oa De Jure - Discrimination in education of children in central and eastern Europe in the jurisprudence of the European Court on Human Rights

Volume 52 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2225-7160



This contribution discusses the child’s right to education in the context of discriminatory practices of its realisation in some Central and Eastern European states. The discussion is driven by three judgments of the European Court on Human Rights pronounced relatively recently – D.H. and Others v The Czech Republic (2007), Orcus and Others v Croatia (2010) and Horvath and Kiss v Hungary (2013). The judgments are reviewed with the view to demonstrate the way the Strasbourg Court develops its concept of indirect discrimination, incl. of prima facie evidence of discrimination. Also, the contribution is trying to highlight to evolving reasoning of the Court in applying the concept of indirect discrimination in connection with the ones of margin of appreciation and proportionality. An important finding is that the Court finds out that the segregated manner of educating Roma children is not a proportionate tool to achieve the declared (although) a legitimate aim – to respond to the needs of these children. The contribution also focuses on the way the right of the child to education is protected under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It proves that although the two international treaties use different approaches, their aims are similar – to ensure equal access to education but also access to quality education that enhances the life chances of children at adulthood.

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