Weekly news


ERIO news and activities

* An interview with Rita Prigmore – Sinti Holocaust Survivor
On Thursday 28th February ERIO interviewed Rita Prigmore, a Sinti Holocaust survivor in Brussels, Belgium. She shared with us her story, and the terrible experience of being the subject of Nazi medical experimentation during the Second World War.
Born in Würzburg, Germany on the 3rd March 1943, Rita was stolen from her mother at birth simply because she was a Sinti twin. She was taken to the town’s University Hospital along with her sister, and together they became part of a project trying to chemically induce a change in their eye colour. Whilst Rita miraculously survived, her sister was not so fortunate, becoming one of the millions of Roma murdered in the Holocaust. Reflecting on the racist morality used to justify their treatment, Rita stated that:
“Racism is, I think, the cruellest thing on earth. We have so many beautiful people from different countries here [in Europe] and we don’t need another Auschwitz… basically, when it comes down to it, we are all the same”.
Today, Rita is an activist fighting for tolerance and understanding. Despite her experiences of terrible suffering and a protracted legal fight for justice, she remains committed to spreading a message of peace to all peoples:

“My message is to show love and compassion, and show help where you can. Always put yourself in the same position that you could be the other person and it could happen to you. Hate and racism are even worse than the knife. A knife you can take out and the wound will heal. But hate, dishonesty and racism are not right.”

* ERIO at the Accept Pluralism Conference

On 6 March CCME organised a European conference to discuss the results of the research project ACCEPT Pluralism in Brussels. ERIO was invited as a discussant to comment one of the conference panels “Tolerance and Policies of Inclusion”.  During her intervention, ERIO’s Policy Officer Marta Pinto, stressed that Roma inclusion policies need an integrated approach which includes different fields such as anti-discrimination, health, employment, housing and education.  The National Roma Integration Strategies are a step forward towards fighting anti-Gypsyism and the exclusion of Roma, however, many need improvement in order to include a human rights approach, she noted. Political will, fighting anti-Gypsyism and institutional racism are vital to ensure change, she added. Roma should not be viewed as passive victims. Instead, she said, Roma need to be seen as active agents of change, who can make a positive difference in their lives.  This active involvement of Roma is crucial for policies to be successful. Roma parents should be involved in schools through the assistance of cultural mediators; Roma should be involved in all stages of policy development, implementation and evaluation. Ms Pinto warned about the danger of using concepts such as “culture” and “identity” since they tend to essentialise groups and create an “us/them” mentality. Perhaps, she concluded, promoting common values such as human rights, acceptance and empathy can lead to more inclusive policies.

* ROM-UP! Newsletter 5
Our joint project ROM-UP! which has created an International Romani Network to raise awareness of the successful educational experiences of Roma children that have proved effective at integrating Roma children to allow them to achieve educational success has now published its newsletter 5 to provide more information about the project results. This newsletter is available here.

OTHER news

* Der Spiegel: Germany doesn't want Romani people in Schengen
The latest issue of Der Spiegel magazine reports that while no one in the German government has ever officially stated the policy (and probably never will), it is completely evident whom it targets: Germany has been rattled by the immigration of Romani people from Bulgaria and Romania, which is why it doesn't want to open its doors to citizens from the two poorest states on Europe's border.

Read more here.
* Salford University Investigate the issues faced by Roma in six EU countries
05/03/2013 - Researchers who have investigated the issues faced by Roma in six EU countries have called for more investment in anti-poverty initiatives and the development of better leadership skills among Roma communities.

The research explores the social exclusion of Roma in six EU countries and is being launched today (Tuesday 5 March) in Brussels by University of Salford academics.

Read more here
*  Can the formal camps for Roma families in Rome be regarded as permanent structures ?
Rome, 27 February 2013: Romani families living in formal camps in Rome will not be able to gain access to social housing, according to new guidance from the local authorities. Scores of families had already filed their applications and many more were about to do so, when news of the discriminatory new guidance emerged.

Read more here.
* Roma in Sakarya Protesting
Roma living in Kestanelik neighbourhood of Sapanca district of Sakarya (Marmara region, Turkey) are not happy with the condition offered them for the urban renewal project. Almost 500 Roma marched to the municipality building and presented their discontent. They ask authorities to consider their view about the urban renewal project.

Read more here
* Can the existing equality measures help Roma in Central and Eastern Europe
"Slovak affirmative action laws are not a form of positive discrimination and their power falls short of the affirmative action measures applied in the past in the US: there is nothing along the lines of a more generous scale of social benefits for disadvantaged groups, or quotas in education and on the labour market," Irena Bihariová from People Against Racism (ĽPR) stated. In Slovakia, the measures are instead geared toward giving disadvantaged people the chance to start on an equal footing with those who are not disadvantaged.

Read more here.
* New regional initiative tackling Roma segregation in schools kicks off in Bucharest

A new initiative to improve access for Roma communities in Eastern Europe to education is launching with a series of meetings in Bucharest. The Desegregation and Action for Roma in Education-Network (DARE-Net) aims to tackle serious problems in educational provision for Roma in Europe.

Read more

* Roma integration starts in school
28/02/2013 - The Romanian Premier’s recent visit to Paris was a success. After the long “freeze” which was due to former French President Sarkozy, the traditional ties of friendship and collaboration between Romania and France are once again boosted through new bilateral agreements. But an old “thorn” surfaced even in this friendly atmosphere.

Read more here.
* Slovakia: Two settlement children die in the ruins of an unoccupied building
Lomnička, Slovakia, 26.2.2013
The Slovak Republic Press Agency (Tisková agentura Slovenské republiky - TASR) reports that two children died just after 12 PM yesterday in the village of Lomnička (Stará Ľubovňa district). The children were buried by the collapsed ruins of an unoccupied building in their settlement.

Read more here.
* In Macedonia, Dividends on Efforts to Keep Roma in School
By Daniel Petrovski
Skopje, 04/03/2013 - Ramush Muarem, a prominent Romani journalist in Macedonia, remembers the resistance civil society activists encountered from Roma when, in the mid-1990s, they began trying to raise awareness of the importance of integrating Macedonia's most marginalized community into schools.

Read more here


* European Conference - Working with Roma families: a key towards the success of their children at school
Launch of a transnational guide for professionals working in education - 21st March 2013, Brussels

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) - Room JDE 62 (6th floor, Jacques Delors Building)
- 15.00pm-18.00pm

To register, please contact romafamiliesgetinvolved@gitanos.org before 15th March 2013

Further information on the EU Project “Roma Families Get Involved” go here or contact marta.hernandez@gitanos.org. 
* Seminar and discussion panel on Romani women and gender-based violence witin Romani communities -  26.03.2013, Brussels
26th March 2013 | 15.00pm-18.00pm - European Parliament - Room A5 E1

To register before the 18th March 2013, please contact Núria Francolí Sanglas - nuria.francoli@surt.org

For more info go here
*  World Premiere of the Documentary “BROKEN SILENCE” - Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 12:30 Theater aan het Spui in The Hague (Spui 187).

The film has been selected for the International Movies that Matter Film Festival in The Hague and will be screened with English subtitles.
To register, reply this mail, or mail to: info@solfilmprodukties.nl
Raoul the Zwart, producer and Bob Entrop, director
* European Commission Conference "From pilots to outcomes"- 15.03.2013, Brussels
This conference is organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, and will focus on evidence-based lessons on socio-economic inclusion for Roma communities.The conference will be also streamed on the internet. If you would like to follow it on line or join the sessions in Moldava nad Bodvou, Slovakia,in person, send a message to jaroslav.kling@undp.org. 

For more info go here
* FSG Conference "Working with Roma families- a key towards the success of their children at school" - 21.03.2013, Brussels
The provisional agenda of the conference is available here
For more information, please contact marta.hernandez@gitanos.org
Register by 15.03.2013
* Launch of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion - 20.03.2013, Strasbourg
The Launch will take place during the 24th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on 20 March 2013 in Strasbourg, France at the end of the plenary debate on the issue of social exclusion at local and regional level and will be followed by a reception and a concert, co-organised with one of the founding participants of the Alliance - the city of Strasbourg.
* The Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting and Conference on Gypsy Studies - 12-14.09.2013, Glasgow, Scotland
Registration for the 2013 Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting is now open. Papers on any aspect of Gypsy/Romani Studies are most welcome. Please send abstracts via e-mail attachment (maximum 500 words) to the program chair, Dr Colin Clark, c.r.clark@strath.ac.uk. Submissions should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation (if relevant), address, daytime telephone and e-mail address. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 31, 2013 and you will be notified if your paper has been accepted by June 30th, 2013. Please address all conference inquiries to Dr Colin Clark, at the address below, or call 07826068961 or e-mail c.r.clark@strath.ac.uk.
ODIHR Annual Report on Hate Crime
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is now preparing the 2012 annual report on hate crimes. The report provides an overview of data collected on hate crimes, and of responses to hate crimes. It will be launched on 15 November, 2013 the day before International Tolerance Day.

As in previous years, ODIHR encourages submissions from non-governmental organizations and has compiled information to assist NGOs. Information should be sent to tndinfo@odihr.pl no later than 5 April 2013 indicating in the subject line "HCR 2012 (NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION)". For more information about ODIHR and hate crime visit http://tandis.odihr.pl.

More information can be found here.
Sample format for collecting information on Hate Crimes can be found here.
* European Commission multimedia competition “Migrants in Europe”
The European Commission is organising a multimedia competition titled “Migrants in Europe”. The deadline for entries in the competition is 21 June 2013. The objective of the competition is to sensitise young communication professionals and the media to a more balanced view of migration and immigrants.
Works can be submitted in three categories; poster, photo and video.
Students attending arts, graphic, communication and journalism schools in all of EU and Croatia can participate. The schools are to submit their students’ creations.  The prize is 10.000€ for each of the three categories plus one public prize.

Find out more here.
* OSCE/ODIHR vacancy: Trainers on European Integration for Young Roma Professionals (multiple locations in the Western Balkans)
OSCE/ODIHR seeks trainers on European Integrations for the purpose of raising competence of 25 Young Roma Professionals within the project "Best Practice for Roma Integration".

Find out more here.
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