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July 6, 2020
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Council of Europe

Ilustrated PHOTO: Romea.cz

Marek Szilvási: Czech Government should stop gambling with the country's reputation - the fight for compensation for forced sterilization is not over

4.11.2015 19:15 I remember being with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) just a couple of months when I was invited to Ostrava to an informal meeting with the Group of Women Harmed by Coercive Sterilization, an informal collective of harmed self-advocating Romani women. The meeting was organised by the local Life Together NGO in early April 2012 to celebrate the fact that after years of local activism, lawsuits and advocacy struggles, the Government’s Council for Human Rights had finally recommended the Government develop a compensation scheme for involuntarily sterilized women. A month earlier, the Group, Life Together and the ERRC had sent an official letter welcoming this government commitment. I took an early morning train and after a half-day journey from Budapest to Ostrava, I was warmly welcomed by the Life Together staff and the Romani women activists, whom until then I knew only through phone calls and email correspondence. After shedding my water-soaked coat I entered the second room and was introduced to Monika Šimúnková, the Czech Government’s Human Rights Commissioner, and Kateřina Valachová, now the current Minister of Education, who was at that time working for the Ombudsman. The atmosphere was relaxed, almost festive, and I soon succumbed to it and started expecting this controversy soon to be over.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Human Rights Commissioner urges the Czech authorities to adopt bill on reparations for involuntary sterilisation of Roma women

22.10.2015 11:33 The Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks today urged the Czech authorities to adopt a bill on reparations for the involuntary sterilization of Roma women. “I regret the Czech government’s decision not to proceed with the adoption of the law allowing the granting of compensation to the Roma women who were victims of forced sterilisations,” he said after publishing a letter he addressed to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Bohuslav Sobotka, on 6 October.  full story

Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland. Photo: Council of Europe

Council of Europe approves European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture

16.9.2015 23:56 Yesterday the 47 member states of the Council of Europe approved a proposal for the creation of a new European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said that “The Council of Europe wants to help celebrate the contribution of Roma art, history, and tradition to our shared cultural heritage. The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture will spread greater understanding of Roma culture and challenge unhelpful stereotypes. I hope that over time it will become a source of pride and self-esteem for our European Roma citizens. The project will be Roma-led, with the Council of Europe and the Open Society Foundations providing funding, resources and political support.”  full story

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Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 holds its closing meeting in Sarajevo

11.9.2015 2:49 On 10 and 11 September the 28th and final International Steering Committee Meeting of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 is being held in Sarajevo. The meeting is being attended by the national coordinators of the countries involved as well as many collaborating individuals and institutional partners and aims to draw attention to the lessons learned and successes achieved during the past decade.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner: Time to cure amnesia about the history of Roma in Europe

30.7.2015 20:03 Nils Muižnieks, the Human Rights Commissioner at the Council of Europe, has written in advance of the 2 August commemorations of the 1944 murder of Romani people at Auschwitz that Europe's amnesia about the history of the Roma needs to be cured. Referencing the historical events at Auschwitz in particular, he writes: "Knowledge about both the Roma uprising and the liquidation of the 'Gypsy camp' remains limited in European societies today."  full story

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Andrzej Mirga, Roma Education Fund's new chair, on the European Roma Institute and more

25.7.2015 19:40 Andrzej Mirga, previously Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, has recently been appointed chair of the Roma Education Fund. Mr Mirga has a long record as a civic and human rights activist, having co-founded Poland's first Romani association after the fall of communism.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner: Romani migrants' rights are being violated

18.7.2015 23:00 Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, published a commentary on 16 July calling for myths about Romani migration in Europe to be debunked. In the commentary, Muiznieks asserts that media in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK have "often put forward unfounded figures about actual or potential arrivals of Roma."  full story

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Canada accused of racially profiling Roma travellers from Hungary at European airport

9.7.2015 0:28 In an echo of the approach taken by the UK toward Romani air passengers from the Czech Republic in 2001, Romani citizens of Hungary say Canadian border officials are stopping them in Europe from boarding flights to Canada, according to thestar.com. Romani author Eva Kalla (age 60), a citizen of Hungary, was stopped at the airport in Vienna and referred to a Canadian border official who refused to let her fly to Toronto - even though EU citizens need no visas to do so.  full story

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Council of Europe issues report on Roma in preschool in the Czech Republic

7.7.2015 23:21 The Council of Europe's Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM) has just issued a report on its November 2014 visit to the Czech Republic. The visit included experts from Hungary, Latvia, Poland and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, who have authored the report.  full story

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European Roma and Travellers Forum: Anti-Gypsyism afoot in Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere

7.7.2015 20:52 The European Roma and Travellers Forum has issued the following press release:  full story

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Hungary faces harsh criticism for anti-democratic developments, including anti-Gypsyism and anti-Semitism

16.6.2015 0:09 On 9 June the Council of Europe’s expert group on racism and intolerance (ECRI) called for action to fight prejudice in Hungary as it released a report condemning the country. The report finds that “a radical right-wing populist party openly engages in anti-Roma, antisemitic, homophobic and xenophobic hate speech”.  full story

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The European Roma Institute: Frequently Asked Questions

10.6.2015 18:33 The Roma Initiatives Office of the Open Society Foundations, which is one of the founding members of the nascent European Roma Institute (ERI), has released a set of answers to the "Frequently Asked Questions" now circulating about the ERI. The responses were drafted jointly by the Open Society Foundations, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues of the Council of Europe, and the spokespersons for the Alliance for the European Roma Institute; an abridged version of the text is below and the full paper can be read here.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner criticizes Norway for taking Romani children into care

22.5.2015 9:21 Half of the children from Norwegian Romani families in Oslo are in foster care or at risk of being removed from their birth families by the courts. Nils Muižnieks, the Human Rights Commissioner at the Council of Europe, has included that information in his current report on Norway.  full story

Nils Muižnieks (PHOTO: www.coe.int)

Council of Europe: Refugees and violence against Romani people are current problems

25.4.2015 1:24 Last year was a bad year for fundamental human rights in the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe (CoE). CoE Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks says in his regular report that the reasons for this are the crisis around refugees in the Mediterranean Sea, the conflict in Ukraine, and attacks on media freedom.  full story

Yaron Matras, linguist at the University of Manchester specializing in Romani and other languages (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Romani Studies scholars don't like what they've learned so far from cooperation with Council of Europe and EC

20.4.2015 22:24 Professor Yaron Matras of the University of Manchester has released a paper summarizing the achievements to date of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies (EANRS), a Joint Programme of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Commission (EC) that is ending on 31 May.  full story

Yaron Matras, linguist at the University of Manchester specializing in Romani and other languages (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Commentary: Why are they setting up a European Roma Institute?

5.4.2015 21:30, (ROMEA) Under this heading - substitute with "we" - billionaire George Soros and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland published this comment week before last.  full story

Romani Rose (PHOTO: sintiundroma.de)

Commentary: European Roma Institute will use the power of culture

27.3.2015 21:49, (Frankfurter Rundschau) The German Sinti and Roma can look back on some good weeks: Recently, Federal Supreme Court President Bettina Limperg signaled the readiness of the court for a historical investigation into its "unreasonable jurisdiction" concerning Sinti and Roma. As a result of a discriminatory Supreme Court ruling from 1956 victims of National Socialism had been denied the compensation of their suffering for decade  full story

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Why we are setting up a European Roma Institute

27.3.2015 20:23, (European Voice) For more than four decades Europe’s Roma community have wanted to establish an institution that would give their music, art and unique traditions their own stage. Across the continent, such bodies exist to celebrate an array of cultures, nationalities and identities. Yet, there is nothing of this kind for Roma. Many feel this absence, particularly among Romani campaigners, educators and intellectuals. It compounds a sense of exclusion and denies all of us the opportunity to celebrate the Roma influence on our shared cultural life. We are joining forces to help put this right.  full story

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Council of Europe says there are still too many Romani children in the Czech "special schools"

12.3.2015 20:08, (ROMEA) The proportion of Romani pupils in "special schools" continues to be disproportionately high in the Czech Republic, but measures seeking to introduce inclusive education - the enrollment of all children into mainstream schools - could bring about positive change. Those are the findings adopted by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers today.  full story

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