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Civil society members of Czech Gov't Council on Roma Affairs visit Brno to discuss policy with Romani community

29.1.2017 8:36
Members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs and Government staffers visited nonprofit organizations working with Romani people in Brno on 24 January 2017. This photograph shows their visit to the Museum of Romani Culture. (PHOTO:  Government of the Czech Republic)
Members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs and Government staffers visited nonprofit organizations working with Romani people in Brno on 24 January 2017. This photograph shows their visit to the Museum of Romani Culture. (PHOTO: Government of the Czech Republic)

Members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs and government staffers visited nonprofit organizations in Brno working with Romani people last Tuesday and so-called socially excluded localities on Brněnská, Cejl and Francouzská Streets. The visit was one of the first that the members and staffers of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic will be gradually undertaking during 2017.

Jiří G. Souček, a staffer in the cabinet of Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka, informed news server Romea.cz of the plans. The 12-member delegation, comprised of representatives of the Council and the Government staffers that run its office, met representatives of the most significant organizations working with Romani people in Brno.

"We had the opportunity to meet in Brno with representatves of nonprofit organizations and the Museum of Romani Culture, which is holding a unique exhibition about Romani jewelry, as well as with consultants for the Agency for Social Inclusion, with whom we had the opportunity to discuss matters," Council member Michal Mižigár told news server Romea.cz. The Prague delegation spent the morning at the Drom Romani Center and the afternoon at the IQ Roma servis organization and the Muzeum of Romani Culture.

"I greatly appreciate the tutoring for Romani pupils that both IQ Roma servis and the Museum of Romani Culture are offering, I see a starting point there," Mižigár said. The aim of the trip was to ascertain what the current situation is of Romani people living in Brno, what the position of the pro-Roma and Romani organizations is there, and to discuss the planned measures that will be established in Brno through the Agency's Coordinated Approach.

When visiting the so-called excluded localities the members of the delegation took an interest in the current challenges faced by local residents and those who aid them. Collaboration within the Agency's Coordinated Approach to Socially Excluded Localities was also discussed.

"I personally am of the opinion that in the excluded localities of Brno there are many actors working in the field of integrating Romani people into society, including the Agency for Social Inclusion. What seems to be lacking here is coordination of the activities of the nonprofit organizations, which the Agency for Social Inclusion should take up and which has gotten off to a slower start, as well as greater participation by Romani people themselves in addressing the issue, which would be more effective," Mižigár told news server Romea.cz.

In the evening Romani residents of Brno and various service providers met with the delegatoin in the music cafe at the Amaro Records recording studio. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss Government policy in the area of Romani integration and its impact on the lives of Romani people in Brno.

"The information we acquired during the day will be used for the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs' activities and that of its committees, and for the Report on the State of the Romani Minority for the year 2016 that we are preparing," Souček told news server Romea.cz. For his part, Mižigár summed up the day in Brno as follows:  "This trip was for me, as a member of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs, very beneficial and important, because it makes it possible for me to meet with active Romani residents in the regions and speak with them about their problems, and by doing so the Council receives further items to address so we can aid the current situation of the Romani miority in the Czech Republic, and I would be glad if these trips could take place in other regions around the country."

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Agentura pro sociální začleňování, Brno, integration, Rada vlády pro záležitosti romské menšiny



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