Czech Police liaisons to minority communities and Regional Coordinators for Romani Affairs discuss collaborating
The Czech Interior Ministry, in cooperation with the Office of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, recently held a three-day working meeting between Czech Police liaisons to minority communities, Regional Coordinators for Romani Affairs, and Regional Crime Prevention Managers. The aim of the meeting was to assess the existing ways in which these three kinds of officials collaborate, to present examples of good practice in the area of cooperation at regional level, to present their plans for activity this year and, through discussions, to state proposals and recommendations for intensifying cooperation among these partners.
"The first day of the program was held in the spirit of introducing current topics in the area of Romani integration and the situation of Romani people in the Czech Republic, which was hosted by a representative from the Office of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs. In collaboration with representatives from the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion, the representatives informed those assembled about the fulfillment of strategic documents in the area of Romani integration and social inclusion," the press release about the meeting states.
A contribution by a representative of the Government's HateFree Culture program was dedicated to the issue of hoaxes and refuting prejudices about national minorities, Romani people in particular. The topic of collections agents, debts and insolvency was also reviewed, both from the perspective of planned legislative measures and from the point of view of the Theia nonprofit organization's practical experiences with such issues.
"The second day's program began by introducing the work of the police in relation to minorities. The institution of police liaisons to minority communities represents a basic professional instrument used by the Police of the Czech Republic for working with minorities on the territory of the Czech Republic, based on the principle of applying a correct and equitable approach while respecting minority differences," the press release reads.
The concept of "minority" is defined within the realm of police activity in the broadest possible sense of the term and has to do with groups or individuals who differ from others on the basis of general cultural, ethnic, racial or religious characteristics, or on the basis of a social situation that leads to their marginalization, or according to their having a different legal status, i.e., being citizens of another state (foreign nationals). The rest of the discussion concerned the issue of loan-sharking and how to address it in connection with the issue of overindebtedness.
A project to beef up crime prevention in Ostrava was presented, as was the activity of the Regional Coordinators for Romani Minority Affairs, and a debate was held with an expert on the drug issue in socially excluded localities. The closing day was dedicated to the issue of Czech citizens returning from abroad, e.g., members of the Romani minority returning from Canada or Great Britain who become dependent on welfare, as well as the immigration of citizens of other EU states into the Czech Republic, closing with a final bloc discussing the phenomenon of community service work and welfare.
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