Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* Celebrating Roma culture and history as a part of European heritage
On the occasion of the International Roma Day on the 8 April, ERIO celebrates Roma culture, tradition, and identity and its contribution to European societies. On this day, we should reflect on the place of Roma in Europe, their contributions to European societies, and what it means to be Roma. However, we also need to confront reality; many Roma still live in extreme poverty, lack access to basic rights and face daily discrimination.

Read our press release here

OTHER news

* 7 arrested in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv, Pazardzhik over radical Islam-related Facebook activity
By FOCUS News Agency

Pazardzhik, 31/03/2015 - Seven people were arrested early on Tuesday morning in the residential districts of Roma people in southern district centres Plovdiv and Pazardzhik over radical Islam-related activity on Facebook, Radio FOCUS – Pazardzhik reported. The Prosecutor’s Office monitored the arrests.
Read more here
* Pig farm takes centre stage in battle for Roma history
By Andrew Connell

Lety, Czech Republic, 31/03/2015 - The modest village of Lety consists of a scattering of small dwellings, a petrol station, a local shop, a town hall and a pig farm.
The acrid stench of livestock hangs in the air at the farm where the calm is occasionally punctuated by the distant squeals of pigs, macabrely echoing the screams of people that would have been heard here 70 years ago. In 1943, this was the site of a concentration camp where hundreds of the country's Roma and Sinti minority - men, women and children - were murdered.

Read more here
* Italy: Roma people denounce 'savage' police attack on women, kids
By Gazzetta del Sud

Little girl injured with pepper spray, guns pulled on families
Rome, 31/03/2015 - The Roma Nation Association on Tuesday reported what it said was "a savage police attack" on Roma men, women and children in the outlying Tor Cervara neighborhood. The families had been evacuated from an immigrant reception center where they had been housed after a fire broke out last night. They went to sleep in some vans parked outside the building, while their lawyer Marcello Zuinisi contacted city council member Francesca Danese with a request for civil protection aid and a heated tent. Municipal police showed up in the morning, and violence ensured. The police version is that they were attacked when they tried to detain some individuals who were "instigating others to re-enter the building". "Our colleagues were surrounded and attacked with brooms, sticks and bottles," police said. This is when officers responded with pepper spray, injuring a little girl. Two officers were reportedly injured and two people were arrested, including a 15-year-old. The Roma's version of the incident differs from that of the police.
Read more here
* Roma refugees victims of systemic discrimination in Canada, new report finds
By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC News

Many claimants faced bias and unfair treatment
02/04/2015 - Hungarian Roma who came to Canada claiming refugee status encountered unfair treatment by lawyers, politicians and government officials, according to a new study prepared by a team of legal researchers in Toronto.
The report, entitled No Refuge: Hungarian Romani Refugee Claimants in Canada, is being released later today by a group refugee law experts from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. The group examined more than 11,000 refugee claimants in Canada between 2008 and 2012 and found that only 8.6 per cent of those claims were successful while more than half were abandoned or withdrawn.
Read more here
* Sweden eyes deal with Romania on welfare
By The Local SE

Sweden is close to reaching a deal with Romania to help the struggling country solve some of its most pressing social issues. The focus will be on children's rights, the government's special co-ordinator Martin Valfridsson told the Local on Thursday.
02/04/2015 - A first draft of a so-called co-operation agreement to deal with issues surrounding some of Romania's most vulnerable groups is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, with the hope of the two governments penning a formal deal this summer.

Read more here
* Research Exposes “Population Explosion” Of School-Age Roma Children In Hungary
By valasz.hu

02/04/2015 - According to teachers’ reports, as many as one in three children in two of Hungary’s nineteen counties have a Roma background, research by the National Academy of Sciences has revealed. The number of children belonging to the Roma minority is growing exponentially not only in the eastern part of the country but also in Transdanubia, according to the report.
The findings, published in the weekly magazine HVG, are based on estimates handed in by teachers on the share of Roma students in their classes under national competence tests. On the basis of the estimates, 15 per cent of primary school-age children have a Roma background; the same figure for the entire capital is 8.6 per cent, but as many as 43 per cent of children in District VIII and 23 per cent in VII belong to the Roma minority, according to teachers. Children of Roma background form the majority of students in 298 of the country’s primary schools.
Read more here
* Slovakia: Blaze in Romani settlement deprives 70 people of housing
By bau, romovia.sme.sk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

A fire broke out on Monday, 30 March in a Romani settlement in the municipality of Malcov, Bardějov district in Slovakia. A total of 15 cabins were burned to the ground and approximately 70 people were made homeless, 30 of them children; no one was injured.
Mayor Stanislav Gernát convened a crisis committee that night and declared a state of emergency. The municipality arranged for heated tents and food for the displaced, most of whom took shelter with relatives.
There was another fire on Monday in the municipality of Hranovnica, Poprad district, with the roofs of two single-family homes catching fire that night. The preliminary damage was estimated at EUR 45 000.
No one was injured in that blaze either. The causes and circumstances of the fire are under investigation.
Read more here


* Urgent: Film Maker Volunteer at European Roma Information Office (ERIO)

Starting date: ASAP
Duration: May-June 2015 (approximately 5 days)
Salary: None – volunteer post
Location: Brussels
Closing date of application: 15 May 2015 at 12:00 (CET)
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is looking for a volunteer to participate in a short documentary to be filmed in the context of a European project which aims to improve Roma inclusion in primary schools across Europe. The documentary will consist of several small scenes picturing individuals, Roma and non-Roma, discussing every day topics such as school, sports, family/marriage, food and/or work. The scenes will be filmed in Brussels.

Although this is an unpaid position, the volunteer will have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience as he/she will be involved with every stage of the pre-production of the documentary (including filming and editing). This will also be a great opportunity for the volunteer to network with other European professionals and film makers from the UK, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria and to gain practical knowledge of the development of European level projects.
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