Strasbourg, 13 February 2013 – A CAHROM thematic group composed of experts from Belgium (requesting country) and France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (partner countries) will visit Belgium on 20-22 February 2013 to exchange experience in the field of halting sites (provision of sites and infrastructure, dealing with unauthorised sites, recognition of caravans as a home, relations between travelling communities and the settled population, etc.) and other issues relevant for Travellers and (semi-) nomadic Roma, Sinti and Yenish communities. The countries involved will also consider issues such as access to health, education and other services. The agenda of the visit will include a meeting with various federal, regional and local authorities, as well as meetings with Travellers and Roma communities on sites in both Flandres and Wallonia. The experts’ thematic report will be presented at the 5th CAHROM plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 14-16 May 2013).
Brussels, 17-18 January 2013 – A Congress of Roma mediators from the Council of Europe/European Commission ROMED programme will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. As well as Roma mediators and trainers from several different countries, participants at the event will include EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and the Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General for Roma issues, Jeroen Schokkenbroek. The Council of Europe Secretary General will be addressing the participants through a video message, which will be available on line on 17th January 2013. Several European Union and Council of Europe officials will be present and other INGOs and organisations like Open Society Foundations, Roma Education Fund, UNESCO, OSCE/ODIHR to listen to and support the more than 250 Roma and Travellers from the 20 countries participating in the Programme.
Representatives from Europe’s cities and regions gather in Strasbourg on September 25th as they continue work to build a European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion.
An initiative of the first ever Summit of Mayors on Roma, organised in September last year by the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe with the support of the Special Representative of Secretary General for Roma issues (Mr Jeroen Schokkenbroek), the Alliance has so far been backed by around one hundred municipalities and regions.
Its mission – which will be presented during the September 25th meeting – is to provide a hub for grassroots work on the Roma, allowing its members to share good practice, find joint solutions to common problems, seek funding opportunities, and replicate successful projects in their own constituency. Working methods are expected to include training sessions, workshops, twinning, study visits and day to day contacts between Alliance members, allowing positive developments in local strategies and improved capacity building of local and regional authorities throughout Europe.
Strasbourg, 14 September 2012 - The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers by adopting on 12 September CM Recommendation (2012)9 on mediation as an effective tool for promoting respect for human rights and social inclusion of Roma called on member governments to draw on the positive experience of the ROMED training programme by setting-up their own effective system of quality mediation with Roma communities. The Recommendation stresses the benefits of mediation in terms of Roma access to health, housing, education and jobs. The CM welcomed the fact that such mediation is being practiced more widely and becoming an explicit part of national strategies and action plans for Roma inclusion. The Recommendation mentions key principles for making mediation effective and asks member states to recognise officially the profession of mediator.
Strasbourg, 14 September 2012 - The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers took note on 12 September of the Abridged Report of the 3rd CAHROM meeting (Skopje and Ohrid, 22-25 May 2012), as well as of the two first CAHROM thematic reports – resulting from exchange of experience between member states - on school drop-outs/absenteeism of Roma children and on the role of state, local and regional authorities in implementing national policies/action plans for Roma respectively. New thematic reports on social housing for Roma, inclusive education as opposed to special schools and on school drop-outs/absenteeism of Roma girls will be presented at the 4th CAHROM meeting in Strasbourg on 28-30 November. Other agenda items will include trafficking in human beings, bilateral cooperation in the field of Roma migration, freedom of movement and gender aspects.
The 3rd CAHROM meeting, preceded by a joint meeting on social housing for Roma with participants of the Decade for Roma Inclusion took place in Skopje and Ohrid, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", from 22 to 25 May with over 60 participants. It was followed by a field visit to Shuto Orizari municipality in Skopje.
Commissioner Muižnieks expressed today his deep concern about the evictions of more than 300 Roma families and their relocation to buildings formerly owned by a disused chemical factory in the Romanian city of Baia Mare. (more...)
At its meeting of 22-25 May 2012, the CoE Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM) exchanged views on the problem of segregation of Roma children in education and agreed that this should be a priority in its future thematic work.
This will be pursued at the next CAHROM meeting (28-30 November 2012). In a separate development, the Committee of Ministers on 6 June 2012 examined the state of execution of the leading judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in this field (D.H. v. Czech Republic).
Its decisions, among other things, stress the importance of accelerating implementation of the judgment which has been final for almost 5 years, in order to achieve concrete progress on the ground.
Decision of the Committee of Ministers
Congress President calls for constant dialogue at the grassroots level to avoid discrimination and marginalisation
In view of International Roma Day on 8 April that brings attention to challenges Roma people continue to face in Europe, Keith Whitmore, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, underlined the role of territorial self-government bodies for the implementation of inclusive and socially responsible Roma policies. (more...)
The 2012 European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma was awarded to Thomas Hammarberg, the current Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The award ceremony took place in Berlin on 3 April 2012
A Europe-wide overview of the Human Rights situation of Roma is provided by the newly published report of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg. The full text of the report is available.
With this wave of cold weather that has hit Europe, local and regional authorities have a particular responsibility to protect their citizens, especially the most vulnerable, such as Roma, and to guarantee full respect of their fundamental rights.
As Rapporteur of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, I draw the attention of the Lithuanian and Albanian authorities to the situation of Roma families in Vilnius and Tirana and their planned or actual eviction from their informal settlements. These evictions will leave these families and children in an intolerable situation, throwing them onto the street in minus temperatures, thus putting their lives at risk. (more...)
Strasbourg, 1st February 2012 - The Committee of Ministers has adopted today a Declaration in which it expresses deep concern about the rise of anti-Gypsyism and racial violence towards Roma in Europe.
The Committee of Ministers draws the attention of its member states to the notable increase of serious incidents in Europe, including racist violence, stigmatising anti-Roma rhetoric, and generalisations about criminal behaviour.
In its Declaration, the Committee of Ministers calls for a number of concrete actions by member States, ranging from vigorously, swiftly and publicly condemning all acts of racist violence against Roma and anti-roma rhetoric, to including, in national policies for Roma inclusion, measures combating discrimination and addressing anti-Gypsyism.
The 2nd CAHROM meeting, preceded by a field visit and a public hearing, took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 22 to 25 November with over 60 participants.
The meeting report is now available on CAHROM page.
ECRI: New policy guidelines on combatting anti-gypsyism
[14 September 2011] European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) launch new policy guidelines on combatting anti-gypsyism. A briefing on the guidelines and an update on Council of Europe work with the Roma will take place from 9 am - 10.30 am on Monday 19 September at the Council of Europe Office in Brussels (Avenue des Nerviens 85, 2nd floor).
To register for this event, or for any further information, please contact Media Officer Andrew Cutting (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +32 485 217 202)
Summit of Mayors on Roma - building mutual trust at the grassroots
[5 August 2011] As a response to the increasing discrimination against Roma in Europe and their social and economic marginalisation, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is organising a Summit of Mayors on Roma, in Strasbourg (France) on 22 September 2011.
Il Consiglio d'Europa commemora il genocidio dei rom
Una cerimonia di commemorazione del genocidio dei rom ha avuto luogo presso la sede del Consiglio d'Europa a Strasburgo, martedì 2 agosto a mezzogiorno.
L'evento, organizzato dal Forum europeo dei rom e dei sinti, ha voluto ricordare la notte tra il 2 e il 3 agosto 1944 in cui i rom sono stati massacrati ad Auschwitz-Birkenau, e commemora il genocidio di tutti i rom uccisi dal regime nazista.
European Commission and Council of Europe step up work for Roma with Mediators agreement
[06 July 2011] The Council of Europe and the European Commission intensified their efforts to improve the place of the Roma minority within European society by agreeing joint action for training Roma Mediators.