Quarantines of Roma Settlements in Bulgaria and Slovakia Require Urgent Attention

Amnesty International letter sharing concerns about the treatment of Roma communities in Bulgaria and Slovakia during the COVID-19 pandemic and requesting the Council of Europe and European Commission’s support in taking these issues up with the national authorities.

Under extraordinary measures to contain the pandemic, the authorities in these two countries have placed Roma settlements under mandatory quarantines, enforced by police and the military, arguing that such measures were necessary for the protection of public health and safety.

The letter was sent on Friday, 15 May 2020, to the Council of Europe and the European Commission, as follows:

To the Council of Europe (CoE), Strasbourg:

  • Mr Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Chair of the Committee of Ministers
  • Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General
  • Ms Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Mr Giuseppe Palmisano, President of the European Committee of Social Rights
  • Ms Maria Daniella Marouda, Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance  

To the European Commission (EU), Brussels:

  • Ms Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality
  • Ms Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality