Ensure budget cuts do not disproportionately affect Roma, Spain urged

Spain has been asked to take more resolute measures to implement Roma integration policies and to ensure that they are not disproportionately affected by budgetary restrictions due to the economic crisis.

In its Third opinion on Spain, the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities urges Spain to ensure that the implementation of admission rules to schools does not result in discriminatory practices against Roma pupils.

It also urges the country to prevent the persisting concentration of Roma pupils in schools located in disadvantaged areas and with lower education outcomes.

The Committee further asks the Spanish authorities to eliminate the practice of “ethnic profiling” by the police, which targets immigrants and Roma in particular, and to increase training of police to combat racism and discrimination.

The Committee acknowledges that the state and regional authorities are implementing large programmes to improve the access of Roma to employment, to resettle those living in slums, and to increase school attendance of Roma pupils.

However, the concrete impact of these policies continues to be limited in some areas due to a lack of adequate funding, and Roma continue to face discrimination and are disproportionately affected by the current economic crisis.

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