Grandma take me home! Visiting rights of (grand)parents and Roma discrimination in Italy: two systemic problems? – Terna v. Italy

Francesco Luigi Gatta, Research Fellow, UCLouvain, EDEM

The case Terna v. Italy (application no. 21052/18) concerns the non-enforcement of a grandmother’s right of access to her granddaughter, who belongs to the Roma ethnic group. It touches upon two serious issues in Italy: visiting rights and Roma discrimination. With the judgment delivered on 14 January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) due to the national authorities’ failure to ensure the grandmother’s visiting rights. Going beyond the specific case, moreover, the Court explicitly acknowledged the existence of a systemic problem, since Italy has a long history of delays, disorganisation and judicial decisions left unexecuted when it comes to family issues and access rights. Terna only represents the tip of the iceberg. 

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