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Brussels move on integration of Roma welcomed by rights groups

Last update - Sunday, December 15, 2013, 18:18 By Metro Éireann

The recent recommendation from the European Council aimed at more effective Roma integration strategies across EU member states has been welcomed by human rights groups.

The move comes in reaction to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, established in 2011, which called on member states to develop national Roma inclusion strategies.
According to Amnesty International, the majority of these strategies were either weak, not implemented, or failed to deliver integration, with systematic and ongoing discrimination against Roma within the EU.
“Discrimination of Roma in the EU is a form of racism,” said Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, who added that the recommendation “sends a strong message to member states” which “must effectively fight and end discrimination against Roma and Travellers, and ensure their inclusion in all levels of society.”
Meanwhile, Martin Collins of Traveller activism group Pavee Point said the recommendation makes it clear that “an effective strategy for Roma and Traveller inclusion” is vital in Ireland.
”We now need to see leadership from Ireland to develop a strategy that will make positive changes in our communities. Our strategy needs clear actions and Travellers and Roma need to be included in the development of this,” he said.

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