Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* “Healing History - Memory, legacy & social change” by the Initiatives of Change
On 6-9 April ERIO suppported the international conference “Healing History - Memory, legacy & social change” organised by the Initiatives of Change in Richmond in the USA. Ivan as a member of the immigration working group contributed to the identity, immigration and citizenship breakout session.
The report from the breakout session is available here

OTHER news

* Amnesty International: Segregation, bullying and fear: The stunted education of Romani children in Europe
By Amnesty International

08/04/2015 - The 4th primary, a school tucked away in a corner of Sofades, a small town near the city of Karditsa in central Greece, looks like an old, decrepit prison.
The building is so dilapidated, no child should be spending any time there. With not enough classrooms and regular power cuts, it is almost unbelievable that anyone can learn anything within those walls. However, every day, around 200 boys and girls between six and 14 years of age cross the rusty gates of the school which is built inside the Roma settlement and try to make the most of it.
The children are all Roma. For them, the “ghetto school” (as they call it) is their only shot at an education. In countries across Europe - Greece, the Czech Republic, France, and Slovakia, to name but a few - Roma are too often treated as second-class citizens. Enduring systematic social exclusion, extremely poor living conditions, racially motivated attacks and forced evictions, Romani children rarely have a fighting chance of progressing in life. They are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and marginalization.
Read more here
* OSCE Mission Head calls for better integration of Kosovo Roma community
By OSCE Mission in Kosovo

Pristina, 8 April 2015 – “The Kosovo Roma community remains on the margins of the society, therefore more needs to be done to ensure their full social inclusion,” Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger, said today on the occasion of International Roma Day.
“Members of the Roma community, along with the Ashkali and Egyptian communities, still suffer various forms of discrimination. They face challenges in accessing education, healthcare services, housing and employment. This situation needs to change,” said Schlumberger. “The current strategy and action plan for the integration of these most vulnerable communities will expire in 2015,” Schlumberger said, urging the Kosovo government to ensure an inclusive process when drafting the new policy framework for the integration of these communities.

Read more here
* Amnesty Says Serbia Failed To Use EU Funds To Resettle Roma
By Amnesty International

08/04/2015 - Amnesty International (AI) says hundreds of Roma who were forcibly evicted from their Belgrade homes in 2012 have not been resettled despite Serbia receiving EU funds for the project.
London-based AI said in a statement on April 8 that more than 100 families are living in squalid conditions even though city officials pledged to provide them with new apartments using a 3.6 million euro ($3.9 million) grant from the European Union. AI said the resettlement was to be completed by February but that not one of the new housing blocks has been completed.
Read more here
* Three Years On, Evicted Roma in Belgrade are Still Homeless and Living in 'Squalid' Conditions
By Melodie Bouchaud

09/04/2015 - The city of Belgrade has reportedly failed to find adequate housing for almost 100 forcibly evicted Roma families, despite a multi-million Euro resettlement fund from the European Commission (EC), according to an Amnesty International report released on Tuesday to coincide with International Roma Day.
In April 2012, authorities in the Serbian capital evicted close to 1,000 people from an informal settlement in Belvil, a residential complex in the western part of Belgrade. Following the eviction, the families awaiting resettlement were temporarily rehoused in metal containers at four sites in the capital.
Read more here
* Hungary’s demographic revolution? Roma youth comprise a third of all students in eastern Hungarian counties
By Christopher Adam

09/04/2015 - Attila Z. Papp, a researcher affiliated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Minority Studies Institute, presented research findings on significant demographic changes in Hungary that made headlines in the Hungarian media. The conservative Heti Válasz weekly magazine wrote about a “demographic revolution” and how there are now 298 schools in Hungary where Roma students form the majority of the pupil base. In Budapest’s 8th District, nearly every second student (43%) enrolled in elementary or high school is of Roma origin, while the proportion of Roma pupils in the adjacent 7th District stands at 23%.
Read more here
* Hungary: Roma families at risk of forced eviction
By Amnesty International

Around 160 families, mainly Roma, are at risk of forced eviction in the ‘Numbered Streets’ neighbourhood of Miskolc, Hungary. The authorities must ensure that no one is forcibly evicted from their homes.
09/04/2015 - The Municipality of Miskolc, plans to evict all its tenants from the “Numbered Streets” neighbourhood in Miskolc, Hungary’s fourth largest city, to make way for a football stadium. At least two families have been given notice to vacate their homes by Monday 13 April and Thursday 16 April by a bailiff acting on behalf of the municipality. Others are expected to follow. Speaking to Amnesty International’s delegate on 1 April, one resident who has been told to leave by Monday 13 April said: “the whole thing is about the football, money and racism. They hate Roma people.”
Read more here
* Italy aiming for better integration of Roma, Sinti communities
By Shanghai Daily

Rome, 09/04/2015 - The Roma and Sinti are minority groups in Italy but addressing the challenge of their cohabitation with local citizens is a key for the country's social policy. A study released earlier this week by not-for-profit organization Association 21 July found that around 180,000 Roma and Sinti live in Italy, equal to 0.25 percent of the national population.
Half of them have Italian citizenship and four out of five live in homes, are students or have a regular job, according to the organization which is committed to the promotion of the rights of the Roma and Sinti communities in Italy. "However, the Roma and Sinti making the headlines are among 40,000, or one out of five, living in so-called camps," Association 21 July president Carlo Stasolla explained to Xinhua.
Read more here
* Italian right-wing chief sparks anger with bulldozer threat to Roma
By Valeriu Nicolae

Rome, 08/04/2015 - The head of Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party came under fire Wednesday for saying the country's overcrowded and segregated Roma camps should be bulldozed. Matteo Salvini, a rising star on the Italian right, said in an interview he would "give six months notice then raze the Roma camps to the ground," insisting that ethnic Roma should rent or buy houses like other Italians.
Although over half the 170,000 or so Roma and Sinti people in Italy are Italian citizens with regular jobs and houses, some 40,000 of them are housed in purpose-built camps and hate crimes against the poorest are rife. Camp dwellers have been prevented by council regulations from applying for public housing even if they were born in Italy, trapping them permanently in the fenced-off centres, far from schools, shops, health care centres or workplaces.
Read more here
* Sweden invests millions in ending Roma racism
By The Local SE

A Swedish Roma activist has welcomed the government's plan to invest 52 million kronor ($6m) to promote Roma inclusion in society – but he told The Local on Wednesday that more needs to be done.
08/04/2015 - The Swedish government announced on Wednesday that they are going to allocate 13 million kronor a year from 2016-19 in their spring budget to educating so called “bridge builders”, who will work to increase knowledge of Roma culture and language in education and social care sectors.
“The way in which we have treated people with their roots in Roma culture and background is a very dark chapter of the story of our country and our development,” wrote Sweden's Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke in an opinion piece for newspaper Metro.
Read more here
* Suspects appear in French court for allegedly selling Roma babies in 2013

Four Romanians are to appear this week in court in Marseille on suspicions of involvement in a baby trafficking network. They face up to 10 years in prison.
07/04/2015 - According to the prosecution, they were thought to have acted as intermediaries between childless couples and people from the Roma community. The case began in July 2013 when a newborn boy was allegedly sold in a Marseille hospital for 8,000 euros and a used car. Investigators later traced the biological mother – a Roma mother of five – after the hospital reported that a couple had stayed two days at her bedside before she left hospital without her newborn. The adoptive parents could face up to two years in prison and a 30,000-euro fine. Police officers assume that a family network of baby trafficking has operated in south-east France and Corsica.
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.
Contact us