Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Narratives of Social Inclusion in the Context of Roma School Segregation

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Abstract:  Despite a series of judgements from the European Court of Human Rights and the enactment of the EU Racial Equality Directive, the educational segregation of Roma pupils persists in several European states. State action plans submitted pursuant to the European Framework for Roma Integration rarely provide clear targets and do not commit to inclusive schooling. Taking education as a principle indicator of social inclusion, this article identifies that structural inequality and entrenched discriminatory attitudes are the main obstacles to Roma inclusion. This can only be addressed through the diffusion of legal and social norms that mainstream equality. Focusing on the legal obligations, it is argued that the European Commission must be more decisive and effective in the enforcement of non-discrimination rules. A closer dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the EU institutions, grounded in a non-targeted social inclusion frame, could provide a platform for European consensus which may help to secure meaningful change.

Keywords:  children; discrimination; education; Europe; exclusion; integration; law; Roma; school; segregation



© Helen O'Nions. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.