Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 11-12-2015

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO invites you to join the European Roma Media Network
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* Civil Society Europe plenary meeting
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* SMILE 3rd newsletter
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* ERIO member  lead the Walk for Dignity for Homeless, Migrants and Refugees in France
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OTHER news

* ECRI’s reports on Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia
By ECRI

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published monitoring reports on Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia.

Austria: ECRI reports, among the main problems, antipathy towards migrants and online hate speech at worrying levels, despite integration policies and awareness raising.  [English]

Czech Republic: ECRI expresses serious concern over the lack of progress in eradicating segregation of Roma children in schools and the prevalence of anti-Roma hate speech in political discourse. [English]

Estonia: Concerns remain, such as higher unemployment in regions which are predominantly Russian-speaking, or the unsatisfactory implementation of the new linguistic policy in the upper secondary school. [English]

Read more here
* UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Czech Republic is systematically violating refugees' rights, Czech President is a xenophobe
By mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has charged the Czech Republic with systematically violating the rights of refugees who have been arriving there since August. Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein also made it know that he is disturbed by the "xenophobic public pronouncements, including Islamophobic remarks" made by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

The statement from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was issued yesterday with the heading "Zeid urges Czech Republic to end detention of migrants and refugees". The UN official explained his opinion by asserting that it is customary for Czech authorities to detain immigrants for anywhere between 40 and 90 days, to subject them to personal searches, and to confiscate their money in order to pay for the costs of their stay in facilities for foreign nationals.

Read more here
* 'Gypsy' No More: Romani Music Festival Combats Stereotypes
By Tom Smurthwaite

"We would love a permanent address - it would be like winning the lottery," said member of group camped for a week in CobhamSenior members of the Romany-Irish travellers group who were camped in Cobham for a week have spoken of the "racism and discrimination" they encounter in everyday life, and called on councils to provide more permanent sites for their community. The settlement - including a motorhome, caravans and white vans - was on the grass area at The Tilt, off Stoke Road, for a week from last Thursday afternoon (July 16).
In July alone in Elmbridge borough, traveller encampments have been spotted in Waterside Drive, Walton, and at three separate spots in Hersham - Old Esher Road, Hersham Recreation Ground and land near Rydens School. There is one permanent site in Elmbridge - 16 socially rented pitches at The Oaks, in Woodstock Lane, Claygate.
According to the Elmbridge Borough Council website, it is "full and has been for a number of years".

Read more here
* Bulgarian NGOs get injunction suspending demolition of Roma homes in Peshtera
By agw, press release from the National Roma Coalition "Intellect" in Bulgaria, Roma Virtual Network

17/09/2015 - A Bulgarian coalition of Romani NGOs called the National Roma Coalition "Intellect" has issued a press release in response to the advice given to the Bulgarian Government by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 15 September. The ECtHR said that “without a definite commitment on its part to ensure the accommodation of the vulnerable members of the applicants’ families before the demolition of their homes, the Court will, in application of Rule 39 of its Rules, indicate to that Government not to proceed with this measure”.
 
Read more here
* EU Ban on Balkan Asylum Seekers Alarms Roma
By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Macedonian Roma associations say EU plans to ban Balkan nationals from claiming asylum are deeply unfair to their own persecuted and marginalised community.
Roma associations in Macedonia - home to a large community - have condemned EU plans to exclude Balkan nations from claiming asylum as part of measures to cope with the growing refugee crisis. They say it is unfair towards thousands of migrants, mainly Roma from Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania, who are fleeing both poverty and total marginalization in their countries of origin.

Read more here
* 2014 Annual Report on Discrimination against Roma
By Fundación Secretariado Gitano

Another year has passed and the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) presents its Annual Report on Discrimination and the Roma Community. This is the 10th year of publication of this report, the main objective of which is to shed light on and report discrimination which, unfortunately, the Roma community continues to suffer.
 
We believe it is extremely important for the government and the society at large to be aware of these cases of discrimination and thus have an idea of the everyday reality that Roma families face in gaining access to housing, employment, education and services simply because of their ethnic background. In some cases, rejection has overstepped the boundary of discrimination and turned into racist violence as was the case this year in two towns in the south of Spain, Estepa and Castellar, where the homes of several Roma families were set on fire during the course of racist demonstrations. Unfortunately, political parties and human rights organisations failed to speak out against these inadmissible and unjust acts.
 
We’ve been working for ten years in the area of equal treatment and anti-discrimination and can confirm that discrimination against the Roma community is caused by the negative social image people have of them, i.e. prejudice and stereotypes that are proving difficult to eliminate because they are deeply rooted in our society and in the arguments used by most citizens when erroneously referring to this sector of the population. Many Roma have a standard lifestyle and don’t even remotely resemble the negative social image which limits their right to equal treatment.

Read more here

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* Music4ROM, a very symbolic project Promoting Roma Integration Through Music
Music4ROM, a project funded by the European Commission, has successfully developed its activities for the past two years thanks to the involvement of all its partners from seven EU countries. This project aims to promote Romani values to build intercultural bridges, social inclusion and educate children through music. The values advocated by this project are recognition, understanding of others, creativity, tolerance and admiration. Great achievements have emerged since the beginning of Music4ROM, including the superb Masterclass proposed by Sons Croisés and brilliantly promoted by Jorge Chaminé, which inspired the young Romani and non-Romani musicians that took part in it. In each country, this inspiration gave rise to notable achievements involving Romani communities, children and young musicians through a series of participatory workshops.

Here are a few accounts from our partners:
Spain: Music4ROM is a very symbolic project for us Roma! The European Commission has established a framework to develop Roma social inclusion in the four areas of: education, employment, housing and health. However, culture is another area that is of critical importance. “The Music4ROM project precisely falls within the sphere of culture. It aims to highlight the importance of Romani music in Europe. Music is probably the area in which the Roma have contributed the most to European societies; its recognition and visibility will help society rethink old stereotypes and prejudices while Romani people will also appreciate the value of our culture.”    (Pedro Casermeiro, Unión Romani)
Slovakia: Music workshops to enhance the richness of Romani culture “These workshops helped participants realize the uniqueness of their Romani origin, find a way of developing their distinctive talent and, despite their difficult life situation, benefit from and be proud of being born a Roma.”      (Lenka Orságová, ETP Slovakia)
Italy: Dance and music to learn the musicality of life “Constructing a music and dance project in such a way will result in fostering the development of socialization, the emotional world and creativity in a state of mutual cooperation and promote social development through the bodily experiences of the group.” (Giuseppe Parente, MUS-E Napoli)
Belgium: A concert will be the closing event of Music4ROM project on the 11 January 2016. Gilles Apap and his musicians will take us on a musical journey through the pieces of those classical composers inspired by Gypsy music. Also, Roberto de Brasov and his musicians will help us discover the colourful richness of the Romani repertoire from their country, Romania, with Jorge Chaminé's voice building a bridge between these two groups of unrivalled virtuosos.

Press contact person: Sophie Lupcin – IYMF Mobile: +32 (0) 473198560 sophie.lupcin@menuhin-foundation.com or
ERIO: +32 (2) 733 34 62 office@erionet.eu
Project website: www.music4rom.eu
Project Facebook: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/Music4Rom-1536583583225358
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