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.

Most Roma Friendly Mayor awards 2019

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 22/11/2019

Roma Active Albania and ERGO Network Award the Most Roma Friendly Mayors in the European Parliament on November 19, 2019

Roma Active Albania and the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network organized an award ceremony in the European Parliament to acknowledge positive examples of local authorities – efforts of seven Mayors from the Western Balkans and Turkey to improve the lives of Roma in their municipalities.

The competition “The Most Roma Friendly Mayor” is part of the project Joint Initiative to Empower Roma Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkey. This project aims at mobilising Roma communities and strengthening their existing capacities to engage in a dialogue with public authorities.

The seven winning mayors, selected from 47 competing municipalities, were welcomed by the Member of the European Parliament and the Chair of Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo Romeo Franz, Co-Chair of ERGO Network and Former Member of the European Parliament Soraya Post, the Coordinator of the Roma Policy of the European Commission Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Near) Marta Garcia Fidalgo and the Director of Roma Active Albania and General Manager of the project Adriatik Hasantari. The winning mayors were symbolically awarded with statues, the creation of  prominent artist  Sead Kazanxhiu from Albania. The Director of ERGO Network Gabriela Hrabanova moderated the event.

Ms Hrabanova highlighted the importance of partnership between local authorities and Roma civil society organizations. “The local level is the most important to achieve real societal change and improve the quality of lives of Romani people”, she emphasized. Mr Franz asserted that “the positive role models that we are awarding this evening represent another proof that only together Roma and non-Roma can succeed”. “It is a proof that change is possible when you treat your citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, as equals”, he pointed out. Ms Post urged the mayors to spread their good practice while expressing how proud she was of their commitments: “We are proud of the awarded mayors; they are real human rights fighters. It is very clear that if mayors take their duties seriously, it shows good results also for the Roma community as full members of the society”. Ms Garcia Fidalgo highlighted the ways of support by the DG Near. “The strength of a society is proven by the support to the members who need it the most”, she stated and acknowledged that the winning mayors and their civil society partners are key actors who are helping their countries on the path to the European Union. While explaining “the Most Roma Friendly Mayor” campaign to the audience, Mr Hasantari concluded with a strong message to the Mayors: “What has been done is acknowledged and appreciated. However, we need more commitment from you in the future and more good examples!”

The awards were given to the following seven mayors: Ms Majlinda Bufi, Municipality of Roskovec, Albania; Mr Aldin Šljivo, Municipality of Kakanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Mr Kurto Dudush, Municipality of Shuto Orizari, North Macedonia; Mr Imri Ahmeti, Municipality of Lipjan, Kosovo; Mr Petar Smolović, Municipality of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro; Mr Vladan Glišić, City of Belgrade, Serbia; Mr Abdül Batur, Municipality of Konak, Turkey.

Seven independent juries were established in the respective countries, assessing the applications. The juries pointed out the following achievements: progress in Roma participation in local authority structures; efforts in creating education-related opportunities; increasing employability of Roma and especially of Roma women; building infrastructure and housing units and many more.

In the participating countries, the project is implemented by ERGO Network members Zero Discrimination (Turkey), OTAHARIN (Bosnia&Herzegovina), RROMA (North Macedonia), Roma Active Albania, Mladi Romi (Montenegro), Roma Forum Serbia and Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (Kosovo).

Hosting MEP of the Most Roma Friendly Mayor Award Ceremony: Romeo Franz

Contact: Gabriela Hrabanova (g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org, +32 2 893 10 49).

Disclaimer: This press release has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The content of the release is the sole responsibility of Roma Active Albania and ERGO Network, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.