The Council of Europe focuses on the Roma inclusion again
Since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU back in 2007, the Roma people represent Europe’s largest ‘ethnic minority’, numbering up to an estimated 10-12 million.
Source: FOCUS News Agency
Neglect of Europe's Roma not an option, OSCE's Roma adviser tells US Helsinki Commission
"Neglect is no longer an option," Mirga said in a briefing. "Governments have to demonstrate real political will and take vigorous action to close the gap between the majority populations and Roma and Sinti communities."
Mirga, whose office is part of the OSCE's Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said that if governments continued to remain idle, tensions would increase, with the risk of further violence targeted at Roma and Sinti.
Read more on http://www.osce.org/item/38088.html
New York, 11 June 2009: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is proud to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious Justice Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation on the tenth anniversary of the Gruber Prize Program. The ERRC will share this award with Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The Gruber Foundation Justice Prize is presented to individuals or organisations for contributions that have advanced the cause of justice, as delivered through the legal system. The award is intended to acknowledge individual efforts, as well as to encourage further advancements in the field and progress towards bringing about a fundamentally just world.
The Gruber Foundation stated that both recipients have been recognised ‘for their tireless advocacy of human rights for individuals belonging to oppressed groups that historically have not had an effective voice in, or access to, the justice system.’
Read more on http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=3039
15/06/2009 - Roma face the highest levels of discrimination among surveyed ethnic groups in Europe according to the EU Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS) last year. EU-MIDIS collected data from select ethnic minorities and immigrants living in the 27 EU member states in an effort to address discrimination.
The report, which surveyed nearly 23,500 people, focused on the Roma minority, as well as immigrants from North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, former Yugoslavia, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. According to the survey, Roma reported that they are most discriminated against in Hungary (62%) and the Czech Republic (64%), and on the other side of the coin, least discriminated against in Romania (25%) and Bulgaria (26%). The study focused on Roma in seven EU countries -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Read more on http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2009/06/15/feature-02
The Decade of Roma Inclusion: A Unifying Framework of Progress Measurement and Options for Data Collection, produced with support from the Decade Trust Fund, includes an analysis of good practices in monitoring the integration of ethnic minorities and proposes measures to strengthen outcome monitoring for the Decade of Roma Inclusion, both at the national level and across the Decade countries.
The report identifies suitable indicators for tracking the integration of Roma in the four Decade priority areas—education, employment, health and housing—as well as adequate mechanisms for the collection of data on Roma integration. It also provides concrete proposals for strengthening the framework for measuing results, including guidelines for how the suggested indicators should be applied with regard to the available data.
Strasbourg, 26/05/2009 - The Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) released today three new reports
examining racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in Belgium, Germany and Slovakia. The ECRI reports note positive developments in all
three of these Council of Europe member states, but also detail continuing grounds for concern, said the Chair of ECRI, Eva Smith Asmussen.
These new reports form part of a fourth monitoring cycle of the Council of Europe member states’ laws, policies and practices aimed at combating racism. ECRI’s country specific reports are available in English, French and the national language of the country concerned at www.coe.int/ecri. They cover all member states on an equal footing, from the perspective of protecting human rights.
Read more on https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1449305&Site=DC
09/06/2009 - Yesterday, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Petr Simerka and Minister for Human Rights and National Minorities Michael Kocáb chaired the meeting of the Employment, Social Policy and Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) in Luxembourg. They thus symbolically rounded off the activities of the Czech Presidency in the area of employment and social affairs...
Another key area addressed by the Council was the issue of the inclusion of Roma. The Czech Presidency endorsed the adoption of the Common Basic
Principles for Roma Inclusion. This is the first time that the EPSCO Council has discussed this issue. "At a time when the whole of Europe is witnessing a rise in extremism and racism, this initiative is of crucial importance and sends out a clear message about the need to improve the situation of Roma throughout Europe", stated Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb.
The Helsinki Commission invited several Central European Roma experts to the hearing which discussed the recent rise in anti-Roma violence.
Attacks against Hungary's largest minority group, the Roma, estimated at 600-800,000, had increased recently. Over the past half a year five Roma people were killed in suspected racially motivated attacks. To date, however, none of the killers have been found.
That meant that Fidesz won 14 of Hungary's 22 seats in the 736-member European parliament, two more than last time. By contrast, the ruling Socialists suffered a crushing defeat, gaining only 17.37 percent of the vote, down from 34.3 percent in 2004 and seeing their number seats cut from nine to just four.
Read more on www.ejpress.org/article/37098
The Jobbik party, which scored a surprise 15 percent at the EP elections on Sunday, has promoted a populist agenda such as linking Hungary's large Roma population and the spread of crime. Hungarians, their mood hurt by soaring unemployment and facing a sour outlook as the country's recession hit 6.7 percent, voted for Jobbik in droves. No pollster predicted more than 6 percent, or a single seat, for the party.
Read more on http://www.eitb.com/news/-X-url_europa-X-/detail/167367/hungarys-far-right-to-pursue-controversial-measures-in-europe/
"The Salvation Army in Peel is feeding nearly 100 Romany immigrants in shifts because its shelters are jammed, just one sign of an explosion of Czech Roma asylum-seekers to Ontario this year," the paper writes on its website. Last year in total, there were 853 Czech Romany refugee claimants in Canada. Among the most recent is renowned journalist Anna Polakova, 46, and her six relatives, including her son Marek, who she says was badly beaten by skinheads, the paper adds.
12/06/2009 - The Salvation Army in Peel is feeding nearly 100 Roma immigrants in shifts because its shelters are jammed, just one sign of an explosion of Czech Roma asylum-seekers to Ontario this year. From January to April, 1,077 Czech Roma poured into Toronto, Peel Region and Hamilton to get away from neo-Nazi firebombings and beatings. Last year in total, there were 853 Czech Roma refugee claimants. Among the most recent is high-profile journalist Anna Polakova, 46, and six relatives including her son, Marek, who she says was badly beaten by skinheads.
Read more on http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/649703
Racial violence targeting Roma is likely to continue in the next few months, Anna Dunin writes for ISN Security Watch.
Read more on http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Security-Watch/Detail/?lng=en&id=101311
9 June 2009 - On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the end of the war over Kosovo, Chachipe has issued an urgent call to the EU to find a solution to the refugee crisis. Ten years after the end of the war, several ten thousand Kosovo Roma are still waiting for their cases to be resolved, the organisation says in a letter to the European Council.
In this letter, Chachipe expresses its concern at the recent signature of a bilateral readmission agreement between the Kosovo authorities and the German government as well as at ongoing negations with the governments of other host countries. “Two weeks ago, we have witnessed the deportation of a young Rom and father of two German born children from Germany to Kosovo, in violation some of the most fundamental international human rights standards such as the protection of family life and in contradiction with the position of the UNHCR on the need for continued international protection of individuals from Kosovo,” the organisation says.
Read more on http://www.kosovotimes.net/kosovo-pdf-library-download-section/doc_download/55-republic-of-kosovo-government-strategy-for-integration-of-roma-ashkali-and-egyptian-communities.html
Read more on http://romarights.wordpress.com/category/nevipenewsvijesti/
The Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, visited the Mitrovica camps of Cesmin Lug and Osterode in March 2009. He was struck by the very poor conditions in which these families live and by the extremely serious health hazards which they face daily, by simple virtue of the fact that they are living in a lead-contaminated area.
This photo documentary published on the photo sharing platform Flickr was prepared by Sandro Weltin from the Photo Unit. It offers 43 images, including views of the camps and portraits of some of the 140 families living there.
DEADLINE: June 22nd (Monday), 5 p.m
For further information about the project please visit http://www.ubaeg.org/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=4
Serbia meets all EU human rights criteria
Belgrade, June 13, 2009 – Minister for Human and Minority Rights Svetozar Ciplic today stated that Serbia is working on improving the position of Roma much more than a majority of EU countries, adding that we have already met all the human rights criteria necessary for joining the EU. In an interview with the Tanjug news agency, Ciplic noted that Serbia’s efforts are still not enough for the full integration of Roma in our society. Talking about the results achieved during Serbia’s presidency over the Decade of Roma Inclusion, the Minister pointed out that it will take 10 to 20 years to achieve Roma inclusion, as the issue must be treated systematically.
The Roma people living in Belgrade say that regardless of social, health and other problems, their life is much better here than in other countries, said Ciplic, adding that entire Europe is tackling the problem of Roma segregation. According to official data, as well as UN estimates, around 450.000 Roma live in Serbia, said the Minister and voiced his belief that Roma will be included in the 2012 census.
Read more on http://www.srbija.gov.rs/vesti/vest.php?id=56587&change_lang=en
Summary of the Opinion: Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken a number of measures to advance the implementation of the Framework Convention. Legislation on the protection of persons belonging to national minorities was adopted by the Federation and Republika Srpska. Further steps should nonetheless be taken to ensure that the existing legislation is fully implemented. Persons belonging to national minorities continue to be included in the category of "Others", do not enjoy the same political rights as those belonging to the three constituent peoples and remain on the sidelines of public affairs. They still have low visibility within the society since the institutional system is focused on the interests of the three constituent peoples.
Read more on http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/minorities/4_Events/News_2009_en.asp#10/06/2009
The conclusions of Amnesty International report on year 2008, published Thursday, May 28, are that Romania did not sufficiently cleared its role in the controversial CIA activities, public order forces were accused for mistreatment and using excessive force and the discrimination towards minorities – Roma and homosexuals – persisted. The report refers also to the justice report of the European Commission from July 2008, which required from the Romanian authorities to ameliorate the justice system and to corruption especially at the local authorities level.
The Amnesty International report mentions that “discrimination towards Roma continues to be wide spread and intense,” while there continue to exist complaints regarding ill treatment and use of excessive force from the authorities side. Roma don't benefit from equal access to education, houses, healthcare and jobs.
Read more on http://www.divers.ro/opinii_en?wid=37649&func=viewSubmission&sid=10065
The new policy launched by the city council of Pisa, home of Italy’s world famous leaning tower, has kicked up a storm of controversy among both local welfare and Roma advocacy groups, though it does not seem to break any constitutional laws. Filippeschi says that, thus far, 42 Roma gypsies of Romanian origin and with European citizenship have already agreed to the deal and have been sent back to the southwestern Romanian city of Craiova. During their one-way trip, they were escorted by the Red Cross and given approximately €512 each – enough cash to get them back on their feet in their new country.
Read more on http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-06-11/A_one-way_ticket_for_Italy_s_gypsies.html
Now, some 55 years later, Encyclopaedia Britannica has changed its mind but the traveller community, many of whom live in Ash, worry others have not. Organisers of the Gipsy, Roma and Traveller History Month – a series of events around the country aimed at educating people about traveller culture – say it is needed because Britain’s 300,000 people “continue to suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination”.
Read more on http://www.gethampshire.co.uk/news/s/2052484_travellers_plan_event_to_change_attitudes
October 1 to 7, 2009.
Deadline for submission is July 1, 2009
Through literally centuries of slavery, genocide, massacres, and relentless ostracizing, the Romani (Gypsy) People, who presently number around 15 million worldwide, continue to suffer unprecedented levels of violence, civilian attacks, fervent segregation, police brutality, and an appalling lack of legitimate representation in art and media.
Read more on http://www.gypsyfilms.org/Submission.htm
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