Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO publication: Human rights abuses and discrimination against Roma in 2015
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) has a new publication which includes snapshots that are illustrations of human rights abuses and discrimination against Roma in EU member states and candidate countries during 2015.
You can download the publication here
* ERIO Advocacy Training
On December 10 and 11 ERIO organised advocacy training for Roma activists from all over Europe. The training aimed to provide the young Roma with knowledge and skills to advocate for their need and rights at national and local level. A parallel objective of the training was to enable Roma to participate in the design and implementation of Roma integration policies. The training was supported by DG Justice of the European Commission.

You can find the report about the training here

OTHER news

* Drahomír Radek Horváth: Romani children in the Czech Republic end up in "special schools" but thrive abroad. Why?
By Drahomír Radek Horváth, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

I would like to permit myself the luxury here of describing something bluntly and straightforwardly, without beating around the bush. More than 30 % of the children being educated according to the program for the "mildly mentally disabled" (lehce mentálně postižené - LMP) in the Czech Republic are Romani.
That information comes from the "Romani pupil census" that was performed by the Czech School Inspection. So Kateřina Valachová, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, is setting out into the field to defend the idea of inclusive education to teachers who are bristling somewhat at the notion.
My friend Patrik has also expressed his view of inclusive education in a blog on iDNES.cz, and the discussion of this in society is running as fast as a cheetah after an impala. In our system, in order for it to be possible to enroll a child into a so-called "special school", what is needed is an assessment from an educational-psychological counseling center, and that assessment must be one of LMP at a minimum.

Read more here
* Europe-wide project turns Roma victims into citizens
By Senne Starckx

The Romani people are among the most neglected in Europe. A new project led by researchers from Limburg aims to speed up their integration in education and the labour market.

Nomads no longer
Just as the indigenous people of the Arctic don’t like to be called Eskimos, the Romani people, who live scattered across Europe, don’t like being referred to as gypsies. Still, a European project that kicked off this month carries the word in its tagline. 

The PAL project, worth €1.27 million, has several goals,  the main one of which is “anti-gypsyism”: combating discrimination of Roma people in education and employment.

Though it’s not general knowledge, but the people who suffered the most in the Holocaust after Jewish people were the Romani. Because history is written by the victorious and the Romani have never been tied to one country, their genocide has never been properly acknowledged.
In Flanders the Romani – or Sinti – are no longer identified as travelling nomads. Estimations of the number of Romani living in Belgium vary between 20,000 and 40,000. Ghent, for example, has a large community, and while these people are no longer nomadic, their housing conditions are generally poor.

Read more here
* UK: Met Told to Reinvestigate ‘Racist Abuse’ of Gypsies and Travellers
By Chris Green

Scotland Yard has been ordered to reopen an investigation into allegations that its officers used a “secret” Facebook group to air racist views about ethnic minorities, after the police watchdog ruled that its original investigation was inadequate. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the racism claims – which concluded without any officers being formally disciplined or charged – was “not appropriate” given the serious nature of the allegations. The claims centre around comments made about Gypsies and Travellers on an invitation-only Facebook group called “I’ve Met the Met”. Many of the group’s 3,000 participants are understood to be serving or retired police officers.
Read more here
* Analysis: Czech Police are confusing lawful behavior with "left-wing extremism
By Petr Uhl, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

In September 1998, 17 years ago, the Antifa initiative held a march in the Czech city of Brno under the slogan "Blacks, whites, let's unite!" and "Why see difference when nothing divides us?!" The organizer of that march, Dušan Rosenbaum, said at the close of the demonstration that racism and fascism were more than just a problem for Jews, Roma and other persons of color here, but had also become a problem for LGBT people, those living with disabilities, ethnic minorities, humanists and human rights defenders: "Let's prevent conflict arising from natural human diversity, whether it be ethnic, cultural, national, racial or sexual," he warned.

Among the targets of publicly-declared hatred today, groups unknown to us in 1998 are now predominant, namely, the imaginary, virtual refugees, the "economic migrants", the so-called "welcomers", and less directly, the "optimists". In recent months Angela Merkel has become her own, independent enemy "group" and target as well.
Who is "inadaptable" here?For 25 years, the media and politicians running for election have defined themselves as being against homeless people, welfare recipients, "trailer trash", "idlers" and even people released from serving prison sentences. All these people are covered by the comfortable, general label of "inadaptables".

Read more here


Join the The European Roma Media Network!

The European Roma Media Network was an outcome of ERIO’s conference “Media: a key tool to fight hate speech and anti-Gypsyism” organised on 23 June 2015 in Brussels. The ultimate goal of this informal Network is to join efforts to invert the role of the media as a tool to fight anti-Roma sentiments and anti-Gypsyism. The media has a crucial role in combating racism and stereotypes about the Roma. This can be achieved with an ethical and critical journalism which aims to raise awareness and provide a greater understanding regarding Roma issues.
The role of the Network is to provide an online platform for different stakeholders to exchange information and ideas about good practices and to discuss possible challenges and opportunities in tackling negative stereotypes and hate speech in the media. A parallel objective of the Network is to monitor and react to hate speech and negative portrayal of Roma in the media and address the responsible authorities.Who can join? Members of the Network should be journalists (Roma and non-Roma), media experts or NGOs working on media.

Want to apply for membership?
To apply for membership please fill in this registration form and send it to office@erionet.eu
School Drawing Competition: For Roma, with Roma

You are invited to take part in a drawing competition organised by the European Commission for 7-10 year olds. The aim of the competition is to help children, teachers and parents think about what we share that allows us to live together in an inclusive and mixed society.
To enter, work in a group to create a drawing that represents the theme above. Draw your ideas of five ways we are all the same; whether we are Roma or not.

The deadline for the competition is 16 February 2016.
More information can be found here.
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