Jeroen Schokkenbroek rappresentante speciale del Segretario generale per i rom
Rom: ''Abbattiamo il muro del rifiuto''
[03/02/2011 11:00:00] Abbattere il muro di discriminazione nei confronti dei rom porterà ad una situazione vantaggiosa per tutti i cittadini europei. Questo il contenuto della dichiarazione rilasciata il 3 febbraio ad Atene dall'esperto principale del Consiglio d'Europa sulle questioni relative ai rom. In occasione del lancio della Campagna Dosta! nella capitale greca, il rappresentante speciale del Segretario generale per i rom, Jeroen Schokkenbroek, ha chiesto di porre fine al ''deplorevole rifiuto'' delle comunità rom.
Strenghtening Roma rights
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has launched an initiative to bring together the Council, the European Union, and their member states to strengthen Roma rights. It starts with a High Level meeting at the Organisation’s Strasbourg headquarters on October 20th 2010 to review Council of Europe and European Union standards and to begin the process of joint action.
The Council of Europe’s Roma and Travellers Division estimates the number of Roma presently resident in Europe at just over 11 million (July 2009). They are found in every European country, with the highest percentages (from 8 to 10 per cent) in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia (excluding Kosovo), Slovakia, and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The full table is avaliable from the Council of Europe press service.
The Council of Europe has led the field in working with the Roma. Experience shows that they are the most marginalised group in Europe, very often excluded or poorly treated in schools, housing, health care and the jobs market, and facing discrimination and racism in the general population.
The Council of Europe has fought discrimination through judgements of the Court of Human Rights, by setting economic and social standards, and by monitoring the situation on the ground. It has also worked to promote good education of Roma children, combat practices such as sterilising Roma women without consent, and – as part of its awareness raising campaign Dosta! - has trained journalists in how to report fairly on Roma issues.
The main forum for the Council of Europe’s work on Roma is the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers (MG-S-ROM), which advises governments and international authorities.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum – the main NGO working for Roma and run by Roma in Europe – works side by side with the Council of Europe, thanks to a partnership which is renewed every two years.
Since he took up his function as Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg has always had a particular attention to the situation of the Roma. Through his visits to member States, he has reported anti-Gypsysim resulting in institutional discrimination, hate speech and social exclusion which hinder a sound integration of the Roma in society. He has also proposed concrete steps to foster inclusion and mutual understanding, such as the promotion of Roma history, an increased representation of Roma in public institutions and the provision of identity papers to the tens of thousand Roma who are still stateless today in Europe.
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) which reviews their living situation in its regular country visits. Not only does the Commission guard against discrimination, it encourages governments to involve the Roma in decision-making and to fully integrate them into education and working life.