Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 16-01-2015

ERIO news and activities

* ERIO Conference “Anti-Gypsyism and the Holocaust: Remembering the past and shaping the future”
As the coordinating partner of the MemoROM project which aims to raise awareness about the Roma and Sinti Holocaust, the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is organizing the conference “Anti-Gypsyism and the Holocaust: Remembering the past and shaping the future” which will be held on 30 January, 2015.

Roma and Sinti have a history of persecution. They have been oppressed and discriminated against for centuries and their persecution reached a climax throughout the Nazi regime during which they were subjected to genocide and deprived of their civil rights. The suffering of Roma and Sinti communities during WWII is mirrored today by persistent practices of discrimination and acts of violence against these populations across Europe. While they constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe, they alarmingly remain the most hated and discriminated against on a daily basis. Anti-Gypsyism is a reality in today’s Europe and xenophobic sentiments are exacerbated by racist and extremist discourses and by the socio-economic difficulties that Europe has to go through.

Against this backdrop it is urgent to mobilise all efforts to raise awareness about the Roma and Sinti Holocaust in order to fight discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes about these communities and avoid the repetition of Europe’s darkest period. By rediscovering the relatively unknown history of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust, the MemoROM project which is implemented in Belgium, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Germany from December 2013 until March 2015 aims to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma.

Read more here

OTHER news

* Eurodiaconia’s NRIS assessment report
By Eurodiaconia

Eurodiaconia together with CCME published assessment report on the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies for 2014. The report provides an executive summary of some of the challenges and successes in implementing the NRIS as well as country specific reports according to our members who are active working with Roma communities. We would like to thank those members who contributed to the assessment.

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* French mayor shows mercy after baby Roma girl denied burial spot
By rc/bk, Deutsche Welle

French mayor has granted a burial place to a baby Roma girl, after the family were refused permission in a neighboring town. Staunchly conservative mayor Richard Trinquier said it was a question of humanity.
Trinquier, who is mayor of the town of Wissous, said on Saturday that it would be "humanly unthinkable" not to provide a grave for two-month-old girl, identified only as "Maria Francesca."

"I didn't hesitate a shadow of a second," Trinquier told French broadcaster BFM-TV. He told the AFP news agency that it was a "question of humanity," after the girl's family was refused permission in Champlan, where they live on a camp for members of the Roma community. Marie Francesca died of sudden infant death syndrome on December 26.

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* Roma community slams media prejudice
By Zeynep KarataŞ

Roma activists heavily criticized the "Roman Havası" TV program during a conference held in İstanbul on Saturday for what they called feeding and encouraging stereotypes about their demographic.

Istanbul, “The stereotypes that this show perpetuates are inappropriate. They show Roma neighborhoods as places where there is always dancing on the streets or fights taking places; the image given is as if we do not have any problems. The reality is that the first thing one recognizes when entering a Roma neighborhood is the poverty,” explained Bahattin Turnalı of the Educational Development and Global Fight Against Discrimination Association during Saturday's event, which was titled "Discourse and Information with Roma Civil Society Representatives."
“If you're going to create a show you must do your research,” Turnalı stated, adding: “For example, if an actor is going to portray a soldier, he would go meet soldiers and live with them to better understand their experiences. I have a very hard time believing that any of the actors from ‘Roman Havası' have stepped foot in a Roma neighborhood.”

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* Nazi-hunters condemn Mass for WWII Croatia leader
By i24news

Ante Pavelic was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre slammed Monday a Mass in Zagreb to commemorate Croatia's World War II pro-Nazi leader, claiming it was a "badge of shame" for the Catholic Church.

"It's hard to believe that in the center of the capital of a member of the European Union, very close to Zagreb's Jewish community, hundreds of people gathered yesterday to commemorate the memory of one of Europe's biggest mass murderers," the head of the center's Jerusalem office said in a statement.

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* Local programs aid Slovakian kids
By Joseph Dits South Bend Tribune

Roma children get new chance for education

In the eastern European country of Slovakia, two programs from South Bend have started to take root in an effort to lift the Roma people — often labeled with the word gypsy — out of chronic school failures and 90 percent unemployment. The man, who launched this long journey, where Roma make up 8 percent of the country, is Bill Howell.

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* Parallel worlds: The life of Romani people in Norway
By Jana Baudyšová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert, Romea

Prague - "There probably does not exist any other group against which Norwegians harbor more prejudice," says Balder Hasvoll, the Romani Minority Adviser to the Norwegian capital of Oslo. News server Romea.cz is interviewing him in Czech, as he has both studied and worked in the Czech Republic.

We discussed the life of Romani people in Norway at his office, during a visit to the home of his Romani colleagues, while traveling through the city; at various meetings he accompanied us to, and also at a unique exhibition about the indigenous Norwegian Roma in the city museum. In addition to the Romani people who have lived throughout Scandinavia since the 16th century, the so-called "Tatere" - Travellers, whose number is estimated at about 10 000 people, there are two more distinct Romani worlds living side-by-side in Norway.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* Anti-Gypsyism and the Holocaust: Remembering the past and shaping the future - MemoROM project closing event

CONFERENCE INVITATION

Brussels, 30 January 2015
 
As the coordinating partner of the MemoROM project which aims to raise awareness about the Roma and Sinti Holocaust, the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) invites you to attend the conference “Anti-Gypsyism and the Holocaust: Remembering the past and shaping the future” which will be held on 30 January 2015 at the European Economic Social Committee, 2 rue Van Maerlant - 1040 Brussels (room VMA 3, 2nd floor, Van Maerlant building) from 09:00-16:30.
 
Roma and Sinti have a history of persecution. They have been oppressed and discriminated against for centuries and their persecution reached a climax throughout the Nazi regime during which they were subjected to genocide and deprived of their civil rights. The suffering of Roma and Sinti communities during WWII is mirrored today by persistent practices of discrimination and acts of violence against these populations across Europe. While they constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe, they alarmingly remain the most hated and discriminated against on a daily basis. Anti-Gypsyism is a reality in today’s Europe and xenophobic sentiments are exacerbated by racist and extremist discourses and by the socio-economic difficulties that Europe has to go through.
 
Against this backdrop it is urgent to mobilise all efforts to raise awareness about the Roma and Sinti Holocaust in order to fight discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes about these communities and avoid the repetition of Europe’s darkest period. By rediscovering the relatively unknown history of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust, the MemoROM project which is implemented in Belgium, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Germany from December 2013 until March 2015 aims to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma.

Registration
 
You can register by email or phone by giving your name, surname, title and the organisation you are working for. The deadline for registrations is 28 January 2015 at 14:00 (Brussels time).
For registration or any other queries, please contact: office@erionet.eu or Tel: +32 (2) 733 34 62
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