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Czech Gov't Inter-ministerial Commission on Roma holds two-day meeting on Romani affairs

11.11.2015 19:55
Meeting of experts on Romani affairs in Pardubice, Czech Republic, 10-11 November 2015 (PHOTO: Facebook page of Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier)
Meeting of experts on Romani affairs in Pardubice, Czech Republic, 10-11 November 2015 (PHOTO: Facebook page of Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier)

Inclusive education, the Romani Integration Strategy to 2020 and proposals from the Czech Interior Ministry in the areas of crime prevention and increasing safety in socially excluded localities have been discussed today and yesterday by experts in Romani affairs from all over the Czech Republic in the town of Pardubice. The meeting is being held by the Czech Government Inter-ministerial Commission on Romani Community Affairs.

More than 50 guests, including Regional Romani Affairs Coordinators, Romani advisers and field workers were slated to attend. The afternoon segment of the first day was attended by Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation, Jiří Dienstbier and representatives of the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry to present the Czech Republic's Social Housing Concept 2015-2025 and a proposed amendment to the law on aid to those in material distress.

Dienstbier said a coordinated approach is the most appropriate way to resolve social exclusion. "The Government is applying a strategy that we are calling the Coordinated Approach to Socially Excluded Localities through the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion. This approach combines instruments for addressing inclusion in education, support for employment and social enterprises, housing and crime prevention in a coordinated fashion, because our experience is that when we address just one part of the equation, it does not lead to improvement in the long run," the minister said.

Today participants are to discuss the Romani Integration Strategy to 2020, the Czech Interior Ministry's proposals in the areas of crime prevention and increasing safety in socially excluded localities, and the approach to the issue of social inclusion and support for Roma in Pardubice. "I am very glad this meeting has happened. It's very important for people in the field, mainly, to regularly encounter each other and exchange their experiences," Cyril Koky, the Romani Affairs Coordinator for the Central Bohemian Region, told news server Romea.cz.

"I would welcome it if more cities in the Czech Republic grappling with the issue of socially excluded localities on their territories would apply to collaborate with the Government Agency for Social Inclusion. The EU Structural Funds are opening up some unique options in that direction and it would be a big mistake not to take advantage of that opportunity," Koky said.  

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Agentura pro sociální začleňování, Inkluzivní vzdělávání, Rada vlády pro záležitosti romské menšiny, Strategie romské integrace do roku 2020



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