Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 16-01-2013

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO at the Consultation Meeting for the Roma Decade and Other International Stakeholders
On the 16th of January the government of the Republic of Croatia, as President of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, organized a consultation meeting in Brussels on the future of the Decade of Roma Inclusion after 2015. The following organizations took part in the event: Council of Europe, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, ENAR, ERIO and OSCE-ODIHR.

During the last meeting of the International Steering Committee of the Decade, the Government of the Republic of Croatia proposed, and member States agreed, to convene a Working Group to assess various options for the Decade of Roma Inclusion beyond its mandate of June 30, 2015. The Working Group is comprised of representatives from member state governments, Decade partner institutions and civil society. It is chaired by the Government of Croatia in its capacity as President of the Decade. The Working Group held its first meeting in Zagreb on November 26, 2012, and agreed on the working methodology, which envisages a participatory process of stakeholder consultations to solicit opinions from participating governments, Romani civil society and international partners. To accomplish this, Working Group members will visit Decade member states to consult with as many relevant actors as possible. In addition, the Working Group will conduct separate meetings with Romani civil society and government representatives from countries that might yet join the Decade. Following this series of consultations, the Working Group will conduct an analysis of the feedback and convene a meeting to discuss options for the future of the Decade after 2015. The Working Group will present its conclusions to the next meeting of the International Steering Committee in June 2013.  
* ERIO seminar ‘Roma women and employment’
On the 14th of January 2013, ERIO organized a seminar entitled ‘Roma women and employment’ at its Brussels office. The seminar was part of the KeyRoma project and sought to introduce the idea of improving Roma women’s employability and to introduce the project and its results. Most of the participants at the seminar were representatives of associations and initiatives concerned about the situation of Roma people in the labour process. Among them were Roma students, Roma activists and members of civil society associations interested in Roma issues. 
* ROM-UP! project Report “The voices of the community. Actors involved in successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education”
As part of our joint project, all partners collected successful educational experiences in promoting Roma education. After the selection of the successful practices, project partners collected the feelings, impressions and points of view of the actors involved in the selected successful experiences. We believe that this will make easier the experiences’ transferability and will encourage their implementation in other countries.
Read the report here.

OTHER news

* Romani activists ask Czech Government not to close Human Rights Section
Romani students and youth activists have written to the Czech Government asking it to preserve the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. The activists say dispersing the agenda of the section between various ministries would endanger the protection of "the most vulnerable groups" in society, such as children, minorities, people living with disabilities, and seniors.
 
The letter was sent to the cabinet by a Crisis Committee established by young Romani people last year. The Government is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, 16 January to negotiate a proposal for budget cuts to the state administration that involve the planned closure and merger of various offices. Human rights defenders from various organizations have previously called on the cabinet to abandon its plan to move various government advisory bodies to various ministries. 

A full translation of the letter is available here.
* The Failures of Funding Roma Inclusion 
Shortly before the last national elections in Bulgaria in 2011, an incident took place in the village of Katunitsa, which is not far from the second-largest city of Plovdiv. On the night of September 23, a 19-year-old ethnic Bulgarian Angel Petrov was hit by a car and died. It was an accident, but it wasn't accidental. His accused murderer, a mini-bus driver Simeon Yosifov, was a relative of a prominent local Roma powerbroker by the name of Kiril Rashkov. Tsar Kiro, as the powerbroker was known, had it out for the young victim.
Read more here.
* Romania: Police investigate group offering Romani women money for sterilization
Agence France-Presse reported today that the prosecutor in Timisoara, Romania has begun investigating a nationalist group called NAT88 for soliciting Romani women to undergo sterilizations. The group will be investigated on suspicion of "public promotion of a fascist and racist ideology". 
Read more here.
* Roma inclusion in 2012: no respite in prejudice
“Does the EU deserve its Nobel Peace Prize? 2013 is the European Year of Citizens, dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. It seems utterly remote and removed from the reality facing millions of Roma across the Union“. An article on open Democracy by Bernard Rorke, international advocacy director for the Roma Initiatives Office. 
Read more here.
* Report and recommendations of Equality Summit 2012 in Cyprus
On 22-23 November 2012 the Equality Summit took place in Cyprus under the Cypriot EU Presidency entitled "Promoting Equality for Growth" in which ERIO was invited to speak about Roma education.
 
The key conclusions/recommendations of the Summit are:
  • The current economic crisis is putting pressure on the finances of all members of the European Union, which often results in austerity measures and cuts in social policies, including Equality.
  • The latest Eurobarometer on discrimination confirms this trend, as an absolute majority of Europeans believe that, due to the economic crisis, policies promoting equality and diversity are regarded as less important and receive less funding.
  • However, the Equality Summit has shown that equality policies can support growth, and growth cannot be achieved in a society where discrimination and exclusion exist.
  • In times of crisis, human rights and non-discrimination principles should be taken into account when designing and implementing growth policies. Investing in Equality policies will contribute to creation of a more inclusive participatory and prosperous society by ensuring that persons with disabilities, older people, ethnic and religious minorities, women, sexual minorities and all groups at risk of discrimination can play a positive role for growth and are given the opportunity to show their talents.
  • The responsibility lies on Member States, European Institutions, Equality bodies, NGOs, businesses, trade unions and employers. All have a role to play in combatting discrimination and reflecting diversity in the work force, but also in all spheres of life, making sure that growth and equality go hand in hand, as one cannot be achieved without the other. 
Key learning and conclusions

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* EPP Working Group Opening Session "Establishing a European Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Roma Holocaust” - 29.01.2013, Brussels
On 29 January the EPP Working Group on Roma Inclusion is organising a session to commemorate the victims of the Roma Holocaust. The event will take place between 11:00-13:00 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Interpretation will be in English, French, German and Romanian. 
To register, please send an email to: marta.pinto@erionet.eu.
* Public Policy Exchange "Tackling Human Trafficking in Europe: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution" - 30.01.2013, Brussels
The PPE is organising a conference on how to tackle human trafficking in Europe. The event will take place on 30 January between 10:00-16:20.
Find out more here
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