Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 11-09-2015

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO’s 4th Workshop “Fighting hate speech against Roma: the Role of Equality Bodies”
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO), in close cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) organises to attend a workshop with Equality Bodies and Roma representatives which will take place on 16 October 2015 at the Rue de Ligne 37, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Within the framework of the Race Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED) and national equality laws (legal provisions regulating media), the workshop will focus on how Equality Bodies can fight hate speech against Roma. By organising this workshop, we aim to:
- Foster discussion between different Equality Bodies, civil society and experts on effective practices and challenges to tackle hate speech against Roma
- Provide a platform for Equality Bodies to exchange good practices on hate speech (e.g. prevention, public awareness, litigation)
- Promote cooperation between Equality Bodies and civil society to jointly address hate speech against Roma

OTHER news

* Danish journalist interviewed by Czech weekly about "the freedom to disseminate hatred"
By mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

07/09/2015 - The Czech weekly RESPEKT (issue 37/2015) has published an intervew with Danish journalist Flemming Rose, who advocated in 2005 for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in the Danish weekly Jyllands-Posten. He has lived under constant police protection ever since.
Rose continues to defend freedom of speech and published a book summarizing his opinions last year called Tyranny of Silence. Lucie Kavanová asked him the following questions, among others, in the interview:

Q: What about the intentional dissemination of lies, for example, in the Czech Republic the favorite untruth about Romani people is that all they do is abuse welfare, mug white citizens with impunity and steal. How can the members of a minority who can be identified at first glance whenever they're out on the street defend themselves against this absolutely nonviolent, purely verbal dissemination of hatred? What should they do?
A: I don't know the specific situation in the Czech Republic, but generally - on their own those people can't do much, which is why it is necessary for members of the majority society and their elites to publicly condemn such hatred. It should be debated and society should engage itself with the arguments and ideas behind these views. This is becoming ever more important the more diverse European society is.

Read more here
* Denmark is most intolerant country in northern Europe
By By Misc. Editors, ICENEWS

19/06/2015 -  New research by YouGov has ranked Denmark the most intolerant country in northern Europe.
The poll – which monitored the situation in fellow Scandinavian countries Sweden, Finland and Norway, as well as the UK, Germany and France – ranked Denmark just ahead of Finland after finding that 29 per cent of respondents were intolerant of black people, Jews, Muslims, Romas or gays. The results also revealed that a high 72 per cent of Danes had a “totally negative” response when it came to their opinion of Roma/Gypsies/travellers, meaning the country was way out in front in that particular category, while 45 per cent of respondents – equal to that of Finland – had negative feelings towards Muslims.
The report said that Denmark gave the impression of being overall very intolerant, but pointed out that when not considering the Roma/Gypsies/travellers category, it was actually third behind Finland and France respectively.
When it came to other groups, the poll found that 11 per cent of Danes were intolerant of black people, the same number that had negative feelings towards young people, while eight per cent were intolerant of Jews, seven per cent of Christians and five per cent of the elderly. In more positive news for the country, just seven per cent of people were intolerant of gays – the least percentage of all seven countries. Sweden was the most tolerant country, with Germany and Norway in equal second place. The UK, France and Finland filled out the remaining three positions respectively.

Read more here
* UN Committee criticizes Czech Republic over Roma discrimination and xenophobia
By mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

 The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published a report today on its review of the Czech Republic, which took place on 12 and 13 August in Geneva. Its report begins with an overview of positive steps, including the adoption of the Romani Integration Strategy and an amendment to the Schools Act that promotes inclusive education.
Criticism of the Czech Republic predominates, however. The report finds that the country is not producing any available, reliable statistical data about ethnic minorities. CERD says insufficient funds were allocated to fulfilling the Government's Romani Integration Strategy and Strategy to Combat Social Exclusion in the past. The Commitee also notes that the number of people living in excluded localities has risen.

Read more here
* Analysis: Migrants and emergency welfare: explanation of recent European and international case law
By Marc UHRY, Head of Mission Europe, Fondation Abbé Pierre

September 2015 - As so often happens when it comes to immigration, the streets of France again began to buzz with vague rumours when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently returned its ruling in the Dano versus Germany case[1]. “Prevention of social tourism” did the rounds of the media, without proper explanation of the content and scope of this decision. At the same time, other decisions of international courts were sending out conflicting messages as regards the social rights that can be claimed by migrants, including persons in irregular situations. Not one of these recent decisions has succeeded in bringing about any change of case law tack, nor do they form any kind of contradictory whole. They set out the basic rights of migrants with regard to welfare and the room for manoeuvre available to the authorities that claim to regulate access.

The Dano affair concerned the application by a family of European workers, none of whom have ever worked in Germany, a family already receiving several forms of basic welfare, to also receive an optional benefit, known as “basic insurance” [²], paid out to job-seekers. The CJEU upheld the lawfulness of the German authorities in refusing entitlement to this “non-contributory cash assistance ” on the grounds that none of these European nationals was employed. It might be helpful to point out that a European regulation on the coordination of social security systems [3] makes distinction, for each country, of the list of forms of unconditional benefits to which European nationals are entitled and the optional forms of support, the benefit requested; in this case, falling within the latter category.
 
Read more here
* Czech school opens "special" first-grade class, only Roma assigned to it
By bau, mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

08/09/2015 - The principal of a primary school in the town of Krásná Lípa in the Šluknov foothills has created a "special" class only for Romani first-graders. Their parents are complaining that they did not know their children would be attending a class that would be separate from the other children.
The school is arguing that the children are not being differentiated by ethnicity, but according to whether they have attended nursery school or not. The Romani parents allege that non-Romani parents put together a petition to the principal stating that they did not want their children attending the same class together with the Romani children.

The mayor of the town has also admitted that majority-society parents expressed such displeasure. "My son began first grade today. The principal has set up three first-grade classes and a socially vulnerable class that is being attended by my son and others. The parents of the children in the other classes put together a petition saying they did not want our Romani families attending the same class as their children. They did not give us any opportunity to choose, this all happened without any regard for our opinions," a Romani mother wrote to news server Romea.cz on 1 September.   

Read more here
* Paris Fails the Migrants
By The New York Times

18/06/2015 -  France’s failure to devise a realistic, humane plan to deal with migrants from Africa and the Middle East and Roma people from Bulgaria and Romania is having devastating consequences. The main victims are the migrants, forced to shelter in squalid temporary encampments. But another casualty may be a sense of unity in the European Union.
On June 8, a week after demolishing a migrant tent camp, the police in Paris used tear gas to clear migrants from a sidewalk where some were camped. On that same day, a 4-year-old Roma child died in a fire in a camp in Lille, one day after another child died in a fire in a Roma camp outside Paris and one day after Unicef France released a report on child poverty highlighting the “unacceptable” conditions in which many migrant children live. African migrants in Paris are, for now, being allowed to camp in a park.
 
Read more here

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* ERIO’s 4th Workshop “Fighting hate speech against Roma: the Role of Equality Bodies” - CONFERENCE INVITATION

Brussels, 16 October 2015

The European Roma Information Office (ERIO), in close cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) invites you to attend a workshop with Equality Bodies and Roma representatives which will take place on 16 October 2015 at the Rue de Ligne 37, 1000 Brussels,
Belgium.

Within the framework of the Race Equality Directive 2000/43 (RED) and national equality laws (legal provisions regulating media), the workshop will focus on how Equality Bodies can fight hate speech against Roma. By organising this workshop, we aim to:
- Foster discussion between different Equality Bodies, civil society and experts on effective practices and challenges to tackle hate speech against Roma
- Provide a platform for Equality Bodies to exchange good practices on hate speech (e.g. prevention, public awareness, litigation)
- Promote cooperation between Equality Bodies and civil society to jointly address hate speech against Roma

The workshop will be in English.

Registration
Places are limited. Please confirm participation as soon as possible, latest by 25 September 2015.
Register by email/phone by sending your name, surname and the organisation you represent to:
office@erionet.eu
Tel: +32 (2) 733 3462
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