An increasing concern felt about the absence of ethnic statistics concerning Roma and other minorities in most spheres of public life led to the idea of this research project. Convinced that the collection of such data would effectively help anti-discrimination litigation, in early 2000 INDOK, the Hungarian Human Rights Information and Documentation Center together with experts from the European Roma Rights Center the Constitutional and Legal Policy Institute and the Central European University launched the research project.
The objectives of the project were:
to clarify the present availability - or lack thereof - of ethnic statistics in European countries
clarify the legal status of ethnic statistics in Europe under both international and domestic law to determine which, if any, legal prohibitions limit the collection and maintenance of ethnic statistics
as to those jurisdictions where present legislation impedes reasonable efforts to gather ethnic statistics with privacy safeguards, recommend legal reforms
as to all other jurisdictions where present legislation does not impede reasonable efforts to gather ethnic statistics, educate public and policy makers that the law does not bar them from gathering such information, and
in all places, address the legitimate non-legally-based concerns of those presently opposed to gathering of ethnic statistics by
(i) making clear the problems above caused by absence of statistics (i.e., advocates cannot prove, and governments cannot monitor or combat, discrimination), and
(ii) suggesting practical steps (including successful examples employed elsewhere) which might be taken to permit the gathering and collection of such statistics with safeguards which address the legitimate concerns which have been raised.
The research project collected and compared information on data protection legislation, policies and methods and case-law on ethnic data collection across different countries of Europe and relevant internation actors. Eight countries were included: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain. In addition, a representative of the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the United Nations’ Committee against Racial Discrimination were also included in the team. The findings of this project served as the basis of an edited volume.
Krizsán Andrea ed. (2001) Ethnic Monitoring and Data Protection. The European Context. CEU Press: Budapest. Including chapter by Krizsán Andrea “Race Statistics and Data Protection. The Case of Hungary.”
Krizsan, Andrea (2011) Identity Politics or Social Inclusion? Policy Dilemmas on Ethnic Counting in Hungary Ethnic and Racial Studies Special Issue on Ethnic Counting edited by Patrick Simon and Victor Piche. Published on iFirst September 2011