The Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) noted some progress in the last five years, in its new report on Romania. However, the Commission expressed concern about several issues, notably the widespread problem of racist and intolerant hate speech, the inadequate response of the criminal justice system to hate crimes, and discrimination against Roma and LGBT persons.
ECRI regrets that racist and intolerant hate speech in public discourse and on the internet has become a widespread problem, mainly targeting Roma, the Hungarian minority, LGBT persons, and the Jewish community. Violent attacks against these groups occur sporadically. The report points out the growing homophobic and transphobic climate in Romanian society.
ECRI is also concerned about alleged cases of racial discrimination and racial profiling by the police, notably against Roma, and that no independent body has been entrusted with the investigation of such cases.
Other shortcomings are that there is no coherent and systematic data collection on hate speech and hate-motivated violence, criminal law action is rarely taken against these crimes, and provisions on racist motivation as an aggravating circumstance are seldom applied.
(Photo source: Shutterstock)