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The Roma National Congress
Federation of the Romani Civil and Human Rights Movement
       

Press release, 8 April 2008 - On the occasion of 8th of April, Roma National Congress would like to join to all Roma worldwide in celebrating the International Roma Day, and to encourage the Romani communities to continue to strive for effective inclusion asking for full Roma participation in all processes in the societies.

Roma are faced with discrimination, segregation, hate speech, substandard living conditions, extreme poverty, illiteracy, high level of unemployment, low level of social and health protection, in SEE countries large number are without personal civil documents. There are numerous international reports from the Council of Europe, UN treaty bodies, and  OSCE which have highlighted the appalling conditions of the Roma and the failure of the of the Governments to make substantive improvements in Roma living conditions.

The main challenge for the European institutions should be to improve the lives of millions of Roma in EU, to make influence in the process of solving the situation of Roma refugees and IDP’s. RNC is urging to stop forced expulsion of Roma from Europe . We are further disappointed that although we have international documents concerning Roma in Europe brought by the highest EU institutions, in reality Roma are still on the margins without concrete visible improvement.

Equally there needs to be a European solution to what is a European issue regarding Roma non –territorial minority across Europe , Roma as the largest European minority are European issue.

Roma National Congress (RNC), as Federation of the Romani civil and human rights movement, organization aimed at combating anti-Romani racisms and human rights abuse of Roma. RNC is international organisation with the aim of representing and stimulating the active participation and integration of Romani people on the principles of the modern multiethnic European society.

We call upon national and international authorities to improve rights and lives of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe . RNC invites all European citizens in the 2008 Intercultural Dialogue Year fully to respect Roma entity, their cultural values and contribution. Please follow up the message for Roma unity, as an artistic moment.

http://www.national romacentrum. org/en/strasbour -music/

Yours sincerely,
Devlesa
Asmet Elezovski
Spokesman of Roma National Congress (RNC)
asmetelezovski@ yahoo.com

 
ERIO:  April 08, International Roma Day

April 08, the International Roma Day was set up in 1990 in Warsaw , during the Fourth Roma World Congress.  It is celebrated in honor of the first major international meeting of Roma representatives held on April 8, 1971 in London . The international Roma Day is to raise awareness of the culture and traditional values of Roma people.
On April 08th, 2008 the international Roma Day will be celebrated for first time in Brussels . On the occasion the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) together with the office of MEP Katalin Levai is organizing two hours panel discussion to exchange views on the achievements of Roma’s integration so far as well as on the challenges for the improvement of their human rights situation and social inclusion in future.
 
April 08th, 16:00 to 18:00
European Parliament, Paul-Henri Spaak, Brussels, room P7C050
Programme
16:00 – 16:30 – Opening remarks
- Katalin Levai - Member of the European Parliament - hosting the event - moderator
- Livia Jaroka - Member of the European Parliament
- Ivan Ivanov - Executive Director, ERIO - hosting
- Key Opening Remarks - Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities                         
16:30 – 17:15 - Panel discussion
- Claude Moraes – Member of the European Parliament
- Belinda Pyke - European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
- Soraya Post – International Roma Women’s Network
- Alekos Tsolakis – European Economic and Social Committee
17:15 – 18:00 Questions and answers
18:00 Cocktail                                       

European Roma Information Office (ERIO) - Av. Edouard Lacomblé 17, Brussels 1040 Belgium - Phone: +32 (0) 2733 34 62 -
Fax : +32 (0) 2733 38 75 - office@erionet. org - www.erionet. org


European Roma and Travellers Forum
Press Release

INTERNATIONAL ROMA DAY - 8 APRIL

Strasbourg, 8 April 2008: Today, on International Roma Day, the European Roma and Travellers Forum declares its strong solidarity with the many Roma and Travellers across Europe who still experience extreme poverty, miserable conditions, fear and discrimination in their daily lives. Current conditions are an affront to human dignity everywhere. ERTF is committed to building a world where Human Rights are fully respected and implemented in accordance with the rule of law.

We take this occasion to pay tribute to those who have fought, and continue to fight – despite the hardship and sacrifice involved – for equality and the right of all people to live with respect and dignity. The struggle to break down prejudice towards Roma and Travellers and to eliminate discrimination is integral to the struggle for social justice and a better world, which is the responsibility of us all.

 In order to succeed in eliminating discrimination, it is crucial for everyone to understand that it expresses itself in many different forms. It is not only the most overt examples,  such as the use of racial slurs or hate graffiti. Nor is it just the denial of employment, housing or education due to ethnic or cultural background.  Discrimination can also take on much more subtle forms, and involve systemic barriers to access leading to real exclusion.

‘I call upon all States to honour their legally and politically binding obligations, including commitments, for those in a position to do so, to give the Roma and Traveller communities equal opportunities and assistance. Today, I encourage all States which have not yet done so, to accede to all these legally and politically binding documents as soon as possible.’ said Mr. Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum. 

There are enormous challenges ahead in the quest for a equal opportunities for all -- from achieving more effective coordination and mobilization of resources at the international level, to building better capacity at the national and local levels.  All of us can play a part in raising awareness of these challenges; all of us can play our part in overcoming them. On this Day, let us vow to redouble our efforts in that direction.


The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe’s largest and most inclusive Roma  and Traveller organisation. It brings together Europe’s main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma  and Traveller organisations from most of the Council of Europe member states.

European Roma and Travellers Forum
c/o Council of Europe
F – 67 075 Strasbourg
Tel.: 00 33 3 90 21 53 50
Email: ertf@ertf.org or ertf@coe.int 

Roma day message from Australia
Lacho deves Romale! 
 
The Romani Life Society of Australia has organised a Romani exhibit at the North QLD museum to present to the public our Romani history and culture to break down the misconceptions and stereotying that's done to Romanies by the gadje. Also, to show the general public Romani issues like the holocaust and the prejudice and discrimination that Roma face in Europe and all over the world and to get heard here as a culture and to help stop the mystification that is happening here in Australia and elsewhere.
The Anti-stereotyping Romani exhibit in the North Queensland museum portrays the parts Romanies played in local history including jobs they did, things to do with our culture and history, the Romani holocaust, articles, maps, captions and pictures on big boards, our flag and our national athem, Gelem Gelem. Music in Romani chib will be available to listen to plus a glass cabinet displaying Romani ornaments.
Many thanks to Professor Marcel Courthaide for helping with material. Also a thanks to Professor Ian Hancock and Lecturer Ronald Lee for helping with advice and information. A thank you to the museum director, Mr. Sim who made the exhibit possible and put it out there for the public to see and Professor Wegner for developing our display. 
Also, I was invited by ABC radio North Queensland to do an interview on Roma Day about the exhibit and our Romani History and culture.
 
Click here http://rromaniconne ct.org to see pictures of the exhibit on the Rromani exhibit page.
 
Opre Roma
Devlesa
Yvonne Slee

 
Celebration of International Roma day in Kosovo
Dear all!
 
This is to inform you about the events which have started to take place in Kosovo as of 6 April.
 
Worth to note that CII has taken the initiative to cover the Public Campaign over these events
(media alerts/media PR/ interviews) and we will distribute leaflets about the history of Roma
movement and pins with Roma flag
 
Please consider the bellow information as part of Joint programme of Kosovo Roma NGO's.
 
All the best,
Bashkim Ibishi
CII- Kosovo 
+377 (0)44/252-051
Email: ibishib@yahoo. com, ibishib@gmail. com

 

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