Antigypsyism and statelessness in DENK election manifesto
As a follow-up of the political recognition of antigypsyism in the Netherlands, the same political party who addressed this in October 2020 – DENK -, included antigypsyism and statelessness among Roma in their election manifesto 2021-2025.
After the elections took place in March 2021, DENK MP Stephan van Baarle addressed several questions on this matter. In the Netherlands, some Romani people who have been living here legally for over more than 40 years with residence permits are still being sent away when applying for Dutch citizenship.
This is in contravention with European and international law since covenants on preventing and eliminating statelessness have been ratified by the Dutch government. Even tough much has been done already by Roma NGOs and their political supporters and activists in addressing the issue of statelessness, things are moving (too) slow. Numerous children are at risk of becoming stateless or are confronted with “unknown nationality”. This is a major obstacle in their daily lives and affects their education and their future. Statelessness is one manifestation of antigypsyism, which impacts heavily on the position of Roma in society. It is vital to combine powers and to see that proper written solutions shall be put into practice, as everyone has a right to a nationality. Although people who are stateless do not have voting rights, thanks to the cooperation between DENK and Roma Utrecht Netherlands we managed to address this in the Dutch Parliament. Roma Utrecht Netherlands remains in close contact with the DENK party.
News from Pavee Point, Ireland
Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre focused our work in recent months on helping to ensure Traveller & Roma uptake of the COVID19 vaccines. We lobbied and advocated for vaccine priority for Travellers and Roma and published a briefing paper, Approach and Recommendations for COVID-19: Vaccination Prioritisation & Roll Out for Travellers and Roma. Subsequently the Health Department recommended vaccine prioritisation for Travellers & Roma aged 18+ for the COVID-19 vaccination. To coincide with the vaccine roll-out Pavee Point released a series of videos to combat vaccine hesitancy – Travellers Take the Vaccine Campaign. All videos can be found here.
In April we celebrated 50 Years of Activism (1971 – 2021) on International Roma Day .We hosted a webinar to commemorate 50 years of activism since the first World Romani Congress on the 8th of April in London in 1971. To mark the milestone, Pavee Point’s Co Director Martin Collins talked to Roma MEP, Romeo Franz and to Irish Traveller Senator Eileen Flynn about who and what inspired their activism. The video also includes a photographic look back over 50 years, Traveller and Roma music, and we heard from young Roma and Travellers on their hopes for the future. You can watch it here.
In May 2021, Pavee Point was thrilled to be awarded funding by Rethink Ireland Equality Fund to support work in promoting Traveller education. These funds will enable us to raise issues of education discrimination – made worse by COVID-19 – and the need for a National Traveller Education Strategy. You can see a short video on our planned education programme here.