EUROPEAN ROMA INFORMATION OFFICE
Brussels, 04/06/2010 - The European Union’s 1,5 million EUR pilot project for the social inclusion of Roma has been officially launched today. Lívia Járóka MEP (Fidesz/EPP Group) expressed her hope that the project would prove to be a good practice on which the European-level effort for enhancing the situation of Roma can be based.
The two years pilot project has been initiated by the three major groups of the EP and aims to promote the integration of Roma through educational, social and economic measures. The European Commission’s DG Regio launched the tender in three fields: early childhood education, micro-credit and raising awareness. Representatives of the three NGOs – Roma Education Fund, Kiútprogram, Spolu Foundation – that have won the tender signed their agreement documents with the European Commission today, thus officially launching the project.
Read more on http://euyouthspeak.org/roma/?p=13652
UK: Playing the Gypsy 'race card'
04/06/2010 - The Con-Dem coalition has started an offensive against the most marginal and disadvantaged of all Britain's minorities, Gypsies and Travellers.
Putting aside brave new world soundbites on 'freedom', 'fairness' and civil liberties, the first wave of 'efficiency savings' has wiped out £30 million already offered to local authorities and housing associations to support the development of Gypsy and Traveller sites.
New Labour in their own terms had pursued a genuinely progressive policy towards the desperate need of Britain's remaining travelling Gypsies and Travellers. John Prescott driven by the ridiculous costs to local authorities of clearing up the 'illegal' encampments of Gypsies and Travellers pushed for a revival of the 1960s policies of pressurising local councils to provide sites. Labour was also pushed by the European Court in Connors v UK in 2004 to do something about security of tenure on sites.
Read more on http://www.irr.org.uk/2010/june/ha000020.html
Finland: Parliament taking hard line on Roma asylum applications
07/06/2010 - Parliament wants to change procedures for dealing with asylum seekers coming from other European Union countries whose applications have been denied. Under the proposed rules, the rejected applicants would not get income support in the form of money while they are awaiting repatriation at refugee reception centres.
In the future, they would be given a roof over their heads at a reception centre, as well as food and personal hygiene supplies. New proposed legislation, which comes before Parliament on Tuesday, would also shorten the waiting time of EU citizens at reception centres.
05/06/2010 - For the second time in five years, the European Committee of Social Rights has condemned Greece for continued serious and widespread discrimination against Roma in respect of housing rights. In an unprecedented re-examination under the collective complaints system, the Committee unanimously upheld all of the main substantive allegations in a collective complaint filed in March 2008 by INTERIGHTS in partnership with Greek Helsinki Monitor. The complaint detailed the Greek government’s continuing failure to provide adequate housing and related infrastructure for the Roma as well as its involvement in over 20 forced evictions since 2004. It also highlighted the systematic discrimination experienced by the Roma and the failure of the government to provide adequate safeguards and remedies for this vulnerable community. There are approximately 300,000 individuals of Roma origin living in Greece and due to the absence of suitable housing, many are dwelling in 52 improvised and dangerous encampments.
The complaint marks a turning point in the Committees’ work, being the first time it has been asked and agreed to re-examine an issue that it has previously considered. In returning to this issue, the Committee found that not only had Greece made insufficient progress in implementing recommendations from the previous decision but it had also committed significant new breaches of its housing obligations. The result is that the housing situation for most Roma families has worsened in the last five years.
Read mor eon http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5476:greek-government-condemned-again-for-continuing-to-fail-roma-on-housing&catid=56:europe-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=78
Campaign “Alle Bleiben” in football match between Germany and Hungary
On May 29th prior to the football match between Germany and Hungary in Budapest an action calling up for tolerance and for stopping anti-Gypsyism took place. Representatives of the campaign “Alle Bleiben!” (Stay for all!) which works against the repatriation of Roma from Germany to Kosovo took part in the action raising awareness of the dramatic situation Roma are facing in Kosovo being victims of violent racism and extreme poverty. Romani Rose (Central Council of the Sinti and Roma in Germany), Kenan Emini (Roma Centre Goettingen), Hamze Bytyci (Amaro Drom) and German politicians participated in the event. Several players from the German team and German politicians expressed their support for the campaign “Alle Bleiben”. Representatives of the campaign call up on organisations and individuals to join it taking part in actions against the repatriations of Roma to Kosovo.
A 12-year-old project to build decent housing for Roma in one Hungarian town looks set to pay off for generations.
Kiskunhalas, Hungary, 01/06/2010 - Like many settlements across Hungary and Eastern Europe, this small town has a large Romani minority living in ramshackle houses and shacks, crowded into a small, unhealthy area on the outskirts of town. Garbage litters the unpaved muddy streets. Feeble attempts at sanitation result in the garbage piled up in corners rather than collected and placed in a landfill. The houses have neither sewer systems nor a gas connection, and the earth is a poorly drained, spongy soil.
In 1998, Iren Toth, a retired social worker troubled by the sight of entire clans living together in one filthy room, led an effort to build 20 new houses here. She helped secure funding from various governmental and private sources and in the same year she founded the Albert Schweitzer Family Help Foundation to ensure that the families here continue to get the support they need. The Kiskunhalas Schweitzer Foundation, unassociated with the international Schweitzer Society, is run from her living room.
Serbia: Ministry of Human Rights Puts Emphasis on Young Roma
27/05/2010 - The first conference of the Association of Young Roma of Serbia (UMRS) concluded that the work with young Roma will be a priority for the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights to ensure that they would become active contributing members of the society and join the work of the national council and political parties.
The Conference also concluded that the Roma community doesn’t pay attention to youth policies, and state secretary at the Ministry Petar Antić emphasized that young Roma should join all segments of public life in Serbia.
07/06/2010 - Across Europe, over seven million Roma people continue to live on the margins of society. They are often subject to discrimination that stems from public policies and attitudes. ‘The Decade of the Roma 2005-2015’ – an initiative led by nine Central and South Eastern European (CSEE) countries and supported by the World Bank and Open Society Institute aims to improve the socio-economic status and social inclusion of Roma.
As part of this initiative, in 2005, Ipsos set out to explore the views of the Roma and the non-Roma in CSEE countries. The first step in improving the lives of the Roma was to understand the attitudes and perceptions that prevent their integration into wider society.
AC FCNM: Opinion on Kosovo published
02/06/2010 - Council of Europe report on Kosovo: Inter-ethnic relations to be improved; minority protection laws to be implemented The Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) today published an Opinion on Kosovo, in which it acknowledges improvements in the legal framework on minority protection. However, it also expresses its concern about shortcomings in the implementation of legislation and policies, access to justice of persons belonging to national minorities, education and inter-ethnic relations.
The Advisory Committee adopted this Opinion in accordance with the Agreement between the Council of Europe and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and following reports provided by the authorities and NGOs, and a visit of the Advisory Committee to Kosovo in April 2009. UNMIK submitted Comments on the Opinion in May 2010. Based on the above-mentioned documents, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers is expected to adopt a resolution including its final conclusions and recommendations on the implementation of the Convention in Kosovo.
UNICEF brings children from all over Kosovo together for Children’s Day
01/06/2010 - Hundreds of children from all communities in Kosovo today marked Children’s Day in Kosovo this year with arts and sports activities, thanks to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners.
“Children have a lot to say and they have a right to be heard,” said United States actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Alyssa Milano, who visited Kosovo for the event.
UNICEF are doubtless very aware of the UN's toxic camps in Mitrovica, and the plight of 200+ Roma children under ten years of age condemned to a short and miserable life due to the injuries inflicted on their brains and other organs by extraordinarily high levels of lead and other toxic heavy metals. UNICEF will also be aware that these families were placed on this highly contaminated land by UNHCR, one of its own partner agencies against very strong advice. For other readers, full details and much evidence is available at www.toxicwastekills.com
Stop Discrimination Newsletter - June 2010
02/06/2010 - This issue of Stop Discrimination newsletter is focused on the Europe’s Roma population and recent developments to improve their situation.
FRA New Vacancies for Temporary Agents
03/06/2010 - Please be informed that the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published new vacancy notices on its website:
Searching for Country Director for Roma programs in Bulgaria
07/06/2010 - Arete Youth Foundation, a U.S. based nonprofit organization supporting Roma youth leadership in Bulgaria, is seeking a Country Director for a new office opening in Sofia, BG.
Please find more details on http://www.idealist.org/if/idealist/en/SiteIndex/AssetViewer/default?asset=Job&a\sset-id=379538-7
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy organisation which promotes political and public discussion on Roma issues by providing factual and in-dept information on a range of policy issues to the European Union institutions, Roma civil organisations, governmental authorities and intergovernmental bodies. ERIO cooperates with a large network of organisations and acts to combat racial discrimination and social exclusion through awareness raising, lobbying and policy development.
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Tel. 0032 (0)2 7333462. Fax: 0032 (0)2 7333875