Editorial—The Critical Role of Research in Advancing Romani’s Right to Health

Health and Human Rights
Volume 19, Issue 2, December 2017
http://www.hhrjournal.org/
Special Section on Romani People and the Right to Health
in collaboration with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA – [Nine articles]
December 5, 2017

Editorial—The Critical Role of Research in Advancing Romani’s Right to Health
Jacqueline Bhabha, Margareta Matache, and Teresa Sorde Marti
As we finalize this special section on Romani People and the Right to Health, a landmark ruling on Roma health rights has just been handed down by the European Committee of Social Rights. On October 16, 2017, the committee accepted as admissible the European Roma Rights Centre’s complaint against Bulgaria alleging systemic discrimination against Romani women in maternity wards.[1] The complaint details segregation, substandard and abusive maternity care, and disproportionate barriers in access to health insurance for this part of the Roma population.[2] The committee’s finding advances official recognition of the intersectional discrimination affecting Romani women and girls across Europe and perhaps beyond. We use the word “perhaps” advisedly, for conclusive evidence documenting discriminatory and racist practices against Roma living on other continents is lacking, a point underlined in 2016 by Rita Izsak-Ndiaye, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on minority issues…[3]