Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO meets with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Permanent Study Group on Roma Inclusion
On December 01, 2015 ERIO’s Executive Director Ivan Ivanov was invited to the first meeting of the newly established Permanent Study Group on Roma Inclusion in the EESC. Mr. Ivanov was asked to give an overview of the EU policy framework for Roma inclusion and the state of play of implementation of this policy framework. Mr. Ivanov talked also about the problems Roma have and the challenges local and national authorities face in the implementation of their National Roma Integration Strategies and other relevant policies. The President of the Permanent Study Group Mr. Akos Topolansky also expressed its concerns on the current situation or Roma and the way Member states implement their National strategies. Mr. Topolansky asked ERIO to contribute to the future work of the Study Group and continue closely to cooperate with the EESC.

OTHER news

* Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley belonged to Roma Community: Meet on India links of legends today
By Express News Service

The lineage of persons of Indian origin is set to grow as legendary painter Pablo Picasso, master filmmaker Charlei Chaplin, iconic singer Elvis Presley are among artistes whose Indian links will be discussed in a seminar by Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR) in collaboration with Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat.
The three-day conference that begins Friday will be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. MoS (Culture) Mahesh Sharma will address the valedictory session of the seminar which will see participants from 12 countries. The ICCR says these personalities “belong to the Roma community”, said to be “descendants of groups in India like Dom, Banjara, Gujjar, Sansi, Chauhan, Sikligar, Dhangar and other nomadic groups from northwest India.” The 20-million strong Roma community is spread across more than 30 countries, covering West Asia, Europe, America and Australia.  “The purpose of this seminar is to create awareness about Indian origins of Roma community. Origins of eminent personalities like Picasso, Presley and Chaplin would be discussed,” ICCR Director General C Rajasekhar said. “The conference is also a reflection of India’s age-old outlook, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he added. This is the first time ICCR is holding a conference on Romas.

Read more here
* New government ignores Roma and refugees
By Roman Cuprik

Refugees were a top issue in pre-election debates, but the new government did not write a single word about them in its programme priorities.
Even now, when members of far-right People’s party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), which has been gathering popularity on anti-Roma and anti-migrant rhetoric, are marching into the parliament, the new government still ignores these issues. It stems from programme priorities of the new government which may be the basis for its programme statement that representatives of Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS), Most-Híd and Sieť specified and inked on March 15. “It seems like those parties haven’t understood the message of recent general elections,” Jarmila Lajčáková of the Centre for Ethnic and Culture Research (CVEK) told The Slovak Spectator.

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* Roma people persecuted during World War II will receive humanitarian aid
By Teleradio Moldova

The Roma National Centre in Moldova conducts in the period February 2016 - January 2017, the pilot project of providing material support to Roma people who have been victims of National Socialist persecution during the World War II, Radio Moldova reports.
According to the president of the Roma National Centre in  Moldova  Nicolae Radita this project aims to improve the quality of life of Roma people born before 1945.

"Roma people suffered in the World War II. Unfortunately, at country level there is no policy to help these persons. As long as there are old people who were born before 1945, we requested the German Fund to come up with a humanitarian aid and to this end we negotiated a project that is estimated at 40 thousand Euros", said Nicolae Radita.

The project will start throughout the country and the humanitarian aid will be provided by the German Fund "Memory, Responsibility and Future". According to official data, over 500 thousand Roma people were victims of National Socialist persecution during the World War II.
Read more here
* European Court issues emergency measure to stop Italy from evicting Roma family

Rome, Budapest, 25 March 2016: A disabled Romani woman and her daughter stopped their eviction by getting the European Court of Human Rights to issue an emergency measure moments before closing for the holiday weekend. The women, who have lived with other family members for years in a “temporary” segregated, Roma-only shelter run by the City of Rome, were threatened with eviction last week. Now in a decision made within 24 hours, the European Court of Human Rights told the Italian Government not to evict the family.
The shelter is one of two notoriously segregated places where Roma are housed separately from non-Roma in Italy. Last year the Italian courts condemned the City of Rome for operating a segregated camp for Roma far from access to the city.1 The City of Rome is currently looking to close a large number of shelters (for Roma and non-Roma alike), but in general non-Roma are offered some form of economic support to ease them into the private rental market while Roma are not.2 The women facing eviction in this case told the European Court of Human Rights that it was discriminatory to turf them out while offering them no help.

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* France evicts 300 Roma per week
By Marion Candau

 There is no winter break in France’s shanty towns, where 300 Roma are expelled every week. In 2014, France evicted four out of five slum-dwellers; a higher proportion than in any other European country. EurActiv France reports. 
According to the Human Rights League and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), France evicted 13,483 Roma people in 2014. 
More than 90% of the evictions took place in the North and South-East of France. In some cases French authorities provided the Roma with rehousing but it covered far from everybody. 
“Roma communities continue to be forcibly evicted without being adequately informed and consulted. They are often made homeless as they receive no alternative housing, including when evicted in winter,” said Marco Perolini, Researcher on Discrimination in Europe at Amnesty International.
“These practices are at odds with international standards on the right to adequate housing which are binding on France.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was investigated in 2013 following controversial declarations on the Roma’s unwillingness to integrate into French society. “We all know that begging, theft and delinquency increase in proximity to these camps. […] The Roma would be better off going back to Romania or Bulgaria,” he said.
This is typical of the stigmatisation of the Roma in France.

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* ECRI: States should sanction the use of hate speech, while safeguarding freedom of expression
By CoE

Encouraging speedy reactions by public figures to hate speech, promoting self-regulation of media, raising awareness of the dangerous consequences of hate speech, withdrawing financial and other support from political parties that actively use hate speech and criminalising its most extreme manifestations, while respecting freedom of expression, are among the general policy recommendations issued today by the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued guidelines to all 47 member States of the Council of Europe on how to prevent hate speech, support those targeted by it, and deal with its consequences.
Hate speech is based on the unjustified assumption that a person or a group of persons are superior to others; it incites acts of violence or discrimination, thus undermining respect for minority groups and damaging social cohesion. This is why governments must resolutely and urgently react to hate speech, ECRI says.

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* Czech Republic: Interest in tutoring for Romani children in Brno exceeds supply of volunteers
By iDNES.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

News server iDNES.cz reports that the Romani residents of Brno are expressing increasing interest every year in the long-term tutoring of their children. This year a minimum of 250 Romani children are augmenting their regular education in this way. Over the last 12 years more than 1 000 Romani children have used the services of after-school tutors. That is about one-fifth of the total number of Romani people 18 years of age and younger living in Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. Experts say the myth that Roma do not value education no longer applies. On the contrary, Romani parents want their children to perform well in society.
"Romani parents are aware of the value of education, and because they frequently are not able to advise their children themselves, or to aid them, they take advantage of our tutoring services," says Alica Sigmund Heráková of the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno. That organization began offering long-term tutoring for Romani children 12 years ago and still does today. Three other larger nonprofits in the city offer tutoring to Romani children as well. There is such interest in the service that both primary and secondary schoolchildren are on waiting lists, as there are not enough volunteer tutors to meet demand.

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
External Communication & Development Consultant at ERIO - European Roma Information Office
Job Location: Brussels
Expiration Date: 31 Mar 2016
Contract duration: until the end of 2016 with the possibility for extension
Starting date: 1 May 2016
This position can only be granted to someone who is officially registered as independent consultant.

Minimum bachelor’s degree or equivalent
Experience of fundraising (funding research and development of funding proposals)Skills:
Excellent written and verbal English language skills Very good written and verbal French language skills
Very good communication and interpersonal skills to interact with all organisational levels
Able to work well both independently and within a small team and in a multicultural environment be responsive, flexible and adaptable, able to multitask and to prioritise workload to meet deadlines Strong planning and organisational skills
Accuracy, an eye for detail and a keenness to learn
Good IT skills (ability to use computer-based tools including electronic mail, and word processing)
Knowledge of Romani language
Knowledge of Roma issues and experience of working with disadvantaged and minority groups, and with Roma communities
Communication tasks under the general guidance of the Executive Director, the consultant will:
Facilitate and coordinate the communication with the existing network members provide updates to network members as it relates to ERIO’s activities and relevant Roma related initiatives at EU and national levels assist in the coordination of an informal media network liaise with many levels of people including local authorities, civil society representatives and Roma activists to organise roundtables and activities at national and local level perform other related duties that may be assigned
Development tasks under the general guidance of the Executive Director, the consultant will:
Carry out donor and funding research whose criteria match ERIO's aims and activities contribute to the writing and production of project proposals maintain organised files of all fundraising information perform other related duties that may be assigned salary:

Please send us your offer (including monthly rate) with your application form.
Please email your CV, a cover letter explaining how you meet the required criteria and your offer (quoting “Communication and Development Consultant”) to: office@erionet.eu
Interviews will take place during 18-22 April 2016
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