Roma and Sinti issues
Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues
Roma and Sinti communities are found throughout the OSCE region, but predominantly in Central and South-Eastern Europe. They have been persecuted throughout their history and were victims of the Holocaust.
Often referred to collectively by the generic term “Roma”, Roma and Sinti and other groups share common cultural, linguistic, and ethnic ties, and constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe. Because of the centuries-old societal prejudice, intolerance, and pervasive discrimination that they continue to face, they experience problems in accessing rights and services in most areas of life and are poorly represented in the public and political life of their societies.
As part of its mandate to assist participating States in their efforts to support integration of their Roma and Sinti population, ODIHR conducts the following activities:
- Reviews of implementation of the OSCE’s Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti Within the OSCE Area;
- Provides expert advice and assistance to governments and civil society with regard to the implementation of the OSCE commitments;
- Addresses emerging challenges or crisis situations affecting Roma and Sinti, e.g., by conducting field visits in the wake of crises;
- Supports capacity-building projects for Roma and Sinti organizations and the empowerment of Roma communities;
- Supports awareness-raising activities in Roma and Sinti communities with respect to the consequences of trafficking in human beings, the exploitation of children, and early/arranged marriages;
- Raises awareness among Roma parents and communities of the importance and benefits of early education and promotes broader access to early education for Roma and Sinti children;
- Supports civic education, voter education, and awareness-raising and information campaigns targeting Roma and Sinti communities, including campaigns that address voting irregularities within Roma and Sinti communities;
- Helps participating States find durable solutions to the plight of internally displaced Roma and Roma refugees;
- Works with interior ministries and law-enforcement institutions to build trust and understanding between police and Roma and to encourage young Roma to join police forces.