Rights Experts of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (RE- CDWD)

Terms of Reference for

Rights Experts of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (RE- CDWD)

Context

Global Forum on Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFoD) is the global advocacy mechanism of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD). More than 260 million people across the world are discriminated on the basis of work and descent and are more commonly known as Dalits, Roma-Sinti, Quilombola, Burakumin, Oru, amongst many other names. Discrimination on Work and Decent (DWD) is a global phenomenon which lacks public recognition and acknowledgement and affected communities are among the most marginalised and excluded people. ERGO Network is a member organization of the GFoD ensuring the voice of Romani people from Europe.

Position Overview

GFoD is looking for 12 RE-CDWD to support global advocacy processes at the national, regional and global level. Two of those candidates will be working in close cooperation with the ERGO Network and will be recruited on the basis of requirements and qualifications listed below ensuring the knowledge about the Romani communities and related legal and policy backgrounds in European countries.

The positions are approximately 15 % Full Time Equivalent (FTE) or up to 20 hours per month.

Duties and responsibilities

    • Contribute to the development and implementation of the GFoD’s advocacy strategy.
    • High level of autonomy and responsiveness to engage in advocacy processes at national, regional and global level. Advocacy opportunities will include contributions to events organised by the UN Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) and events related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • Author statements, critical interventions and articles or contribute to specific ideas and concept notes on the concerns of CDWD, particularly Roma, Sinti and Travellers as per the requirement of HLPF and other bodies.
    • Communicate regularly with the GFoD Secretariat and the ERGO Network and undertake national, regional and take part in global consultation processes with CDWD.
    • Participate and organise in capacity building processes.
    • Dedicate at least 2 full working days per month to this role.

Requirements and qualifications

In order of preference, characteristics and qualifications are listed below. Please note that given our preference for candidates, it is not an imperative that the person is fluent in English.

    1. Anchored and rooted in Communities Discriminated by Work and Descent (CDWD): Persons from Romani origin are highly encouraged to apply to this position. Women, LGBTQI+, youth and other underrepresented and marginalized groups from CDWD are highly encouraged to apply.
    2. Experience: Are social leaders within their own community with considerable experience in advocacy actions and processes at national, regional and international level. It is highly desirable that candidates are established human rights defender in their country/region/community and are experts in one particular field area related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, (Access to water and sanitation – SDG 6, decent work – SDG 8, Inequalities – SDG10 etc).
    1. Commitment: Candidates who have shown ongoing commitment and leadership to the cause of CDWD and Roma, Sinti and Travellers in particular are encouraged to apply
    1. Academic qualifications: Academic qualifications such as University qualifications, publications of book, articles or other journalistic work will be considered in the application process.

Recruitment and timeline

Please submit your applications to info@ergonetwork.org until the 07.05.2021 midnight CET with a subject line “GFoD Rights Expert – application”. Please submit your CV together with a one page over letter referencing relevant experience mentioned under Requirements and Qualifications. Interviews will start in the mid of May. We prefer applications in English.

Successful candidates will be appointed for a 12-month period with an initial 3 moth trial period.

Due to the high volume expected applications only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Statement

Anti-Discrimination-Day Statement

Each year, the world commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March, the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.

One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist.

A specific form of racism is antigypsyism, which is directed towards Roma, Sinti, Travellers, and others who are stigmatized as ‘gypsies’ in the public imagination. We Roma fight racism every day – today is just another day in our lives.

Since last year, the increased visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement has put a spotlight on the outrageous levels of racism around the world.  The Coronavirus crisis redoubled structural racism and health inequalities during  the epidemic and continues to disproportionately impact the lives of Roma people and other racialized minorities across Europe.

Structural racism and discrimination against ethnic and racialised minorities are deeply rooted in European societies. Across the EU, we face widespread and entrenched prejudice and exclusion. Racial discrimination and harassment are commonplace for us.

Hate speech, hate crime, segregation, structural and systemic exclusion and discrimination of Roma people, including segregation of Roma children in schools, discrimination in the housing sector, access to healthcare and employment persists in many EU Member States, Neighborhood and Enlargement countries.

On 18 September 2020, the European Commission adopted the first EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025 that promises a series of measures to tackle racism and racial discrimination, covering a broad string of policy areas.

ERGO Network, together with our members and partners, are actively observing the implementation of the plan in order to ensure that anti-Roma discrimination is also covered in the scope of the EU anti-racism agenda.

Here are some of our recommendations to the EU institutions and Member States:

  • Finally adopt the 10-year old draft of the Horizontal Anti-discrimination Directive.
  • Systematically record and publish disaggregated data on hate crime
  • Fully transpose and apply the provisions of the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, treating racist and xenophobic motivation as an aggravating circumstance
  • Reform internal policies and working methods in order to ensure a fair representation of minority populations within EU institutions as well as an adequate participation and consultation of minority groups in EU decisions in policies, programmes and funding
  • Commit to an ambitious, comprehensive, and binding EU Strategic Framework for Roma to achieve equality, social and economic justice, and combat antigypsyism.
  • Ensure equitable access to quality inclusive education for all children and invest consistently in raising awareness and adequately teach European societies about their colonial and racist past, including the history of antigypsyism.
  • Define segregation as illegal in housing and in education.
  • Address discrimination of minority groups in employment.
  • Take into account the needs of racialised minorities and define them as a priority in all mainstream policies and measures of the Covid-19 recovery plan; meaningfully involve Roma stakeholders and their civil society organisations in the design, implementation, and monitoring of such recovery plans.
  • Ensure funding for equality and fundamental rights of minority groups under the Multi-Annual Framework.

Roma Youth Together: Call for Participants

 

Roma Youth Together: Call for Participants

The conference aims at strengthening the knowledge of Roma and Traveller history, culture and identity as a factor enhancing social inclusion and participation of Roma and Traveller young people. Its specific objectives are:
• To support cooperation among Roma and non-Roma youth leaders by meeting, interacting and learning about the role of Roma history and culture in shaping the identities and perceptions of Roma youth in Europe today
• To support the dissemination and usage of Council of Europe standards and educational resources, in particular the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the inclusion of the history of Roma and/or Travellers in school curricula and teaching materials, the handbook “Right to Remember” and the role of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture therein
• To motivate participants and their organisations in their work as multipliers on education about Roma and Traveller history, culture and identity as well as Roma Holocaust Remembrance
• To reflect and about and propose action regarding expressions of antigypsyism today such as online hate speech, Holocaust denial and mis-representations of history
• To collect and disseminate experiences and expectations about promoting the participation and inclusion of Roma and Traveller young people
• To celebrate Roma cultural diversity and associate young people and youth
organisations to the celebrations of the International Roma Day (8 April) and the 50 th anniversary of the First World Romani Congress, held in 1971 in Orpington, Kent, United Kingdom.

Methodology and Programme

The conference will be organised as an online event over 3 days. The programme, methods and technology will be organised so as to favour mutual learning, interaction and dialogue among participants – notably in small discussion groups and workshops.

As a way of sharing experiences and connecting young people all across Europe, participants and partners will be supported to prepare and share an action that they organise or offer to celebrate International Roma Day on 8 April and the 50 th anniversary of the First World Romani Congress and the awakening of a “Romani Movement” to promote Roma history, culture and
identity, and to fight for human rights, justice, equality and better representation at political level. This will be broadcast in connection with a symbolic event at the Council of Europe.

Online/virtual visits to museums or places of remembrance of the Roma Holocaust and expressions of Roma culture, arts and identity will also be proposed in addition to the formal programme of the conference.
The programme contents will be structured on three main issues:

  • 7 April: Roma history and Roma Holocaust Remembrance
  • 8 April: Celebrating Roma history, arts, culture and identity as well as the 50 th anniversary of the emergence of a Romani human rights movement
  • 9 April: Furthering youth action, mobilisation, inclusion and participation

Each thematic will feature key inputs, sharing of experiences and workshops facilitated by partner organisations, including Roma youth organisations. Specific links will be made with projects of the Youth Department and of the Roma and Travellers Team that intersect withyouth participation, history, and remembrance. The conference will close with the presentation of conclusions and proposals for furtheringwork on Roma history with young people and ways to expand Roma youth participation based on double mainstreaming.

Participants
The conference is designed for Roma and non-Roma young people, youth leaders and representatives of organisations and networks working with Roma communities from all across Europe who are also:
• Motivated to share experiences and engage in dialogue and cooperation with other
participants
• Active within a Roma organisation or a (Roma) youth organisation
• Able to work/communicate in English, French or Romani
• Able to connect to the Internet for the time of the conference.
Priority will be given to participants under 30 years of age. The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all candidates who fulfil the profile above, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

How to participate
Participation in the whole event is subject to registration. Open until 26 March at https://youthapplications.coe.int/ Participants attending at least 80% of the conference will receive a certificate of attendance.
More information: eyc.programme@coe.int.

The official call can be found here

 

The new EU Roma Strategy and the fight against Antigypsyism in the Western Balkans

The new EU Roma Strategy and the fight against Antigypsyism in the Western Balkans

Despite limitation due to the pandemic of COVID 19, Roma Active Albania kept an active role in advocating for Roma inclusion in the Enlargement countries of the Western Balkans.

Combining distant working with field work, RAA coordinates the  partners of the regional project “Romani Women, Power of Change in the Western Balkans and Turkey”, in following their national plans and providing information from the grassroots  level to ERGO’s study on the impact of COVID 19 on Roma communities.

Thanks to the financial support of the European Union through the European Commission’s DG NEAR, RAA has been working jointly with its partners in the Western Balkans and Turkey to implement the components of the project “Romani Women, Power of Change in the Western Balkans and Turkey”. The last months focused on building synergies in regional advocacy in the context of the new EU Roma Strategy and the fight against antigypsyism.

RAA actively contributed to the organisation of the event “The new EU Roma Strategy and the fight against Antigypsyism in the Western Balkans”, which took place on 4 November 2020 via the Zoom platform.

This virtual conference addressed strategies and measures to combat antigypsyism and to strengthen Roma empowerment and participation in the Western Balkans in the context of the new “EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation” for 2020-2030. The conference brought together governments, international organizations and civil society representatives from all countries in the Western Balkan region.

The new EU Framework guides the commitment of EU Member States and defines the core policy for Roma equality, inclusion and participation in the accession and neighbourhood countries. A key priority of the new framework is to recognize and to fight antigypsyism as the root cause of discrimination and social exclusion. Combatting antigypsyism should be done in a combined approach as a stand-alone task and as cross-cutting issue in the priority areas education, employment, housing and basic services, health and poverty, and keeping a special focus on Roma Women empowerment.

Following this event, RAA participated in and coordinated three national virtual conferences on the same topic, addressing the realities and challenges in Kosovo, Serbia and Albania.

These conferences were organised by Roma Active Albania, ERGO Network and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, in partnership with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement and with support of the European Union and German Federal Foreign Office.

Reinforced Youth Guarantee – will Roma youth be included?

The Council of the EU adopts a recommendation for more inclusive measures to boost youth employment by reinforcing the Youth Guarantee – Will Roma youth be included?!

On 30th of October, the Council of the European Union adopted by unanimity a Recommendation on ‘A Bridge to Jobs – Reinforcing the Youth Guarantee’.  The new scheme affirms the upcoming commitment of the EU Members States to set national schemes in order to help young people receive an offer of employment, education, traineeship or apprenticeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. This initiative comes at an urgent time across the EU, during the COVID 19 pandemic, which brought high youth unemployment rates and increased the number of young people not in employment, education, or training (NEETs). Even before the crises Roma youth which as it shown in the last data issued by Fundamental Rights Agency 63% of Roma aged 16-24 were not employed, in education or training (55% of young Roma men and 72% of young Roma women

This is not a new initiative, it follows the EU Council Recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee, which numerous studies and ERGO research showed that failed to reach its full potential nor to include the most disadvantaged groups, such as Roma youth.

What is new?

The new Recommendation is considering the concerns of youth organizations and tackles some of the gaps in its implementation, identified as well by ERGO Network. The Recommendation extends the age limit for targeted young people from 25 to up to 29 years old. The new Recommendation also clearly state that the Members States should create supportive measures at national, regional, and local level by providing clear guidelines such as:

  • mapping – identifying target groups, available services, skills needs and young people at risk of becoming a NEET
  • outreach – targeted information campaigns among young people and reaching out to NEETs
  • preparation – better profiling to match needs and responses, counselling, and guidance, and improving digital and other important skills
  • offer – employment incentives, quality and equity, and post-placement support

Now is the moment to make sure that the Member States include the voice of the most deprived in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, and that they  take into account the situation of Roma youth. One of the main concerns when it comes to the Roma youth is the outreach offer and preparation in a time of pandemic, where many times the ones that need to be a priority are left out due to centuries of discrimination and low standards of education, which is the result of ongoing poverty cycles.

ERGO Network asks Member States to:

  • Invest in continued education (and training): enrolment in formal education or training programs leading to a recognized qualification, keeping in mind an individual approach.
  • Train employment officers and employers to fight antigypsyism: There is a need to train the employment offices as well as potential employers on historical and present antigypsyism, specially to counter the phenomenon during the recruitment process.
  • Improve cooperation between young Roma and labor offices: Governments should encourage a closer communication between labor offices and young Roma people and their civil society representatives, to increase the number of Roma youth engaged with activation programs
  • Hire Roma mediators as social workers/employees of the public employment services and local authorities with the main file and aim to assist Roma youngsters to access the initiatives under the Youth Guarantee, to ensure individual empowerment and ownership.
  • Take a holistic approach: Programs should be created to directly fight youth unemployment with an embraced holistic and multi-sectoral approach, in line with the Active Inclusion Recommendation. Efforts to support young people towards quality education and employment should be complemented by access to adequate income and services such as housing, transport etc
  • A more flexible and accessible registration process of public employment services, to ensure that no young person falls through the gaps and remains out of the social systems of their country – a situation young Roma often find themselves in
  • More partnerships with educational institutions and NGOs who can more easily reach out to Roma and other marginalized groups. This requires dedicated funding that will allow these partners to support the public employment services in the delivery of the Youth Guarantee, or to directly establish contacts with employers and support the skills development of young people.

It will now be up to the Member States to implement the Reinforced Youth Guarantee. We will continue the monitoring and advocating for young Roma people to have quality opportunities through this initiative, on equal footing with majority youth.

For additional information regarding our work on the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment, please contact Policy Officer Carmen Tănasie in the ERGO Network staff (c.tanasie@ergonetwork.org).