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Roma facing most prejudice in European Union

[JURIST] The European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) [advocacy website] reported Wednesday that Roma minorities, also known as Gypsies, are the ethnic group most susceptible to racism in the European Union [JURIST news archive]. As the EU expands into Central Europe, the Roma population in new member states face discrimination in employment, housing, and education as well as continuing racial violence. Large Roma communities are mostly located in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. As a condition for admission into the EU, the executive European Commission [official website] has urged new member states to improve the legal rights and treatment of the Roma. The European Roma Rights Center [advocacy website] offers additional information on the social and legal circumstances of Roma across the EU.

Wednesday's EUMC report also included statistical information on anti-Muslim violence in Europe as a result of the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid [JURIST news archive] and the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh [JURIST report]. The Center nonetheless regretted that the lack of data and statistics on race, ethnicity, and religion from several EU member states, including most notably France, saying that such information was vital to the development of anti-discrimination policies. Reuters has more.

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