Experts urge Hungary to end 'benevolent segregation' of Roma

Experts on the protection of national minorities are urging Hungary to end the "benevolent segregation" of Roma children in schools.

A report by the Council of Europe, the continent's top human rights body, says the practice of separate classes for Roma where they are meant to "catch up" before continuing in mainstream education is ineffective and discriminatory. Roma make up an estimated 8 percent of Hungary's population of nearly 10 million.

The report issued Monday also finds that the "uncompromising stance" on migration by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government "has fueled xenophobic and intolerant attitudes against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants."

Among the positive developments, the experts noted a significant rise in scholarship amounts awarded, including to Roma children, and found a "perceptible drop" in the number of anti-Semitic incidents.