ECRI Policy Recommendation No 13 on combating anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma

ECRIIn June 2011 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe adopted its general policy recommendation number 13 on combating anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma, which constitutes one of the first institutional documents recognizing this specific form of racism.

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ECRI – European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

ECRI is the most important instrument in the Council of Europe’s fight against all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.

ECRI was not created as a monitoring-mechanism for a specific treaty, but as an independent body: It was founded in 1993, following a decision taken by the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe’s member states at their Vienna summit that year.

As such, ECRI was a major stakeholder in the elaboration of Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which provides for a general prohibition of discrimination.

Structure

ECRI consists of one autonomous delegate per Council of Europe member state. Typically, delegates are lawyers, judges, journalists, academics, ombudspersons and other professionals with recognised expertise in dealing with racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance. Delegates are appointed by the government of their respective country for a five-year term of office, twice renewable, and have to be approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

ECRI holds three plenary meetings a year. Its annual report to the Committee of Ministers contains all its activities and is available to the public.

The Bureau acts as a board to ECRI. It consists of the Chair, two Vice-Chairs and four members. It is assisted in all matters by a Secretariat, headed by an Executive Secretary.