Workshop on trafficking in Roma children

ERGO Network’s research and advocacy coordinator Jelena Jovanovic held a workshop addressing the trafficking in Roma children in the framework of the seminar ‘Combatting the exploitation of children’ organised by the Benelux working group on human trafficking on 17th November 2017. The workshop was organised and co-facilitated by Maaike van Groenestyn, senior advisor of the municipality of Amsterdam.

In two consecutive workshop sessions, the participants could share their experiences in dealing with trafficking as well as learn about new approaches from ERGO’s expertise and from each other.

After hearing case studies brought by Christiane Roelants from the Brussels Police, the participants discussed all the possible factors they believe put Roma children in a vulnerable position, as well as specific forms of trafficking where Roma child victims are (over)represented. They also reflected on challenges in identifying and dealing with cases of Roma children victims of trafficking and offered solutions to overcome the challenges. It was highlighted that antigypsyism plays an important role as a risk factor for Roma children victims of trafficking. A particular focus was given to the role of institutions and organizations in the anti-trafficking policy mechanisms.

ERGO Network has a new website!

With this newsletter, we present you our new website – more structured, more colourful and with a lot more content than before. We will regularly update the website with news from our members and institutional developments, upload documents, inform about ERGO projects and campaigns and update ERGO’s membership list.

Browse through ERGO’s and our members policy papers and find institutional policy documents on the Resources page.

Find out which organisations belong to the network on the Membership page.

Read more about ERGO’s work in the fields of Monitoring, Networking, Campaigning and Empowering.

We hope that you like the new online portal of ERGO Network and will be a regular visitor.

Antigypsyism at local level – recommendations from Romania

For the first time on 6 September 2017 in Ploiesti, ERGO together with its member Centrul de Resurse pentru Incluziune Sociala CRIS from Romania brought the topic of antigypsyism to the local level. Among the speakers were the Head of the European Commission’s Roma unit from DG Justice, Szabolcs Schmidt, representatives of the Romanian government and key actors from Romania who work on Roma issues.

ERGO’s Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova highlighted the importance of bringing up the issue of antigypsism at local level and of supporting institutions to understand its long term effects and its implications.

The mayor of the city of Ploiesti committed to reintegrate Roma people in his region.

Based on their experiences with working on the CLLD process, trainings with Local Action Group and their engagement at local level Asociatia Cris wrote a comprehensive recommendation paper addressed to the Mayor of Ploiesti with the aim of improving the situation of the local communities Mimiu and Catun.

The three main recommendations proposed are:

  • A more coherent design of intervention measures
  • A stronger role and participation of Roma
  • Combatting antigypsyism at the centre of policies.

To read the full paper with detailed recommendations from our member please click here.

4th Dialogue Meeting with Roma and Traveller Civil Society

ERGO took part in the 4th Dialog Meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE) with Roma and Traveller civil society from 18-19 Sept 2017 in Strasbourg. Carmen Tanasie presented our research on the Youth Guarantee from 2016 and our current fact-finding work in the field of Roma youth employment.

The main topic of the meeting was to find ways to ensure that there is a bridge from education to employment for young Roma and Travellers.

Representatives of the Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (CAHROM) from different countries, civil servants of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, experts, international organizations such as ILO and about 20 representatives of Roma and Traveller civil society took part in the meeting.

For one and a half days the participants discussed initiatives and projects of different organisations and institutions and identified possible solutions to improve the transition of young Roma from education to employment.  The participants agreed for example that Roma entrepreneurship is one of the possible solutions to end discrimination and exclusion of Roma on the labour market.

The Council of Europe together with the civil society representatives formulated 9 recommendations that are still under revision and will be presented at the upcoming CAHROM meeting in October.

Roma civil society working group meeting in Brussels

From 20-22 September, ERGO’s members involved in our Annual Work Programme under DG Employment, met in Brussels for their third Roma Civil Society Working Group Meeting. Important issues were on the agenda: The group gave input into ERGO’s work programme on employment and social inclusion for the next four years, evaluated the cooperation of the past years together with an external evaluator and built relations with desk officers of the European Commission Directorate Generals for Employment and Social Affairs and Regional and Urban Policy.

ERGO’s members from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia are cooperating with the ERGO Network secretariat in Brussels since 2014 in the framework of the project ‘Roma Included: Roma recognised as equal stakeholders in the policies targeting them’. In 2017, the organisations continue to coordinate national Roma coalitions in their countries, build the capacity of grassroots NGOs and Local Action Groups to benefit from the community-led local development process and take part in a common research project on Roma youth employment. The results of this year’s work will be disseminated by the end of the year.