Courtroom of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - Photo: wikipedia

Strasbourg court rules against Hungary in Roma segregation case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled against Hungary in a case concerning segregation of the Roma minority in education and called on the Hungarian government to come up with a policy aimed at preventing such practices.

The case concerns an applicant who went to a primary school reserved exclusively for Roma children in 2013-14. He said the material taught to them was sub-standard and less than 10 percent of the pupils made it to secondary school. The complainant’s mother applied to the local education authority asking for a transfer of her son to another school better suited with regard to the child’s hearing impairment, but the application was turned down.

The applicant then turned to the Hungarian Constitutional Court which ruled that the case had no constitutional aspects.

In its ruling, the ECHR established that “the applicant had been educated in segregated conditions and the State had a duty to take steps to correct that inequality and avoid the perpetuation and discrimination that resulted from the over-representation of Roma pupils at the school”.

The court reiterated that “society living together free from racial segregation was a fundamental value of democratic societies and that a means to achieve that was through inclusive education”.

The ECHR ruled that Hungary should pay 7,000 euros to the applicant as compensation and 4,537 euros in legal costs and expenses.

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