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Czech NGO launches ad campaign about anti-Roma prejudice

Brno, 13.9.2013 16:16, (ROMEA)
This campaign, part of a project called
This campaign, part of a project called "No mutual prejudices", is meant to break down deeply-rooted prejudices held by a large part of Czech society about Roma. People traveling by public transportation in the city of Brno will see 800 posters of the ongoing campaign run by IQ Roma servis, a Brno-based NGO. A video clip was also created as part of the campaign. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Starting on 9 September, people traveling by public transportation in the Czech city of Brno have been able to see 800 posters from an ongoing campaign by the Brno-based organization IQ Roma servis. The posters describe situations where Roma are working and want to work, but are blocked from doing so by the prejudices that give them a bad reputation.

Katarína Klamková, the director of IQ Roma servis, can document Roma efforts to find work by the fact that her staff has addressed approximately 300 requests for work so far this year. The NGO has helped 65 people get hired.

As many as 12 000 Romani people live in Brno. Experts say it is impossible to estimate how many are employed.

The campaign is part of a project called "No mutual prejudices", a follow-up to two previous campaigns in recent years, "Roma work and want to work" and "The invisible ones". The project is meant to help break down deeply-rooted prejudices held by a large part of Czech society about Romani people.

"The campaign mainly intends to present the stories of Romani people who work in order to show that Romani people don't just live on welfare, but work just like everyone else -  and want to. Just like last year, the campaign is based on double entendre and humor," said Daniela Drnková, head of the projects section of IQ Roma servis.

"One tool of the campaign is the 800 posters that have been put up in public transportation all over Brno. The main motifs of the campaign are double entendre situations, based on phrases that could be interpreted in a biased way because of prejudice. We are also using stories of Romani people who work and their employers' experiences with them from the website of the campaign called mypracujeme.cz [weareworking.cz]. A video clip was also created, called 'We'll clean out your apartment too!' ('Vybílíme byt i tobě!') which can be seen on the internet television channel stream.cz, or at www.mypracujeme.cz, or on YouTube, of course," said campaign coordinator Martin Máša.

The "No mutual prejudices" project includes more than just the ad campaign. It involves the implementation of several lines of effort, such as community activities, pedagogical activities, and support for the development of a strategy and a systemic approach toward resolving Roma inclusion.

"The project also focuses on supporting a non-discriminatory environment on the labor market through the EthnicFriendly Employer award, as well as through stimulating employment. Employers often take a very similar position toward Roma as the general public does - one of prejudice, skepticism, suspicion and xenophobia. Even though it is illegal to discriminate in the Czech Republic, hidden discrimination is an exhausting experience that a large proportion of Romani people have encountered," Drnková said.

"I greatly appreciate the Romani men and women who actively joined the campaign by presenting their personal stories. I have had many negative experiences myself when seeking employment. I regret that I, just like other Romani men and women, must defend and prove my 'normalcy' to the broader public almost every day," said Ivona Parčiová, an IQ Roma servis staffer. 

According to the organizers of the ad campaign, Romani people are working and want to work despite the prejudice and skepticism of a large part of Czech society. This is proved by the dozens of stories that keep adding up at the mypracujeme.cz website.

The country's active employment policy is one effort to find work for Roma and everyone else by getting labor offices to support community service jobs. IQ Roma servis has long done its best to help the unemployed find work, to prepare them for job interviews, and to help them compile their résumés.

"We have handled more than 300 requests to help with a job search this year so far. We've helped 65 clients find work," said Katarína Klamková, director of IQ Roma servis.

The Roma population of Brno is said to be anywhere between 7 000 to 12 000 people, most of whom live in the socially excluded locality centered around Cejl street. Roughly 10 % of them have graduated from high school, but Klamková says it is impossible to estimate their employment rate.


ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Diskriminace, IQ Roma servis, Kampaň, Média, Předsudky, Příběhy, Reklama, Reportáž, Sociální vyloučení, Soužití, Stereotypy, Strategie, Videoklipy, Xenofobie, Zaměstnanost, Zaměstnávání, zpráva, Aktivismus, Anticiganismus, Cejl, informování o Romech, menšiny, nesnášenlivost, Občanská společnost, občanské sdružení, podezření , Romové, Romská hrdost, Romská reprezentace, Romské ženy, situace ve společnosti, veřejná služba, Czech republic, Internet, news, Racism, Roma, Xenophobia



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