Weekly news

ERIO'S WEEKLY E-NEWS 18-02-2013

ERIO news and activities

* Follow-up meeting on EU actions on bias violence
On 11 February, ERIO met with other members of the Social Platform’s Fundamental Rights and Discrimination Working Group (EDF, EWL, ENAR and ILGA-Europe) to discuss possible follow-up actions on our joint position paper "Towards EU actions against all forms of bias violence".

ERIO’s current activities in the area of violence in line with the position paper include our contribution to the European Commission’s monitoring of the implementation of the Race Equality Directive which resulted in the paper "Discrimination against Roma in the EU in 2012". Additionally, we believe it is important to stress the link between past and current forms of violence and discrimination against Roma by highlighting the historical perspective of anti-Gypsyism. Raising awareness about the Roma Holocaust addresses bias violence against Roma and we do it through projects and through our video
* ERIO at the launching of FSG's Annual Report on discrimination against  Roma in Spain
On 11 February, ERIO attended the launching of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano’s Annual 2012 Report “Discrimination and Roma community” in Madrid. The report was presented by the FSG at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

You can view the report (in Spanish) here.
* ERIO met with Fundación Secretariado Gitano
On 11 February ERIO met with the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) in their Madrid office. During the meeting ERIO representatives got familiar with some of FSG‘s positive practices in social inclusion which we intend to promote to countries where FSG is not at all or is less active. ERIO was updated on specific issues related to Roma discrimination in Spain. We discussed possible joint actions in Turkey where ERIO is also active.  It was agreed that some core activities are urgently needed in Turkey such as activities helping structuring Roma representation in Turkey, increasing the capacity for advocacy of the active organizations and raising awareness on basic rights and antidiscrimination policies. Finally, European level Roma related policy and future joint actions in Brussels were topics for discussion.
* KEYROMA Survey on Roma women’s abilities and social skills
Our joint project has published a survey which derived from an assessment done in five countries (Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Romania and Spain) of the competencies that Roma women have, in order to identify further needs for training and personal development. This survey presents the synthesis of the results obtained and offers a basis for the development and implementation of learning modules in the successive phases of the project.

Survey main conclusions:
  • The majority of Roma women are not aware of their competencies
  • Most of the competencies held by Roma women have been accumulated through life experience, rather than formal education
  • A lack of formal qualifications and anti-Roma discrimination are the main barriers to the labour market for Roma women across Europe
  • The level of competency of Roma women differs considerably between communities and between individual due to factors such as the state of the local economy and personal motivation
  • The balance between work and home life is the key issue to think about during the learning process
  • The focus of the programme should be on developing both the women’s skills and their self-esteem
The survey can be accessed here
* KEYROMA Newsletter 2
Our joint project KEYROMA has now published its fourth newsletter to provide more information on the project results. In the past few months, five Local Learning Groups (LLG) composed of 15 to 20 Roma women were established, interviews with employers and with the LLGs were conducted and analysed.

The newsletter is available online in English, French and Dutch.  
* Join our Online Community of Practice to discuss issues related to adult education and socioeconomic integration of Roma women!
The KeyRoma project – as you may know - aims at developing Roma women’s skills and competences in order to increase their participation in the service sector and this by developing a training module in close cooperation with the key players of this project: Roma women themselves.

The Online Community of Practice (OCP) is a tool that aims to stimulate discussion among stakeholders (e.g. Roma women, policy makers, politicians, teachers, organisations specialised in vocational education and training (VET), employers in the service sector, employment agencies, Roma organisations, NGOs, etc.) from different fields and countries on the project’s topics. The OCP has three main sections: blogging area, polling section and a forum. Share your views and learn about good practices and experiences from similar stakeholders in your own or other European countries!
 
To access the OCP, simply go to the project website and create a new account. By joining, you will get the opportunity to learn about issues faced by Roma women in your own country or abroad; you can follow the progress made under the KeyRoma project; you can share information about your own work and get new ideas for future projects.

We hope we can count on your contributions for a lively and inspiring debate

OTHER news

* Roma organisations meet with the European Commission representation in Turkey
On 11 February ERIO’s network members and the Turkish Roma Rights Forum met with the European Commission representation in Turkey. The meeting was also attended by local authorities, non-Roma organisations and media. The aim of the meeting was to update European Commission and Turkish authorities about the human rights situation of Roma in Turkey and discuss possible actions. More than 50 Roma leaders expressed concerns about the human rights of their communities and the lack of support by local institutions and law enforcement authorities. Hacer Foggo, Chair of the Roma Rights Forum, presented the European experience of Roma policy making and talked about the European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies adopted by the European Commission. She strongly encouraged Turkish authorities to adopt a similar strategy and to follow the principles of the European Framework. Other members of the forum stated that Turkish Roma urgently need a long term program for capacity building in advocacy and fundraising.

News by ERIO
* Roma multi-annual programme
Despite efforts at the national, European and international level to improve the social and economic integration of Roma in the European Union, many still face deep poverty, profound social exclusion, and discrimination, which often means limited access to quality education, jobs and services, low income levels, sub-standard housing conditions, poor health and lower life expectancy. These problems also present often insurmountable barriers to exercising their fundamental rights. Data collected systematically over the past years by FRA and international organisations show that the situation of the Roma has changed little in recent years. In the wake of the recent global economic crisis, there is particular concern that the situation may deteriorate further, unless urgent and targeted action is taken.

Read more here.
* The truth about Romania's gypsies: Not coming over here, not stealing our jobs
A freezing wind sweeps in across the Romanian countryside. The sweet stench of garbage catches at the back of the throat, and feral dogs chase one another over the heaps of filth. This rubbish dump, for Claudia Greta and her family, is home, her house a ramshackle single-storey shack. Claudia, 40, is one of more than 1,500 Roma Gypsies who live in a sprawling, fetid encampment on a landfill site outside Romania's second-largest city Cluj-Napoca. The residents of Pata Rat – half of them are children – have been forcibly moved there over the past 15 years. Claudia opens the shack door to a room little bigger than a caravan and sighs: "Look where we live. We live on top of garbage."

Read more here.
* Commentary: NGO war breaks out in Czech Republic
"When People in Need, during the worst moment of this crisis at the residential hotel, when there was a risk that people's children would be taken into state care, released a lie to the media claiming that the residential hotel occupants had rejected 20 apartments, they crushed the faith of the people they were collaborating with, as well as the overall faith of the public in NGOs. At the same time, this organization showed that its media image and the provision of an alibi to its allies at the town hall, from which its grant money flows, is more important to it than are human lives and a good resolution to a crisis situation," reads a recent declaration issued by the Housing for All (Bydlení pro všechny) initiative.

Read more here.
* Roma Housing in Spotlight as NGOs Meet New Government in Romania
The Minister of Regional Development in Romania acknowledged that the situation of Roma living on and near a rubbish dump in Pata Rât is ‘unacceptable’, during a meeting with non-governmental organisations (NGO) earlier this week.The newly-appointed Minister, Liviu Dragnea, met with delegates from Amnesty International (AI) the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and Fundatia Desire (a founder member of the Working Group of Civil Society Organizations, gLOC) on Wednesday, 13 February. He said that the meeting was a strong signal that there is a desire from within the Ministry to resolve the issue of access of Roma communities to housing.

Read more here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS and events

* SAVE THE DATE: ERIO conference "European Year of Citizens: Are Roma people European citizens like any others?" - 22.04.2013, Brussels
Our conference “European Year of Citizens: Are Roma people European citizens like others?” will address the extent Roma are able to exercise their rights as European citizens and the barriers they face. The conference will be held on the 22nd April at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. The agenda will follow in coming weeks but you can register now by sending your full name and the organisation you work for to ERIO by e-mail at office@erionet.eu or by phoning the office on  +32 27333462. 
* EP Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, ATD Fourth World Committee public meeting on Future of European Aid to the Most Deprived – 19.02.2013, Brussels
The event will discuss the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived.

You can register here.
* CALL FOR NOMINATIONS "Rethinking Diversity - Challenges for equality in Europe and new responses" 26-31 May 2013, in Lithuania
UNITED is organising an international conference in Lithuania. Organisations are invited to nominate one delegate (living in Europe). Priority will be given to nominations from young delegates (under 30 years old) with a minority background. If your organisation is interested to nominate a representative, please return the expression of interest form by email to lithuania@unitedagainstracism.org before 3 April 2013. All information and the e-nomination form can be found on the UNITED website.

Deadline: 3 April 2013
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