Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 05-02-2016

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO 2016 Action
This is the second year of the Three-annual agreement for partnership ERIO signed with DG Justice of the European Commission . This year actions will focus on Roma access to political participation, anti-discrimination, the transposition of the National Roma Integration Strategies at local level and coordination of the Roma Media Network. The Action plan includes number of networking trips, round-table meetings with national and local authorities, workshops with equality bodies, advocacy and anti-discrimination training with Roma activists and ERIO network members. The major 2016 event will be a conference in Brussels dedicated to the Roma’s political participation, barriers and opportunities. Information and awareness raising activities will regularly inform about EU Roma policy making, as well as national and NGO actions, events and practices concerning Roma equal treatment and social inclusion. 

OTHER news

* Beyond the “Roma Issue”: Holistically Combating the Marginalization of Roma Populations
Could you please give us some background on the Roma and the principal issues facing this population in Europe?
Let me begin by sharing a few facts about us with your readers. Our origins are in Northern India, and scholars estimate that the migration happend more than one thousand years ago. We have a common language, known as Romani, and our communities are spread all over the world. “Roma” or the “Romani people” are umbrella terms for groups in Europe identified, amongst others, as Roma, Gitanos, Kale, Sinti, Manush, and Travelers. Oftentimes, they are pejoratively called “Gypsies.” There are more than 14 million Roma in the world, and the largest population—up to 12 million—is in Europe, forming the biggest European minority. There are Roma or Roma-related groups residing in the United States, Australia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Roma are citizens of the countries they live in, unless institutional barriers impede it.

The migration from Northern India to European territories was followed by enslavement for 500 years in Romania, mass killings during the Holocaust, and forced assimilation up to the 1990s in Central and Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in most European countries with a significant Roma population, policies aiming for social inclusion were put in place. However, the past as well as the inefficiency of the new policies continues to fuel ethnic biases. As the recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur for Minority Rights underlines, the global Romani minority continues to share not only cultural similarities, but also experiences of discrimination and marginalization.

Read more here
* Roma in EU: families in Milan threatened by eviction
By M. Apelblat, The Brussels Times

A hearing in the European Parliament last October drew the attention to the situation of Roma as victims of forced evictions in a number of EU member states.Italy is one of the member states most affected with systematic evictions by the authorities in Rome and Milan. This time the wave of evictions in Italy will affect Roma inhabitants with Italian citizenship.

Unless a Christmas miracle happens, about 20 Roma families in Milan, Italy, will be evicted on 10 January. They will be forced to leave the Via Idro camp where they have been living regularly for about 25 years and, without any other choice, move to a temporary camp under much worse conditions.

In a petition to the municipal authorities the families at Via Idro are protesting against the decision and asking for support for their cause. The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/stop-eviction-roma-families-of-via-idro-milan and is supported by the Brussels based European Roma Grassroots Organisations’ Network (ERGO).

Read more here
* Position of Serbia’s Roma “nowhere near satisfactory"
By InSerbia with agencies

BELGRADE – The position of Serbia’s Roma is still nowhere near satisfactory and discrimination against the national minority is most notable in education, employment, health care and housing, Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic said Tuesday.

“For years, there has been visible progress towards an improved position of the Roma, but a range of measures still needs to be taken to achieve substantial changes”, Jankovic told a conference on strategic directions for improving the position of the Roma community in Serbia.
Paradoxically, studies suggest that over 40 percent of citizens see the Roma as the most discriminated-against minority community but do not want them as neighbours, friends or tutors, she said.

Read more here
* Prague Monitor: Poll: Roma are lazy, Muslims violent
By Czech News Agency (ČTK)

Over three-fourths of Czechs consider Romanies immoral, 85 percent say they are lazy and over four-fifths believe that they violate the law, according to a poll commissioned by the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and released on Wednesday.
Muslims are the most violent nation, most Czechs said, answering the questions in the poll focusing on selected races and ethnic groups. It was conducted at the end of November and beginning of December on a sample of 1,051 people over 18. The poll concentrated on Czechs' ideas of Muslims, Syrians, Romanies, Ukrainians, Russians, Vietnamese and Slovaks. Using the 1-5 scale, the respondents were to select what is true of a given group.

Read more here
* ‘There is No Other,’ Roma people to say in symposium in Turkey
By Emrah Güler - ANKARA

Ali Daylam, a renowned name in working to better the lives of Roma people in Turkey, talked to Hürriyet Daily News before the International Roma Symposium to be held in Ankara.
“The problems facing the Roma people in Turkey could be clustered under four headlines: Housing, employment, health and education. These four headlines are intertwined so much that they affect one another, hence the lives of Roma people, through a vicious circle,” said Ali Daylam, a renowned name in working to better the lives of Roma people in Turkey, when speaking to Hürriyet Daily News before the International Roma Symposium to be held in Ankara on Oct. 22.

Daylam is the president of the Mediterranean Roma Associations Federation, as well as the Roma Education, Culture, Folklore and Sports Association (Romklüp). For Daylam, the problems begin at a very early age for the Roma people, of whom only a staggering 0.2 percent are university graduates. “Many young people leave schools at different stages. The reasons are discrimination they face at schools and economic insufficiency,” said Daylam.

Read more here

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

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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