Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* ERIO and Drom Kotar Mestipen call to address the increasing gender inequality faced by Roma women and ensure their active participation
On the 8th of March, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. This day is dedicated to the promotion of gender equality across the world where women have fewer opportunities than men to achieve their ambitions and face discrimination every day because of their gender. It is ERIO’s position that when highlighting this disparity, and thinking of ways to change the status quo, it is fundamental that decision makers consider in particular detail the situation of Roma women, who face particularly high levels of social, economic and political marginalization.
Roma women are subject to a double marginalization, induced by their gender and their ethnicity. The every-day difficulties of being a woman are rendered even more acute by a widespread anti-Gypsyism which is on the rise across Europe. So, whilst only 4% of all women in Europe have had no access to formal education, the figure rises to 24% when considering just Roma women. This is higher than the already shocking figure of 15% for Roma men. They face higher levels of unemployment and have shorter life expectancies than the women of any other ethnic group in Europe. Additionally, there have been cases of coercive sterilization and maternity ward segregation, whilst they are at a particular risk of trafficking.
ERIO published a joint press release with Women Drom Kotar Mestipen to highlight the marginalised situation of Roma women and suggested steps to improve their livelihoods. Focusing on improving the access of Roma women to quality formal education and implementing measures to tackle anti-Gypsyism were highlighted as crucial measures for all EU member states to take to bring about positive change. This challenge can be readily begun by focusing closely on women when implementing the National Roma Integration Strategies.

To read our press release here

Council of Europe (2012) Human rights of Roma and Travellers in Europe.
European Commission (2010) Ethnic minority and Roma women in Europe - A case for gender equality?
Available here.

European Parliament (2006) Report on the situation of Roma Women in the EU. Available here.
* Join our International Romani Network!
The ROM-UP! project has created an International Romani Network (IRN) to raise awareness of the successful educational experiences effective in the inclusion of Roma children. Anyone interested in this topic can join the network. We particularly welcome the contributions of grass roots Roma, Roma activists, teachers and other educational actors, politicians, researchers, Roma organisations and European, national, regional and local authorities.

If you would like to join the network please complete the online registration form here. Once registered you will receive an email giving you more information about how to contribute to the debate on the network’s forum (on both the project and ways to improve the educational inclusion of Roma in Europe). The forum will be moderated and only comments relevant to the goals of ROM-UP! will be published.

To find out more about the network and to sign up please visit the website: http://www.rom-up.eu./romani-network.htm

OTHER news

* Roma women are the most vulnerable - working breakfast with President Barroso
12.03.2013 Press Release by MEP Lívia Járóka
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission welcomed members of the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality at a working breakfast in Strasbourg. MEP Lívia Járóka spoke about the situation of marginalized women and the objectives of her upcoming report on the social inclusion of Roma women.

Read more here.
* Nobody to blame for Europe's problems? Pick a Romanian!
By Valentina Pop
Berlin, 08/03/2013 - "These bloody Romanians. And Bulgarians. About to raid our countries, abuse our welfare systems, steal our jobs, probably our cars and wallets, too ..." No German or British politician will say it so bluntly, but that is the gist of it.
The interior ministers of Britain, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are jointly cooking up a plan on how to limit "welfare tourism" targeting Romanians and Bulgarians. Lifting labour market restrictions next year? Good grief!

Read more, click here
* Roma migration bothers 'borderless' EU
 11/03/2013 - Approximately 200,000 Roma, or "gypsies," call Germany home. In Bulgaria that number is 370,000, and in Romania, 550,000. Other estimates put the two countries' combined total at 1.5 million.
Germany recently blocked a move by Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Schengen zone, Europe's passport-free travel area, placing the principle of a "borderless" Europe into question.

Read more here.
* Region: Roma minority faces uphill battle - Government's lack of reach stymies integration of poorer communities
By Richie Parris

06/03/2013 - Roma communities in Bulgaria and the surrounding region have found that embracing religion and ethnicity comes with a catch. Under heavy discrimination and outside proselytizing influence, the lives of the Roma people display how a government hand remains a pivotal tool for integration, but many say help is still ephemeral.

Read more here.
* Czech court hears appeals in case of racist attack against Romani man last August
Yesterday the Regional Court heard appeals from convicted offender Martin Smolko and from the Havířov District Attorney in the matter of a racist attack committed last August in Havířov. A first-instance court issued its verdict in the case in January 2013.First-instance Judge Lubomíra Bínová had sentenced Martin Smolko, a local youth, to three years without parole in prison and ordered that he pay damages to the plaintiff in the amount of CZK 100 000. According to the court, the 22-year-old defendant committed racially motivated battery resulting in grievous bodily harm and rioting

Read more here.
* Czech attorney claims police tampered with evidence in shooting of Romani man

News server iDNES.cz reports that the father of Ladislav Tatar, the Romani man shot dead on New Year's Day last year, and his attorney want the state prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the shooting. A non-Romani pensioner shot two Romani brothers, Ladislav and Patrik, in the early morning hours of 1 January 2012 in Tanvald, killing the one and injuring the other. The deceased's father and his attorney claim to have new evidence and have allegedly found many discrepancies in the previous investigation.

Read more

* Czech broadcasting body says tv station spread hatred against Romani people
The Czech Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (Rada pro rozhlasové a televizní vysílání - RRTV) has warned the TV Barrandov station (Barrandov Televizní Studio a.s.) that it has broken the law in its broadcasting. The violation reportedly occurred during the program "Joke for CZK 100" (Vtip za stovku) on 20 February 2013 at 20:00.

Read more here.
* Demonstration in Bratislava: Roma reject welfare, want work
Bratislava, 06/03/2013 - The TASR press agency reports that about 70 Romani people gathered on 6 March 2013 in Bratislava in front of the headquarters of the Labor Ministry for a protest march organized by the extra-parliamentary Romani Union Party in Slovakia (Strana romské unie na Slovensku - SRÚS). Protesters demanded the government ensure them a dignified life and jobs.

Read more here.
* Bourgeois wants Roma obliged to integrate
09 March 2013 - Geert Bourgeois (N-VA): "We help the Roma in Flanders only after they follow an integration course."
Flemish Minister for Internal Administration Geert Bourgeois (N-VA) wants the 15,000 Roma in Flanders to be obliged to integrate or otherwise they will be imposed a fine. That is contrary to EU rules because Roma are also Europeans. Bourgeois is aware of European issues, but he wants Europe to provide for an exception. So he wants EU nationals to be required to follow an integration course.

Flemish Minister for Internal Administration Geert Bourgeois (N-VA) wants the 15,000 Roma in Flanders to be obliged to integrate or otherwise they will be imposed a fine. That is contrary to EU rules because Roma are also Europeans. Bourgeois is aware of European issues, but he wants Europe to provide for an exception. So he wants EU nationals to be required to follow an integration course. Anyone who refuses to risks a fine, as for migrants from outside the EU.
Bourgeois: “Europe requires free movement of people and goods. Totally agree. EU citizens are therefore exempt from following an integration course. But what is the situation of the Roma in Flanders, everyone must realize that we as people do not want to continue to help. They do not speak our language, they do not know our habits and they often go together in very poor housing. There are stories of Roma in Ghent involved in criminal networks. How do you want people to find a job, to integrate, learn to speak our language and their children opportunities by sending them to school?"

Poverty and Racism

Recent migration figures show that more and more people from Central and Eastern Europe come to our country, confirmed by a report that the Flemish Government ordered at the Research Institute for Labour and Society (HIVA) of the KU Leuven.
Especially EU countries Bulgaria and Romania are in the rankings as having an increasingly prominent role. This often amounts to Roma Gypsies, "which include Bulgaria and Romania often live in dire poverty, illiterate and their children do not attend school," says Bourgeois.
And poverty is not the only motive for these people to try their luck to go elsewhere. "The study shows that in their homeland they continue to face serious forms of racism and discrimination. Top politicians in those countries declare without blushing that Roma people are not full-bodied." Scandalous practices, takes Bourgeois, "which Europe must act much stricter.”

Translation by Zdravka Aleksandrova, ERIO volunteer

Read original news (in Dutch) here


* International UNITED Conference "Rethinking Diversity - Challenges for equality in Europe and new responses" in Lithuania (LT), 26-31 May 2013

All information and the e-nomination form can be found on the UNITED website

If your organisation is interested to nominate a representative, please return the expression of interest form as soon as possible (deadline 3 April 2013), preferably by email to lithuania@unitedagainstracism.org
* Council of Europe Congress launches the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion
A Press Conference will be held on Wednesday, 20 March 2013, at 10:15 am (room 17)
Press contacts:
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities: Nikolai ATEFIE, Project Manager for Communication and Youth of the Alliance: Tel. +33 (0) 39021 – 4258; Mob. +33 (0) 781 27 3990; Nikolai.Atefie@coe.int;
Council of Europe, Directorate of Communication: Panos KAKAVIATOS; Tel. +33 (0) 39021 - 5027 Panos.Kakaviatos@coe.int  
Further information about the Alliance is available at www.roma-alliance.org
* Launch of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion - 20.03.2013, Strasbourg
The Launch will take place during the 24th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on 20 March 2013 in Strasbourg, France at the end of the plenary debate on the issue of social exclusion at local and regional level and will be followed by a reception and a concert, co-organised with one of the founding participants of the Alliance - the city of Strasbourg.
* The Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting and Conference on Gypsy Studies - 12-14.09.2013, Glasgow, Scotland
Registration for the 2013 Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting is now open. Papers on any aspect of Gypsy/Romani Studies are most welcome. Please send abstracts via e-mail attachment (maximum 500 words) to the program chair, Dr Colin Clark, c.r.clark@strath.ac.uk. Submissions should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation (if relevant), address, daytime telephone and e-mail address. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 31, 2013 and you will be notified if your paper has been accepted by June 30th, 2013. Please address all conference inquiries to Dr Colin Clark, at the address below, or call 07826068961 or e-mail c.r.clark@strath.ac.uk.
ODIHR Annual Report on Hate Crime
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is now preparing the 2012 annual report on hate crimes. The report provides an overview of data collected on hate crimes, and of responses to hate crimes. It will be launched on 15 November, 2013 the day before International Tolerance Day.

As in previous years, ODIHR encourages submissions from non-governmental organizations and has compiled information to assist NGOs. Information should be sent to tndinfo@odihr.pl no later than 5 April 2013 indicating in the subject line "HCR 2012 (NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION)". For more information about ODIHR and hate crime visit http://tandis.odihr.pl.

More information can be found here.
Sample format for collecting information on Hate Crimes can be found here.
*  World Premiere of the Documentary “BROKEN SILENCE” - Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 12:30 Theater aan het Spui in The Hague (Spui 187).

The film has been selected for the International Movies that Matter Film Festival in The Hague and will be screened with English subtitles.
To register, reply this mail, or mail to: info@solfilmprodukties.nl
Raoul the Zwart, producer and Bob Entrop, director
* European Commission multimedia competition “Migrants in Europe”
The European Commission is organising a multimedia competition titled “Migrants in Europe”. The deadline for entries in the competition is 21 June 2013. The objective of the competition is to sensitise young communication professionals and the media to a more balanced view of migration and immigrants.
Works can be submitted in three categories; poster, photo and video.
Students attending arts, graphic, communication and journalism schools in all of EU and Croatia can participate. The schools are to submit their students’ creations.  The prize is 10.000€ for each of the three categories plus one public prize.

Find out more here.
* OSCE/ODIHR vacancy: Trainers on European Integration for Young Roma Professionals (multiple locations in the Western Balkans)
OSCE/ODIHR seeks trainers on European Integrations for the purpose of raising competence of 25 Young Roma Professionals within the project "Best Practice for Roma Integration". CV, proposed methodology (1 page) and preferred language, and reference list of undertaken trainings in English should be submitted by 1 March 2013

Find out more here.
* Visegrad Summer School - call for applications
Visegrad Summer School will be held from 30 June to 13 July 2013. Call for applications is open from 1 March 2013. Each candidate should register and provide an on-line application form. Deadline for submitting applications: 31 March 2013.

Find out more here.
* Call for Applications for admission to the Roma Graduate Preparation Program 2013-2014
Call for Applications for admission to the Roma Graduate Preparation Program 2013-2014 academic year, a full scholarship opportunity for Roma students. The program will run during the 2013-2014 academic year at Central European University, a major post-graduate, English language university located in Budapest, Hungary. The application deadline is 2nd of May, 2013. For questions, please contact Georgeta Munteanu, Program Manager, munteanug@ceu.hu, tel: +361327/3000, extension 2094

Find out more here.
* Vacancy: Evaluation Consultant, Best Practices for Roma Integration (BPRI) Project
OSCE - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Warsaw, Poland)

Find out more here.
* Vacancy: Evaluation Team Leader, Best Practices for Roma Integration (BPRI) Project
OSCE - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Warsaw, Poland)

Find out more here.
* Vacancy: Network Coordinator, The European Network of Migrant Women (Brussels)
The European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) is recruiting a Network Coordinator who will be hosted by the European Women’s Lobby in Brussels.

Find out more here.
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