UN Human Rights Committee Calls on Serbia to Address Discrimination Against Romani Women
Monday, July 2, 2007 3:40 PM

The UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recently finished an evaluation of Serbia’s compliance with the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which Serbia signed in 2006. The Committee concluded that women from the historically nomadic Romani ethnic group are particularly vulnerable to sex and gender discrimination and highlighted areas which the Serbian government must immediately target if it is going to improve the situation of Romani women.

The Committee asked the Serbian government to modify its admission criteria for safe houses to reduce discrimination against Roma women. If the government is intent on reducing the disproportionately high illiteracy rates among this marginalized group, Roma women must be granted equal access to education. The Committee also found that early marriage is particularly prominent among Romani people and often negatively affects women's access to education and health care. Therefore it recommends that the Serbian government should enforce the legal marriage age of eighteen. Making sexual and reproductive health services more accessible is another recommendation of the Committee.

Compiled from: "UN Women's Rights Committee Calls on Serbia to Address Discrimination against Romani Women," European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), 13 June 2007.