The situation of Roma in the Americas

One key recommendation of the Special Rapporteur's Global Study on the situation of Roma worldwide was that more attention should be paid to the specific challenges faced by Roma living outside Europe. The Special Rapporteur concluded that the invisibility of Roma outside Europe remains a challenge, and that more should be done to highlight their situation and raise their profile with policymakers, while also helping to empower the communities.

Therefore, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues convened a workshop in Brasilia, Brazil, to enhance understanding of the specific human rights challenges facing Roma communities across the Americas. Representatives of Roma communities from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru participated in the meeting.

The goals of the workshop were: to provide a platform for Roma rights activists and advocates to interact with the relevant national and international human rights mechanisms and with each other; to provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences and discuss the common challenges facing Roma communities in the region, as well as possible solutions by creating plans for joint advocacy or synergies in advocacy; and to raise awareness of existing United Nations human and minority rights mechanisms relevant to Roma communities in the region. The Special Rapporteur believes that the self-organizing and movement-building efforts of Roma activists in the region need to be assisted as these activists are currently rather dispersed and isolated in their struggles for their communities.

The Special Rapporteur then drafted a report (A/HRC/31/CRP.2, in English and Spanish), available in English and Spanish, to the 31st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report provides an overview of the issues raised during the workshop and notes some of the overarching themes. It also presents a number of conclusions and makes recommendations based on the information received