CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS – Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar
Brussels, April 6 until 13, 2018 (including travel days)

Join us in Brussels to learn about European policy-making and civil society advocacy, and to raise young voices in front of the European Parliament, European Commission and other stakeholders to combat antigypsyism and to advance important issues for Roma communities. This six days lasting seminar is organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network, ERGO Network and the Documentation and Cultural Centre & Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It will gather 40 young Roma and non-Roma activists in order to strengthen their capacity as young advocates and leaders to tackle antigypsyism. During the seminar, the group will run a youth campaign against antigypsyism targeting EU level actors, like Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. The advocacy seminar is part of the “EU Roma Week” around the 8 April – International Roma Day.

Our mission and vision

The organizers aim to empower young Roma to have a voice to become key agents of change, and to foster solidarity among young people! We have a strong vision to make a change in Europe. As young Roma and non-Roma we believe that we can build a European culture based on respect, dialogue, human rights and equal opportunities. We strongly follow our mission to create space for young people to become active citizens through empowerment, mobilization, self-organization and participation. “EU Roma Week” in the European Parliament Roma Week 2018 takes places from April 9-12, 2018 in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg to mark the occasion of the International Roma Day on 8 April 2018. Roma Week 2016-2017 resulted in the Slovak Presidency having two Council Conclusions on Roma with reference to the European Parliament’s 2015 resolution on antigypsyism and for the recognition of the Roma Genocide, as well as in a new Parliament report on fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism (of October 2017).

Objectives of “EU Roma Week”

EU Roma week 2018 is designed with the aim of bringing together Roma activists from the European Union to advocate for recognition and institutional responses against antigypsyism across Europe, as well as to engage in the discussions for a post2020 EU Framework for the National Roma Integration Strategies.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The seminar aims to strengthen the capacity of the participants to understand the structures and working mechanisms of the EU institutions, as well as the current EU policies concerning Roma and against racism, and to develop advocacy strategies and campaigns raising-awareness about antigypsyism on European level.

The objectives of the activity are to:

  • Get to know the European Union institutions and to understand their working mechanisms, and policies towards Roma, in particular of the European Parliament and European Commission;
  • Build a dialogue and bring a Roma youth perspective to DG Justice (responsible for Roma policies in the European Commission), to DG EAC (Education and Culture, includes the youth sector in the European Commission), as well as to Members of the European Parliament in particular of ARDI(Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup);
  • Learn about the work of the EU umbrella organizations and contribute to their work;
  •  Raise awareness of the participants about antigypsyism, and the current anti-racism policies;
  • Raise awareness of the participants about the Brussels-based civil society structures and their strategies against antigypsyism and racism (in particular ERGO Network, ENAR (European Network against Racism) and the European Youth Forum);
  •  Develop a youth campaign against antigypsyism and on Roma youth perspectives during the “EU Roma Week” of the European Parliament;
  • Raise awareness of Members of the European Parliament, European Commission staff and Brussels based advocates about the recognition of the Roma Holocaust and of antigypsyism, which was acknowledged in April 2015 by a European Parliament resolution and in a report of the LIBE Committee in October 2017.

THEMATIC GROUPS

Participants are asked to indicate already in their application their preference for one working group. During the training-course the participants will work in small groups of 10 to 15 participants around this theme.

  • Participation: focus on political participation of Roma and of young women and men, participation in mainstream political parties, European Parliament elections 2019, state institutions as well as participation in mainstream civil society and youth structures, such as National Youth Councils, European Youth Forum;
  • Antigypsyism: focus on the policy debate on combating antigypsyism, bringing focus on antigypsyism within the EU Roma Framework, with a special focus on youth and women,
    impact of antigypsyism on youth and women, role of youth and women in combating antigypsyism, issue of hate speech in the public field;
  •  Advanced Advocacy: focus on the mid-term review of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, and advocacy for a post 2020 European Roma Framework, the Social Europe/European Pillar of Social Rights policy and the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020.

 

Friday,

6 April

Arrival, joint dinner, welcome

 

Saturday,

7 April

Opening, sharing experiences

Training sessions: the European institutional framework, Roma-related policies

Sunday,

8 April

Training sessions  on advocacy and antigypsyism

Focus on the “Alliance against Antigypsyism”

International Roma Day events

Monday,

9 April

Work in thematic groups: Participation, Antigypsyism, Advanced Advocacy

Preparation of the Roma Week activities

Meeting with experienced EU advocates and activists

Meetings with external stakeholders in small thematic groups: European Commission, European civil society structures, International Organizations

Situation in Western Balkan and Turkey, EU Enlargement policies

Tuesday,

10 April

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament
Wednesday,

11 April

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament
Thursday,

12 April

Working Breakfast with various Members of the European Parliament;

The thematic working groups (Participation, Antigypsyism, Advocacy) participate and engage in various activities of the EU Roma Week in the European Parliament;

Evaluation of the event and of the Roma week, Closing dinner

Friday,

13 April

Departure

PROFILE OF THE PARTICIPANTS

  • Present will be Roma and non-Roma youth leaders, activists, multipliers, and volunteers who are active in Roma communities and experienced in working with Roma communities and/or Roma youth. We aim to create a balanced group of experience participants and participants who have NOT participated in the training previously, and who demonstrate a strong interest in advocacy and political participation.
    Participants must also:
  • be able and committed to act as young advocates and multipliers in youth work on the themes of anti-discrimination, combating racism and antigypsyism and promotion of human rights with young Roma, for the benefit of Roma communities and Roma youth;
  • be motivated to develop their competences in advocacy, anti-discrimination work, human rights education and youth work and to share their experiences with other participants;
  • be actively committed and involved in a Roma (youth) initiative, advocacy group or organization;
  • be aged between 18 – 35 years;
  • be committed to attend for the full duration of the course;
  • be able to work in English, or check with the coordination that translation can be provided through other participants or team members;
  • be resident in one of the following countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia

DATES OF THE ACTIVITY

Arrival: April 6, 2018 (Friday)
Program days: April 7 until April 12, 2018
Departure: April 13, 2018 (Friday)

LOCATION

The seminar is organised in Brussels.
Accommodation is provided in Hotel Aviation, Square de l’Aviation 20, 1070 Bruxelles. The conference will take place in various venues. Information is provided with the Info Pack later.

TRAVEL

Participants should organize their travel (arrival and departure) for these dates AFTER the organizers have confirmed their participation. Earlier arrivals and late departures will be exceptions after discussion with the organizers.

COSTS

Reimbursement of travel costs:

The organisers of the seminar cover accommodation and food during the activity. The maximum of reimbursement of travel costs is € 200 (for French and German participants € 150); if costs are higher they have to be covered by participants or contact the organizers. The reimbursements of travel expenses (based on economical prices, Apex, student price, special price) will take place on the spot during the week in cash or by bank transfer after the activity. Participants should bring with them original invoices to prove the costs of travel as well the tickets.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION

How to apply? Register in the online application form:

https://goo.gl/forms/1oFCubAdEg1HO60H2

Application deadline: February 25, 2018 (end of day)

Selection procedure:

If you fit into the participants’ profile, you may submit an application until February 25 at midnight Central European Time. The preparatory team will select up the participants on the basis of the profile outlined above, ensuring also a balance between genders, geographical regions, different types of experiences and organizations. Within few days, we will inform the candidates whether their application has been accepted or rejected.

ANY QUESTIONS?

Contact person: Jozsef Rostas
e-mail: j.rostas@ergonetwork.org
ternype general contact: ternype@romayouth.com

Statement on Denial of the Holocaust of the Roma in the Czech Republic

European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network Statement on Denial of the Holocaust of the Roma in the Czech Republic

ERGO Network condemns in the strongest possible terms the denial and doubt cast on the suffering of the Romani victims of the Lety concentration camp by the current speaker of the Czech lower house on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

As Romani people and as European citizens we welcome the other condemnations of his remarks that have been voiced by Czech political representatives, and call on all other political leaders to join them.

We believe Mr Tomio Okamura should face sanctions for his remarks, including being removed from his post as vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. We hope that his fellow legislators see fit to sanction him.

There is no excusing this inexcusable behavior.

***

For more information about the cause follow Romea.cz

For the source of the problem see Czech MP marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day by doubting what happen at Romani genocide side

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

ERGO NETWORK

Seventy-three years ago, on 27 January 1945, the Red Army liberated the last survivors from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

On this day we honor the victims of Nazism, including Holocaust victims from the Jewish community, from the Roma and Sinti communities, from the communities of sexual minorities, and from all other groups who were targeted for special persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Romani and Sinti people were targeted by the Nazis for genocide because of their ethnicity and were almost completely annihilated in some parts of Europe. This part of the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War is often forgotten.

We Roma and Sinti who have inherited the legacy of this history shall never forget it!!! Na bistren!!

It is high time, as we progress toward the middle of the 21st century, that all of Europe fully recognise the horrors of its past, namely, the more than six million European Jews and the hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti specifically targeted for genocide, with few survivors.

European societies today need to hear the stories of the heroes, including Romani heroes, who resisted the Nazis. We need to listen to Holocaust survivors tell the stories of all those who did not survive. We must listen not just to honor the past, but most importantly to resist the dehumanisation that poses a serious threat to the democratic order in many European countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.

Europe is in danger today of failing its moral obligation to uphold the dignity of all human beings and to prevent a recurrence of the Nazi era, which began by exploiting the loopholes that exist in any system based on competition for the democratic vote. We must mobilize resistance and prevent neo-fascist and neo-Nazi political parties from accessing power in legislatures throughout the EU-28.

There should be no place for neo-fascists or neo-Nazis in European society, but today they are openly marching in the streets, organizing anti-Romani incitement, and openly brandishing their hatred of all who do not conform to their narrow vision of who counts as European. Europe needs a wake-up call about the danger posed by these anti-democratic forces.

All EU Member States must hold appropriate commemorations regarding the Holocaust, including events where the Romani victims are honored. All EU Member States must also properly monitor and prosecute present-day hate crime and hate speech and must report about such crimes targeting Romani people (or those perceived as Roma) to the citizens they serve.

The Roma and Sinti face a specific form of racism in European society, that of antigypsyism, which gives rise to a broad spectrum of discriminatory expressions and practices, including ones that are more covert than overt. Antigypsyism is not only about what is being said about Roma and to Roma, it is also about what is or is not being done to combat their dehumanisation.

All Europeans have a responsibility to recognize the full impact of the centuries-long problem of antigypsyism, as it is an integral part of why institutions continue to neglect their responsibility to specifically combat the dehumnisation of the European Roma by their non-Roma fellow citizens. By fighting antigypsyism, including within institutions, together we can secure a better place for Roma in Europe.

All Europeans have a duty to educate our peers and future generations to make sure that no specific groups are ever targeted for harm, whether by individuals or by powerful institutions. We also have a responsibility to all children in Europe to allow their dreams of a better future, predicated on a Europe that is just, peaceful and secure, to come true and to help them fulfil their dreams and their potential.

ANTIGYPSYISM IN AUSTRIA

ANTIGYPSYISM IN AUSTRIA

We are happy to announce that our member from Austria Romano Centro published the third report on Antigypsyism in Austria that covers the period from November 2015 to October 2017.

Like the other two publications from 2013 and 2015, this report also follows a twofold objective: 1. Awareness of the wide public on the issue of antigypsyism. 2. Empower the people who are affected by antigypsyism to report the incidents and to defend themselves.

The report in hand is not a scientific study. Instead, it is a depiction of individual incidents that were reported to the Romano Centro and other counselling centres.  The reports include statements about the frequency of antigypsyist incidents and cover different areas where most of these types of incidents take place.

The report incorporates Reference Paper on Antigypsyism published in 2016 by the The Alliance against Antigypsyism that describes key features and manifestations of the phenomenon.

Read here the report ANTIGYPSYISM in Austria

Antigypsyism on the agenda at EU’s High-Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance

Antigypsyism on the agenda at EU’s High-Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance

The EU’s High-Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, bringing together representatives of EU Member States and civil society representatives, put special emphasis on discussing antigypsyism at their 4th High-Level Meeting taking place on 5 December 2017.

Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, expressed deep concerns regarding the widespread social acceptance of antigypsyism. As an example she brought the case of hate speech and death threats against Czech Roma singer Gypsy.cz, which was fined with only 4 Euros by a domestic court. Judicial cases such as this send a wrong message when it comes to combating antigypsyist hate speech.

MEP Soraya Post (S&D Group) emphasized the urgent need to remedy antigypsyism as the root cause of discrimination and hatred against Roma and called upon all governments and duty-bearers to take responsibility for their citizens. She warned: “Europe is at a crossroads again. Extremist parties are getting into the governments, xenophobic voices are getting more and more common and tolerated even by members of governments”.

Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, Director of ERGO Network, presented the Reference Paper on Antigypsyism in her contribution and pointed out the importance to focus on mainstream society when combating antigypsyism: “It is essential to see that antigypsyism is not a ‘minority issue’. It is a phenomenon of our societies, which has its origin in how the social majority view and treat those whom they consider ‘gypsies’. To combat antigypsyism, our attention needs to shift to mainstream societies, while raising the voices of those who are dramatically affected by antigypsyism, but also usually silenced by it”.

The EU Fundamental Rights Agency presented findings of the second survey on discrimination and hatred targeting minorities throughout the EU. The survey shows that Roma and people of African descent face above-average levels of discrimination and hatred across Europe, which affects them in all areas of life and is greatest when looking for a job. Roma are more likely to be victims of hate motivated harassment and violence as well as ethnic discrimination than any other group, but three quarter of the respondents do not know any organisation offering support to victims and are unaware of relevant legislation protecting them. Due to a lack of trust, knowledge and resources, non-reporting of incidents of discrimination and hatred still remains a challenge. Reporting of hate-motivated harassment and discrimination to relevant services did not increase since 2008.

The survey results show the severity of discrimination and hatred against Roma in Europe. We urge the European Commission to assign the Fundamental Rights Agency to publish a study on antigypsyism in the EU and candidate countries and to provide a deeper analysis of the EU MIDIS II survey by looking at structural and institutional discriminatory practices and policies.

ERGO Network together with the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the European Network against Racism urge EU Member States to take targeted measures against antigypsyism. These should be included in the National Roma Integration Strategies and the National Action Plans against Racism. Disaggregated data on hate crimes against Roma and their property needs to be collected and antigypsyism must be recognised to allow national authorities to analyse trends of hate crimes affecting Roma and to develop effective responses to ensure recording, prosecution and adequate support to victims of racist violence and hate speech.

Find here the policy recommendations of the Alliance against Antigypsyism.

Download the recommendations as pdf.