ERGO Summer Academy showcases campaign ideas for Roma youth employment

In ERGO’s Summer Academy, taking place from 26 August to 2 September in Barcelona, a group of outstanding participants from across Europe joined forces to work together on a thematic campaign to raise awareness on Roma youth unemployment. The one-week long ERGO Summer Academy hosted 19 young professionals alongside the team of ERGO Network and guest trainers from Greece and Bulgaria.

The academy invited participants to join as experts from ERGO member organisations, other Roma NGOs and local or national administrations to discuss emerging issues of social exclusion, education and employment, and what a multi-stakeholder agenda for quality education and better employment can achieve regarding Roma youth.

Raising awareness on the plight of Roma youth employment has never been more important: 58% of Roma aged 16 to 24 are not in employment, education or training. At the same time, in countries such as Romania or Bulgaria up to 20% of new labour market entrants are Roma.  The new financial cycle of the European Commission will start in 2021, thus reminding decision-makers on what is at stake is of great importance.

The participants used the Academy to create an awareness raising campaign that will be launched at this year’s EU Roma Platform in Brussels.  The work started with differentiating the terminology and discussing the issues relevant to the context of employment. After hearing experiences and personal stories of participants, the group gained first-hand knowledge on the employment context in Barcelona through the initiatives of `FAGIC`, a Catalonian Roma network. To conclude the learning part of the week, Leonor Rebassa from Amnesty International introduced the group to all to the very details and best practices of thorough campaign planning.

In the second half of the week, innovative ideas for an ERGO youth employment campaign were brought to the table from working groups. In the last two days, it started to be clear what the campaign will look like, and finally, 4 initiatives made it to realization. They will be launched at this year’s European Roma Platform, which will be held in Brussels on 27/28 November on the topic of ‘Transition from Education to Employment’. ERGO’s campaign will focus on antigypsyism and discrimination on the labour market and addresses decision-makers and employers from the perspective of young Roma themselves.

Besides all their hard work, the participants of the event soon acclimatized to the fantastically located venue of Mare de Deu del Coll, and enjoyed mid-summer heat from the very early mornings till late nights that left enough time for networking between ERGO’s members and making new friends. Not only the sea at Barceloneta, but the whole week has been a refreshing experience to all participants.

Advocacy Training in Romania

Between 14 -16 August, the association Center of Resources for Social Inclusion CRIS, ERGO member, organized a training course on ‘Advocacy for combating antigypsyism and discrimination towards Roma’. The training was organized in Sinaia, Romania for ten Roma students and higher education graduates from Prahova County. Today, the ten participants are good friends and well-trained in undertaking advocacy for combating negative attitudes towards Roma in Romania and not only, as they said after the training. All because they understood that if they do not train and do not get involved, tomorrow they can be the next victims.

The training is part of CRIS’ Annual Work Plan 2017 in cooperation with ERGO Network. It has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020).

ERGO presents reference paper on Antigypsyism at CAHROM

ERGO Network presents Reference paper on Antigypsyism at the meeting of CAHROM

The 5th co-ordination meeting between international intergovernmental organisations organized by the AD HOC COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON ROMA AND TRAVELER ISSUES (CAHROM) in cooperation with the Governmental Office for Roma Affairs of the Czech Republic took place on 31 May in Prague. It was supported by ERGO member Slovo 21 and was organized during the International Roma Festival Khamoro.

Representatives of the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency, OSCE/ODIHR, UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, representatives of national governments and relevant actors involved in the Roma issues participated in the meeting.

ERGO Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova presented the reference paper on antigypsyismand the “Roma Civil Monitor”, a project on shadow monitoring and capacity building run by Central European University together with the European Roma Rights Centre, Roma Education Fund, Fundacion Secretariado Gitano and ERGO Network.

The CAHROM took note of the reference paper and shared it with all CAHROM members. Jamen appealed to the government representatives to tackle systemic antigypsyism in their countries and to make a special effort to include combatting antigypsyism into their national strategies. This appeal was even more relevant as the CAHROM set up an international Task Force on Anti-Gypsyism under the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

ERGO Network condemns murder of three Roma sisters in arson attack

ERGO Network condemns murder of three Roma sisters in arson attack

ERGO Network condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of three Roma sisters aged four, eight and 20, who died in a fire after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at their camper van on the outskirts of Rome, Italy early Wednesday morning.  Such attack is as a heinous crime that is calling for an unbiased police investigation, and we’ll not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice regardless their origin.

We would like to express deep condolences to the family and surviving children.

We appeal to the media and politicians to keep sensitivity in their coverage and in political responses to make sure they don’t fuel already existing antigypsyism in the society.

We repeat our call to the Italian municipal authorities, the Italian government and the European Commission to ensure that Roma families in Italy have a chance for equal citizenship and being offered decent housing conditions and facilities where their children grow up in a secure environment and can invest in a better future.


ERGO Networks joins the open letter of Graziano Halilovic that you can find attached.

Dives le rromenqo – 8 April International Roma Day

Dives le rromenqo – 8 April International Roma Day

46 years ago, on 8 April 1971, the first World Romani Congress took place in London and paved the way for greater unity of Roma in the world. The Congress declared 8th April as the International Day of Roma, a day to celebrate and raise awareness about Romani culture.

As much as the day is used to celebrate, we also use it as a day of protest, to raise awareness of the discrimination and exclusion faced by Europe’s largest ethnic minority, from segregation in schools to forced evictions, from hate speech to killings. This is especially important when we hear speeches inside the European Parliament that incite hate against Roma, as happened on 6 April during the International Roma Day debate in the plenary in Strasbourg by MEPs Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca and Tim Aker. These incidents must be strongly condemned by the European institutions and on national level to make clear that antigypsyism is never and nowhere acceptable.

We should use this day to go out onto the streets to show that we are united in our fight against antigypsyism and in our pride of Romani culture.

For ERGO Network, it is of vital importance that Roma are involved in the mainstream political events around 8th April and show that they are the main agents of change towards more participation of Roma in society. For the second year in a row, ERGO Network together with TernYpe international youth network invited 40 young Roma activists to Brussels to make their voices heard in the European parliament, and many of them also lead the celebrations and protests on International Roma Day in their home countries. It is great to see this strength and passion of Roma youth who take on the struggle for more dignity and confidence.

We need to follow the aims of the 1st Romani Congress in 1971 and unite our efforts to strive for equal participation of Roma in society, to be respected as equal citizens with the same rights.

The whole ERGO Network team wishes you a great inspirational Roma day!