Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* Together in the fight against discrimination and anti-Gypsyism
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21st March, we would like to emphasise the importance of equality; which forms, together with the respect for human rights, a founding European Union value. Today is also the occasion to promote the fight against anti-Gypsyism, a special form of racism which targets the most vulnerable ethnic minority in the EU, the Roma. 
Read our press release here

OTHER news

* Improving Living Conditions for Marginalized Roma
By World Bank

18/03/2015 - As the largest and most vulnerable population in Eastern Europe, Roma face a number of unique and daunting challenges. A disproportionately large number of Roma face deep poverty and social exclusion. These disadvantages begin at birth and can negatively impact an individual throughout their entire lives.
Many Roma children lack an early education and the majority of Roma children grow up in poverty – with many going hungry. Access to education remains low among most Roma, as enrollment rates among Roma lag those of non-Roma starting in preschool and dropout rates well above any national average. Living conditions among Roma are also often difficult, with many Roma homes lacking water or electricity.
The challenges that Roma face are multifaceted, requiring complementary and coordinated efforts across a number of different economic and social sectors. Of these areas of intervention, health, education, employment, and housing represent four of the most critical sectors of engagement for Roma. With the onset of the European Commission’s new funding cycle for European Structural and Investment Funds - which are expected to address, among other issues, poverty reduction and increased social inclusion for Roma - guidance on maximizing the effectiveness of these resources is crucial.
Read more here
* Slovakia: Roma Plenipotentiary asks Prosecutor-General to review case of police abuse of Romani boys
By bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

21/03/2015 - The Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities, Peter Pollák, is asking the Prosecutor-General to supervise the prosecution of a case involving the abuse of Romani boys by police. "I have been following the development of this much-publicized case of the humiliating, unprofessional treatment of young Romani boys by police officers at the Košice–Jih Police Department since it began in 2009. I have seen the video recording of officers forcing these boys to strip naked, slapping them, and cursing their Romani origins. I would like to highlight the fact that the prosecutor has filed an appeal after the court issued its verdict, is ensuring compliance with the law by the state authorities in this case, and is focusing on the legality of the court's assessment of the evidence. Like the prosecutor, I too do not agree with the justification presented by the presiding judge, according to whom 'evidence acquired through multiple transfers from one device to another cannot meet the legal requirements of evidence in order to clarify what actually occurred, because the evidence was not acquired in accordance with the applicable legal regulations'," Pollák has posted to his official website.

Read more here
* Italy: Roma people denounce 'savage' police attack on women, kids
By Thorbjørn Jagland and George Soros

The value of building up the confidence of the Roma should not be underestimated.

For more than four decades Europe’s Roma community have wanted to establish an institution that would give their music, art and unique traditions their own stage. Across the continent, such bodies exist to celebrate an array of cultures, nationalities and identities. Yet, there is nothing of this kind for Roma. Many feel this absence, particularly among Romani campaigners, educators and intellectuals. It compounds a sense of exclusion and denies all of us the opportunity to celebrate the Roma influence on our shared cultural life. We are joining forces to help put this right.

Read more here
* Roma: MEPs debate discrimination affecting Europe's largest ethnic minority
By EU Parliament

Roma are often subject to discrimination and social exclusion. Today MEPs discuss how to tackle discrimination affecting Europe's largest ethnic minority and debate whether the EU should recognise the Roma genocide in WWII. An estimated 10 million Roma live in Europe, of which six million live within the EU.

25/03/2015 - The Roma community in Europe faces several problems, such as discrimination, lack of education, healthcare and proper housing.
“Roma are under threat in many of our member states," said Roma MEP Damian Draghici, a Romanian member of the S&D group. "Physical aggression against them is frequent. Anti-Roma is widespread on the internet and can even be found in mainstream political discourse.”
MEPs also discuss today whether to recognise 2 August as the official remembrance day for the Roma genocide in WWII. This date was picked in honour of the 2,897 Roma people, who were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz on 2 April 1944. MEPs will vote on a resolution on this during the April plenary session in Strasbourg. Draghici said the Parliament not only wanted to pay tribute to the Roma killed in Auschwitz but also to “the hundreds of thousands of Roma who perished at the hands of Fascist henchmen all over Europe, seven, eight decades ago”.
Read more here
* Anti-Roma words and actions should not go unpunished

Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) MEPs speak out against anti-Roma discrimination and persecution

26/03/2015 - Ahead of International Roma Day on 8th April, GUE/NGL MEPs have spoken out against the continuing discrimination and suffering endured by the 12 million Roma and Sinti people living in the EU. Despite the fact that the number of Roma and Sinti people in the EU is far greater than both the Belgian and Portuguese populations, they remain discriminated against and are not recognised as a minority in many EU countries.
Italian MEP Curzio Maltese said: "The Roma and Sinti people are a genuine European people who have been living all over Europe for many centuries and have a historical right to consider Europe their home."
Maltese continued: "It is absurd that 70 years since the genocide of the Roma and Sintis took place we still need to discuss whether to establish a memorial day for the victims of this crime. Roma still live in intolerable conditions in Europe; they have a life expectancy of just over 60, high child mortality rates and unemployment in some regions of over 90%. In addition, they are the object of increasing numbers of attacks that often go unpunished."

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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