms of discrimination, xenophobia, and targeted violence, particularly in the countries of east and central Europe.
Local and national political leaders in Europe maintain an openly discriminatory rhetoric about Roma communities. Police and local public authorities have in some cases been complicit in driving Roma from their homes and seeking their relocation—or even their deportation.
Human Rights First has published research detailing the full range of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights denied to Roma through discriminatory policies and practices throughout the European Union. Hungary has been a focus of our work.
We call on governments to improve protection of Roma people by adopting and strengthening hate crime laws and calling out injustices. Recently we led opposition to expulsions of Roma from France.