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ERIO news and activities

* ERIO at the conference “The situation of Roma: Between indifference and rejection”
02.10.2013 - On 2 December, ERIO participated at a conference “The situation of Roma: Between indifference and rejection” organised by the Cercle du Libre Examen of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The conference, moderated by Ahmed Akim (Centre de Médiation des Gens du Voyage et des Roms en Wallonie) included other speakers such as Alain Reyniers (UCL), Jacques Fierens (lawyer), Tommy Bui (MRAX) and Bernard De Vos (Children’s Rights in Belgium). ERIO was invited to present the situation of Roma in Europe and to talk about European policies on Roma Issues.
* Meeting with German teachers at ERIO
On the 4th December 2013, ERIO welcomed a delegation of higher-school teachers from all over Germany. The meeting had been requested by the teachers in order to get more information about ERIO’s work and the situation of Roma in Europe. As a key actor in advocating for Roma inclusion throughout Europe, ERIO was proud to present its views and actions, most notably in the educational field.
Ivan Ivanov, Executive Director at ERIO, illustrated the advocacy activities towards the EU institutions. This is a long-term work, requiring expertise and perseverance through all of its phases. Although it is too early to properly evaluate concrete results for Roma communities - as underlined by Policy Officer Marta Pinto – ERIO pointed out the European Framework of National Roma Integration Strategies as a first large-scale success. In response to questions raised about the necessity of such a continental instrument, Mr. Ivanov recalled that Roma settled in Europe more than 700 years ago but we are still talking about integration in almost all Member States.
Though only few teachers have had some sporadic direct experience with Roma children in their classes, the interest in Roma communities and strategies of integration was highly tangible. All the more when talking about school. School segregation – whether in separated buildings or in “special” classes (otherwise conceived for mentally-ill children) -, lack of access to quality education, humiliation and discrimination within classes are all major problems that Roma children have to tackle on a daily basis. Let alone the fact that the poor environment in which they live necessarily affects Roma children’s results at school.
The same goes for another well-established stereotype: Roma parents prevent their children to attend school. What might have been true for cultural reasons some decades ago, it is no more a reality today. Residual resistances of the kind are due to economic difficulties of Roma families in paying for clothes, books and transports. These are resistances that – as Mr. Ivanov underlined – are typical of poor people, not Roma as such.
In the hope that these exchanges will further bear fruit among students and teachers alike, the meeting has once again proven ERIO’s commitment to dialogue with educational actors.

OTHER news

*Appreciating our democracy while seeing Eastern Europe states working on their own
By Lew Finfer, Special to the Reporter

01.08.2013 - “It takes six weeks to make a revolution, six years to make an economy, and sixty years to make a civil society.” That’s what one person said when I was in Hungary this month about the challenge to the more than 30 countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that are struggling still to build new societies after the end of communism in 1989.
It took almost ten years for the Solidarity movement in Poland to end communism during the 1980’s, but then, as many Eastern European communist governments fell in weeks in 1989, it took several years for transitions from the communist economic system to a capitalistic approach.

Read more here
*Czech PM Rusnok honors Romani genocide victims at Lety, says he needs to review UN recommendations about pig farm
by Ryz, ČTK, Czech Television, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Lety u Písku, 2.8.2013 - Czech Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok and several ministers of his cabinet have paid their respects to the Romani victims of the Holocaust at Lety by Písek. On 1 August 1942, exactly 71 years ago, a concentration camp for Romani people was established there.

The PM touched on the current situation in Czech society, noting that we cannot allow something like the Holocaust to be repeated. "The places where organized groups are marching today for the purpose of unleashing violence are not far from here at all. We must stand up very forcefully to such manifestations of hatred in society today. That is why I hope that on the basis of our historical experience of Nazism and other hateful ideologies we will never again permit the perpetration of genocide or similar incidents of ethnic cleansing," the PM said in his speech.

Read more here

* Twenty local and regional authorities now members of the Alliance
by European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion

 - The General Council of the French département of Val de Marne has just joined the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, bringing the membership up to 120 local and regional authorities. The General Council’s decision to join followed a visit by a delegation from the Val de Marne to Strasbourg on 10 June 2013.A pregnant woman was one of those injured. It is not yet clear who started the conflict or how, because police have not yet publicized the exact causes and circumstances of the incident.

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* Slovakia: Romani home targeted by machine gun fire, no injuries
by Ryz, Sme.sk, SITA, Markíza, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Yesterday assailants who have yet to be identified shot 22 bullets from a machine gun at a Romani home in the village of Hornej Kráľovej u Šali in Slovakia. The Markíza television station reported that at approximately 3 AM two cars pulled up in front of the building and several angry men reportedly shouted "Come out you dirty Gypsies!" at the Romani occupants of the home.  
Two generations of a Romani family live in the house and everyone was asleep at the start of the attack. "The perpetrators first poured fuel on the entrance and then began to shoot at the house from a model 58 machine gun," Božena Bruchterová, spokesperson for the police in Nitra, told the SITA press agency.

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Book: Roma migration to and from Canada: the Czech, Hungarian and Slovak case - Edited by Zsuzsanna Vidra
Most research on Roma migration focuses on Roma migrating from non-EU to EU or EU-to-EU countries. This e-book looks at another sub-component of the migration process: transatlantic, Canadian migration from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The premise of the book was that 'Canadian Roma migration' should be understood as a process motivated by a mixed set of factors, and should be studied as neither refugee nor labor migration, but a compound of both. The volume investigates the legal and political components to the push and pull of Roma migration, and the case studies from the chosen countries are based on fieldwork in villages and towns where there had been a significant out-migration of Roma.
Download: here
Virtual Commemoration Campaign For The Victims Of The Roma Serial Killings
by Roma Decade

On the 2nd of August, the memorial day of the Roma Holocaust, as well as the anniversary of the last scene of the Roma serial murders, a large number of companies, media and organizations are participating in the initiative to screen or publish short films in memoriam of victims and survivors of the Roma murders. .. In order to call attention to the importance of standing up to racially motivated hate crimes and to make your voice heard, the Budapest based Communication Center X (XKK) made four 2-minute-long films with the contribution of well-known Hungarian actors and actresses.

On 2nd of August, the films will be released in each cinema theatre of Budapest Film Company and also will be on view during the Valley of Arts Festival. Our films will be part of the mass in the Jesuit Church at Lőrincz pap Square in Budapest for once, too.

Read more here
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