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Event

Conference: Tackling racism and anti-Roma discrimination in the EU’s criminal justice systems

7 - 8 Dec 2020

Online

Our virtual conference Tackling racism and anti-Roma discrimination in the EU’s criminal justice systems will take place on:

  • Monday 7 December, 13:30-16:30 GMT/14:30-17:30 CET/08:30-11:30 EST

  • Tuesday 8 December, 13:30-16:30 GMT/ 14:30-17:30 CET/08:30-11:30 EST

Register for this event if you want to attend any of the panels over the two days.

Research into racism against Roma in criminal justice systems

Across the world, the movement to fight racial disparities in criminal justice systems has been gaining momentum, and there is increasing awareness that structural racism leads to discriminatory criminal justice outcomes for various racial and ethnic groups.  

Racial prejudice is widespread in societies throughout across Europe, and given the long history of persecution and continuing prevalence of socio-economic challenges, Roma are especially vulnerable to harmful stereotyping and negative societal attitudes.  However, there is only limited acceptance in many EU Member States that such attitudes are responsible for discriminatory criminal justice outcomes, and that more action is needed to fight racism not just in the police, but also throughout the legal system.  

In order to highlight how anti-gypsyism* affects criminal justice outcomes for Roma, Fair Trials has collaborated with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, APADOR-CH, and Rights International Spain to research attitudes and perceptions of various stakeholders in criminal justice systems of four countries. This research exposes worrying levels of anti-gypsyism amongst criminal justice professionals, and a closer insight into how Roma face discrimination in criminal proceedings. 

About the conference 

This event will bring together criminal justice experts, anti-racism activists, practising lawyers, and policy-makers from across Europe and beyond to discuss:

  • how racism and anti-gypsyism affect criminal justice systems in Europe; 

  • the main findings of Fair Trials’ research on anti-gypsyism amongst criminal justice professionals;

  • discriminatory policing and its impact on Roma and other minority ethnic communities; 

  • prevalence of racial prejudice in criminal justice professions and their potential impact on defence rights; and 

  • potential strategies for tackling racism in criminal justice systems and lessons to be learnt from other jurisdictions. 

Schedule

See the speaker biographies and the full panel descriptions.

Session 1: Understanding racial discrimination and anti-gypsyism in criminal justice systems

7 December 13:30-15:00 GMT/ 14:30-16:00 CET

Chaired by Bruno Min, Legal Director at Fair Trials. Speakers include:

  • Marek Balaz, Human Rights Monitoring Coordinator, European Roma Rights Centre
  • Ojeaku Nwabuzo, Senior Research Officer, European Network Against Racism 
  • Mustafa Yakupov, Policy and Project coordinator, ERGO network
  • Krassimir Kanev, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

Session 2: Racism, anti-Roma discrimination and policing

7 December 15:30-16:30 GMT/ 16:30-17:30 CET

Chaired by Bruno Min, Legal Director at Fair Trials. Speakers include:

  • Eirene de Prada, Researcher, Rights International Spain
  • Anthony Drummond, Senior Lecturer in criminology, Leeds Beckett
  • Rachel Neild, Senior Program Advisor, Open Society Justice Initiative

Other speakers to be confirmed                                                                                                                

Session 3: Criminal justice professions and structural discrimination​

8 December 13:30-14:30 GMT/ 14:30-15:30 CET

Chaired by Mitali Nagrecha, Head of European Networks at Fair Trials. Speakers include:

  • Livia Popa, Legal Officer, APADOR-CH
  • Brook Hopkins, Former Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School
  • Felix Owusu, Doctoral candidate in Public Policy at Harvard University

Other speakers to be confirmed.

Session 4: Tackling anti-gypsyism in criminal justice systems and emerging challenges

8 December 15:00-16:30 GMT/ 16:00-17:30 CET

Chaired by Mitali Nagrecha, Head of European Networks at Fair Trials. Speakers include:

  • Romeo Franz, Member of the European Parliament
  • Benjamin Ignac, Researcher, OSF Roma Initiatives Office
  • Eszter Kirs, Legal Officer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee
  • Yvonne MacNamara, CEO, The Traveller Movement

Registration

Register for this event if you want to attend any of the above sessions. Check this page for updates about speakers and more details about each session. 

If you are a journalist and would like an embargoed copy of our report prior to the conference, please email [email protected]

*We use the term ‘anti-gypsyism’ because it covers racism and discrimination against Roma, Sinti and travellers and is favoured by the European Commission and many Roma rights activists. We are aware that there are differences of opinion about this term and are open to feedback about this and other terms we use when talking about these issues.

This event is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020). 

 

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Some activities in the following sections on this website are funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020): Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides, Resources, Campaigns, Publications, News and Events. This content represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. It cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.