Czech Republic: ROMEA meets with Romani job-seekers, debt collection and discrimination main concerns
Almost 30 people gathered last week in the House of National Minorities in Prague to get more information about the processes of debt collection, job seeking and the welfare system as well as how to address discrimination in education and employment. Almost all of them had been involved during the past year with the ROMEA organization's "Support for Romani Employment in Prague (2013-2014)" project and have been doing their best to find work.
"From the numerous experiences of our employment agents in the field, we found that our clients were not just addressing problems with employment, but also problems with housing or indebtedness. Some cannot be hired precisely because of these other problems, and we can't offer them adequate intervention given our narrow profile. We also discovered that our clients rarely contact other specialized counseling centers or organizations that might aid them. That's why we decided to organize this meetng where experienced professionals from other areas are present to provide at least a minimum of counseling and other contacts to those in attendance here," explains František Bikár, the coordinator of ROMEA's employment mediation.
One of the lecturers was Ivana Eliášková of the Career Counseling Center, which is part of the National Institute for Education. Her presentation focused in particular on the reasons people fail to find work, as well as on the motivation that the long-term unemployed gradually lose.
During the section of her presentation on employer behavior, a lively debate unfolded about the frequent discrimination that Romani people encounter when seeking work. "I was very surprised that even college-educated Romani people suffer stigmatization and have very low self-confidence because of their Romani origin. This, too could be a reason for their failure to find adequate employment, in addition to other factors," Eliášková said.
Aneta Krajíčková of the R-Mosty organization's Social and Legal Counseling Center discussed welfare-related limitations and opportunities connected to employment. In the context of discussing pay and the fact that many people often work "under the table", Klára Městková of the Rubikon Center organization explained what amount of a salary will realistically be paid to a worker whose wages have been attached as part of a collections process.
At the close of the meeting, clients were introduced to the toll-free Anti-Discrimination Hotline run by ROMEA. Jitka Votavová, a contact staffer with the hotline, continued to answer questions even after the meeting was officially over.
The project "Support for Romani Employment in Prague (2013-2014)" was jointly realized by ROMEA and the nonprofit organization SLOVO 21 and ends on 31 December. To date more than 60 clients have been hired thanks to the project, more than 70 other clients have attended re-qualification courses, and 20 clients have graduated from motivational courses.
- Cyril Koky: Address Romani unemployment through responsible public procurement
- Czech ombud: Towns need state financial aid and active employment policy
- Czech town revives housing estate through employment policy
- Czech Police research relationship between crime, poverty and unemployment
- Central Bohemian Romani Affairs Coordinator Cyril Koky: Long-term unemployment is a problem
- Interview with Slovak sociologist about Romani unemployment
- Turkey develops strategy to fight Roma unemployment
- Czech employment agency claims Hyundai refuses to hire Roma people
- Roma entrepreneur and town councilor: Unemployment is the Czech Republic's big problem
- Czech Rep should pay more attention to Romany employment - WB
- Slovak Romanies discriminated against in employment, services
- World Bank analysis to map out Czech Romany unemployment
- EU-subsidised project to boost Czech Romany employment, training
- Comparative Analysis of National Measures to Combat Discrimination Outside Employment and Occupation
- Slovak bus company caught on video repeatedly denying some Romani passengers service
- Slovak Constitutional Court awards compensation to Roma for 13-year court case - but the discrimination sued over still has no final ruling
- Edita Stejskalová: Czech PM has decided not to establish the post of Commissioner for Romani Affairs
- Czech restaurant chain apologizes to Romani musician for refusal of service
- First Czech real estate agency motivated by social responsibility in the Plzeň Region opens for business
- Slovak church bungles inclusion of Romani newcomer into First Communion ceremony, charges of racial discrimination being investigated
- Czech restaurant says reservations, not racism, were why a Romani group was not seated despite empty tables
- Stano Daniel: Czecho-Slovak perspectives on elections to the European Parliament
- Czech doctor prioritizes registration of Romani patients and receives hateful threats from non-Roma
- Pope stands up for Romani people attacked by (neo)Fascists in Rome who threatened rape
- Elena Gorolová, who campaigns for compensation for forced sterilization, featured on Czech talk show
- Czech Trade Inspection Authority found 13 cases of consumer discrimination last year - "No Roma, no young children..."