Demystifying the Collection of Ethnic Data and the Child Protection System


Date of publication:  01 Jan 2007 Authors:  Vera Egenberger Publisher:  European Roma Rights Center Publication type:  Newsletter / Review / Bulletin

The situation of Romani communities in Europe is complex and does not allow the approach of ‘one size fits all’. Discrimination against Roma as individuals or as a community in access to education or in child protection systems are phenomena that the human rights community regularly observes. However, it would be foolhardy if activists, researchers or responsible governments would claim to fully know and understand the scope and quantity of theses phenomena targeting Roma. Over the past years, many studies have been conducted that investigated the reasons for and the background of exclusion; however, stakeholders concerned about this matter have not succeeded in achieving far-reaching tangible change. This is more than regrettable. The argumentation in this article is based on the following understanding: In order to achieve change, stakeholders need to be aware of facts and figures. The full scope of a situation needs to be understood in order to create targeted policies. Based on this understanding, political strategies can be developed outlining concrete activities, financial needs, precise target groups, timelines as well as responsibilities for the implementation of these strategies.

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