© 2019

Legal Aspects of Ethnic Data Collection and Positive Action

The Roma Minority in Europe

  • Researches the legal feasibility of ethnic data collection

  • Explores positive action for equality and anti-discrimination purposes in general

  • Provides a special focus on the Roma minority in Europe


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxiv
  2. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    Pages 1-42
  3. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    Pages 43-152
  4. Ethnic Data Collection

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 155-257
  5. Positive Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 439-439
    2. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 441-524
    3. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 525-549
    4. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 551-605
    5. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 607-655
    6. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 657-684
    7. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 685-714
    8. Jozefien Van Caeneghem
      Pages 715-728

About this book


This book addresses the legal feasibility of ethnic data collection and positive action for equality and anti-discrimination purposes, and considers how they could be used to promote the Roma minority’s inclusion in Europe. The book’s central aim is to research how a societal problem can be improved upon from a legal perspective. The controversy surrounding ethnic data collection and positive action severely limits their use at the national level. Accordingly, legal and political concerns are analysed and addressed in order to demonstrate that it is possible to collect such data and to implement such measures while fully respecting international and European human rights norms, provided that certain conditions are met.

Part I focuses on ethnic data collection and explores the key rules and principles that govern it, the ways in which this equality tool could be used, and how potential obstacles might be overcome. It also identifies and addresses the specific challenges that arise when collecting ethnic data on the Roma minority in Europe. In turn, Part II explores positive action and the broad range of measures covered by the concept, before analysing the applicable international and European framework. It reviews the benefits and challenges of implementing positive action for Roma, identifies best practices, and gives special consideration to inter-cultural mediation in the advancement of Roma inclusion.

The book concludes with an overview of the main findings on both topics and by identifying three essential elements that must be in place, in addition to full respect for the applicable legal rules, in order to combat discrimination and achieve the inclusion of Roma in Europe by complementing existing anti-discrimination frameworks with the collection of ethnic data and the implementation of positive action schemes.


Ethnic minority Anti-discrimination Diversity Equality data European Union Council of Europe United Nations Intersectionality Privacy Data protection Inter-cultural mediation Human rights Race and ethnicity Minority rights Socio-economic rights Affirmative action

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

About the authors

Jozefien Van Caeneghem holds a Master in Laws (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), an LL.M in International and European Law (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (European Inter-University Centre for Huma Rights and Democratisation, now called Global Campus of Human Rights). She obtained the degree of Doctor of Laws at VUB in 2017.

Bibliographic information