New volunteer civil society member of Czech Govt Roma Council says it does not communicate with the Romani public enough
Vladimír Čermák is a recent graduate in economics and a Romani community member who became one of the four new members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs appointed on 21 September 2020. He wants to focus on the competitiveness of Romani firms on the labour market, on employment, and would also like to be involved as an analyst monitoring the flow of EU financing and assessing the impacts of projects associated with the Romani minority, as well as the impacts of the Regional Coordinators and other persons contributing to the integration of Romani people who are financed with public money.
Q: What are you expecting from your volunteer membership as a civil society member of the Czech Government's Roma Council?
A: I joined the Council with the aim of actively contributing to its activities, of course. I am not naive and I do not anticipate that I will change the direction it is heading in during the next few months. It is necessary to understand that the Council is an advisory body, and without the collaboration and political will of the Office of the Government, no desired changes can happen. In any event, I perceive my membership on the Council, from my position as a young Romani man, to be a commitment to our nation, and I will actively contribute my experience and perspective, and above all, my diligence and work on a daily basis to build a better future for our children. I am aware that a lot of work awaits us, and that is why I joined the Council. I do not expect to talk too much, but to work.
Q: What area do you want to focus on?
A: My vision is especially to bring the Council closer to young Roma and to bring the thinking of the up-and-coming younger generation to the Council. I have just graduated in economics, which means it is natural that I would concentrate, above all, on the competitiveness of Romani firms on the labor market and on employment. I am involved with entrepreneurship and with management, and it is exactly those skills and my experience to date that I would like to draw on in the Council to design the steps necessary to improving the position of Roma on the labor market and their access to goods and services.
Q: What is your assessment of the activity of the Council to date, what should change there?
A: I have just observed the activity of the Council to date from the outside, so I'm unable to form an objective judgment. In my opinion, the Council doesn't communicate with the public as much as it should. Currently the Council is creating a strategic document for the next 10 years, but the broader Romani public, who will certainly be affected by that document, does not have information about it. For that reason, I would like to bring the activity of the Council, where I will personally be contributing, closer to Romani people so that these discussions will be about us, with us. I feel the biggest need for change is in the statutes of the Council itself. There is a need to place more emphasis on members' active approaches, which could be augmented by more power to assess and audit the steps that are taken by the entities involved in Romani emancipation and integration. I see the establishment of a Committee to Audit and Assess Fulfillment of the Roma Integration Strategy as making sense, as well as the establishment of a Committee to Ensure Equal Opportunities for Roma on the Labor Market. I would also personally gravitate toward an analytical approach to auditing the flow of financing from the EU and assessing the impacts of projects funded with public money, as well as the impacts of the Regional Coordinators and other persons contributing to Romani integration.
- Local councillor in Czech Republic sparks outrage and petition against installation of "container housing" in Romani neighborhood
- Czech national audit says schools were not prepared for inclusion and local governments are not drawing funds for it in socially excluded localities
- Czech Senate elections won by "Mayors" party, xenophobic rhetoric scored no votes, owner of disinformation tabloid not reseated
- Czech Senate candidates use rhetoric about "inadaptables" and xenophobic tropes in second round battle
- Czech poll finds 30 % of the public does not want Romani children in mainstream classes and does want them to be segregated
- Czech Interior Ministry: Ultranationalist party attempted to spark anti-Romani sentiment, extremists and xenophobes spread disinformation about COVID-19
- Czech court upholds suspended sentence for man who called for non-white first-graders to be gassed to death
- Exhibition in Czech capital shows newly-identified photographs of the deportations of Jewish people from Prague during the Holocaust
- Romani candidate for Czech Senate will not advance to the second round, but scores better than his extremist opponents
- Czech regional elections: One Romani candidate for the Pirates will be seated
- Czech Senate election: Romani candidate says right-wing extremists could take power unless people vote for their competitors
- Czech regional and Senate elections begin amid pandemic measures, Romani candidates on the ballot
- Czech regional elections: 29th-place Romani candidate says collections proceedings need to be consolidated
- Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights calls on Czech lower house to adopt law to compensate illegally sterilized people, first reading scheduled for today
- Pirate Party candidate for Governor of a Czech region from the Romani community says social exclusion has been ignored for 30 years
- Czech Police investigate allegations of vote-buying in northern Bohemia
- Commentary: What are the Romani candidates running for the fascists in the Czech Republic thinking?
- Czech court sentences perpetrator to five years for racist assault on Romani man, both defense and prosecution considering appeal
- COMMENTARY: Romani actors should refuse to perpetuate stereotypes in Czech television programs
- Council of Europe says Czech Republic not doing enough to teach the Romani language
- Romani candidates in the Czech elections: At least seven running for regional office and one for the Senate
- COVID-19 dampens turnout for annual international pilgrimage by Catholic Roma in the Czech Republic, but the atmosphere was not affected
- Commentary: Work on antisemitism by US professor reminds us of antigypsyism in the Czech Republic today
- Petition seeking first reading for bill to compensate forcibly sterilized women delivered to Czech lower house
- Czech sociologist finds correlation between debtors under collections proceedings and children failing school
- Commentary: Czech journalists stoke hatred of Romani people to distract from failed pandemic response
- Czech Education Ministry wants to end funding for assistants to thousands of disabled children, expert says this will ruin inclusive education
- Czech library to exhibit all designs submitted for the future Lety u Písku Memorial to the Holocaust of the Roma and Sinti
- Assistant to Czech MP fined for calling for migrants to be shot, he may appeal
- Regional candidate for newest Czech party featured in music video by infamous establisher of neo-Nazi movement
- Czech town to see exhibition by pro-Romani and Romani artists referencing the Black Lives Matter movement
- Czech demolition of pig farm on former WWII-era concentration camp for Roma delayed one year, future new memorial said to be unaffected
- Romani women call on Czech MPs to take the first step toward compensating forcibly, illegally sterilized persons, 150 figures support them
- More than 60 % of Czechs active online believe Romani people are favored over non-Roma in the Czech Republic
- Civil society members of the Czech Govt Council for Romani Minority Affairs: Petr Uhl was and will always remain a person who gave many Romani men and women a hope of a more dignified life
- Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council: Investigate police response in Sokolov - it was inadequate and undermines trust in the police
- Some volunteer civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council protest new law on subjecting welfare benefits to collections
- Czech Govt Roma Council adopts resolution calling for investigation of the Teplice case and for the public to be informed
- Civil society members of the Czech Govt Roma Council ask Interior Minister to prioritize the thorough investigation of the death of a Romani man after a police intervention
- Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council call on Radek Banga to apologize for remarks undermining the dignity of Romani people
- Romani organizations write to Czech Industry and Trade Minister: Roma must be part of the National Plan for Renewal
- Czech court hears defamation case against man who insulted a member of the Govt's Roma Council in the media
- Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner tells ROMEA TV ombudsman is wrong to say Roma not involved with Strategy, removal of his deputy from councils makes no sense
- Czech ombudsman claims his deputy was not appointed to Govt councils, Romea.cz has proof that is not true
- Volunteer civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council: ombudsman intentionally undermining the dignity of Romani people
- Romani community members debate the Czech Govt Strategy on Roma for 2021-2030