In this respect Mr President allow me to draw on one of my country visit where

In this respect mr president allow me to draw on one

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In this respect, Mr President, allow me to draw on one of my country visit, where my attention was drawn to the widespread and systematic discrimination that still persists against Roma and Sinti, particularly through stereotyping by the media and the public at large, and attempts to associate individuals of Roma and Sinti origin with criminal behaviour. I would like also to take this opportunity to reiterate my grave concerns about anti- Roma sentiment and the violent incidents against this 3
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community across Europe (A/64/271). Policies such as finger-printing of Roma suspect by police, and racist statements by senior public officials have contributed to creating a climate in which social discrimination and racism are sustained. Measures should be taken to ensure that persons belonging to the Roma/Gypsies/Sinti/Travellers communities exercise fully and effectively all their human rights and freedoms, without discrimination. In this regard, I urge States to fully implement the provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and the Outcome of the Durban Review Conference Document. Furthermore, I would like to refer to the systems of inherited status such as caste, which may be a manifestation of what has been identified above as “societal” structural racial discrimination. In some cases for example, when a member of a Scheduled Caste left Hinduism and converted to Christianity or Islam, the previous caste status and related social bias would often remain at the social level while the person would legally no longer be eligible for government benefits for Scheduled Castes. In this respect, I would like to specifically refer to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the CERD), which affirmed in its general recommendation No. 29 (2002) concerning discrimination on the grounds of descent, that: discrimination based on ‘descent’ includes discrimination against members of communities based on forms of social stratification such as caste and analogous systems of inherited status which nullify or impair their enjoyment of human rights”. 4
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I am seriously concerned Mr President about the continued existence of such systems and I fully share the position taken by CERD in this respect (A/64/271). Indeed CERD has stated that discrimination on the grounds of caste constituted a form of racial discrimination and that “the term ‘descent’ has its own meaning and was not to be confused with race or ethnic or national origin”. These systems based on inherited status are good examples of cases where even when clear legislation exists to prohibit discrimination, individuals and groups of individuals continue to be so discriminated. Mr President, the existence of policies, legislation, or programmes that are prima facie non-discriminatory, but which in practice have discriminatory effects, represents one of the main challenges that may occur within this framework. Sometimes, indeed, as illustrated above, the institutions or the way they are organized, as well as the legislation or policies adopted, may have a discriminatory effect even if not intended so to do. Such effects can arise from the discriminatory application of otherwise
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