Strasbourg, 31 January 2005 MG-S-ROM (2004)16

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON ROMA, GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS
(MG-S-ROM)

18th meeting
Prešov, Slovak Republic
___________________________________________

DRAFT REPORT
(to be adopted by the Group at its 19th meeting)

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

ELECTION OF THE CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR OF THE MG-S-ROM (in camera)

      Mr. Andrzej MIRGA (Poland) and Mr. Claudio MARTA (Italy) have been unanimously re-elected for a period of one year as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the Group of Specialists.

GROUP’S WORKING METHODS (in camera)

      The Group took note of the presentation made by the Secretariat summarizing 20 replies1 received to the questionnaire on working methods of the Group [MG-S-ROM(2004) 12].

      The Group decided:

      - to organise whenever necessary and pending budget availability, ad hoc working groups with a limited number of participants between the two annual sessions of the Group in order to finalise its work on draft recommendations. The members of the Group whose governments have sent comments about draft recommendations will be systematically invited to these ad hoc working groups and reimbursed by the Council of Europe, as well as Roma and non-Roma experts in the field concerned by the draft recommendation. Other members of the Group will be informed and may attend at the costs of the Council of Europe, should there be a sufficient budget. It was agreed to organise two ad hoc working group meetings before the 19th meeting of the MG-S-ROM:

        · an ad hoc working group to discuss the draft recommendation on Appropriate Access of Roma and Travellers to Public Health Care [document MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov] to be held in Strasbourg on 25 February 2005;

        · an ad hoc working group to discuss the draft recommendation on Policies towards Roma and Travellers in Europe to be held in Strasbourg or in a member state in late February or March 2005.

      - to propose to its Steering Committee, the European Committee on Migration (CDMG), to systematically invite a representative of the MG-S-ROM to its meetings, particularly (but not exclusively) when draft recommendations prepared by the Group of Specialists are being discussed. The Group would like the CDMG to ask the Committee of Ministers whether a representative of the MG-S-ROM could attend their meetings whenever draft recommendations concerning Roma and Travellers are being discussed. These proposals aim to provide a possibility for the MG-S-ROM to defend the text that the Group unanimously agreed upon during the drafting phase and to have an opportunity to directly reply to possible requests or concerns at the level of the CDMG or of the Committee of Ministers. This process should also ensure a quicker adoption of draft recommendations submitted by the Group.

      - to address more systematically letters on behalf of the Group to governments of member states regarding issues of concern in the field of Roma and Travellers.

      - to prepare an annual report of the Group’s work to be presented to governments, other Council of Europe bodies dealing with Roma issues and to the public (via Internet) in order to raise awareness about the work carried out by the Group of Specialists and its opinion concerning certain situations in Europe affecting Roma and Travellers.

I. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND LIST OF DECISIONS OF PREVIOUS MEETING

      The Group adopted the agenda for the meeting [MG-S-ROM (2004)10 rev.2] and the list of decisions adopted by the Group at its 17th meeting [MG-S-ROM (2004)5].

      The Group took note that the draft Recommendation on Improving the Housing Conditions for Roma and Travellers in Europe and the draft Recommendation on the Movement and Encampment of Travellers in Europe were still pending adoption by the Ministers’ Deputies Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC)2.

      The Group took note of initial discussions in the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe concerning the image of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in the media. The Group was informed that Mr. Nicolae Valeriu, Executive Director of the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) will make a presentation about the image of Roma migrants in Western European media at a meeting organised in Paris on 6 December 2004 by the aforementioned Parliamentary Assembly Committee in partnership with the Migration Division.

II. REPORTING ABOUT THE FIELD VISIT AND THE PUBLIC HEARING

Sunday, 21 November 20043

    § Field visit in Romani settlement Chminianske Jakubovany (20 km away from Prešov)

    § Field visit in Romani housing estate Stará Tehel’ňa in Prešov

      See appendix 1: report of the field visits prepared by the Secretariat. The report, which had been circulated during the meeting in Prešov, has been slightly amended to take into account further information or corrections provided by the Slovak authorities.

Monday, 22 November 2004

      See appendix 2: report of the public hearing prepared by Mr. Peter Drál’ from the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities.


III. REPORTING ON THE DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING THE STUDY ON ACCESS TO SOCIAL RIGHTS FOR NOMADIC POPULATIONS IN EUROPE

      The Group took note of the presentation made by Mr. Laurent Keller, consultant, regarding the developments of this study since the last MG-S-ROM meeting, as well as of recent documents, including a standard analysis form and bibliography on social rights of nomadic populations in Europe MG-S-ROM (2004) 11 and preliminary reports on the social rights for nomadic populations in Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

      The Group was informed that the study now concentrates on six countries: France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (the consultants may decided to replace the Netherlands by Belgium in case they do not collect enough information). The Group was also orally informed about a recent field visit to Switzerland, organised by M. May Bittel (Les Gens du voyage, Versoix) in partnership with Swiss authorities, made by Mr. Dominique Steinberger and the Secretariat.

      The Group agreed to prolong the mandate of the consultants to the next MG-S-ROM meeting, including visits to the aforementioned countries if needed4. The consultants shall provide the Group with a detailed analysis of access to social rights of nomadic populations of about 40 pages, including the reports of the six aforementioned countries, for the 19th MG-S-ROM meeting foreseen in spring 20055.

      The Group requested that the consultants introduce in their analysis a chapter on the definitions of “Travellers” in the various countries concerned, as well as provide an indication about the minimum travelling period as from when people are considered “nomadic”.

      The Group reserved the right to decide whether a recommendation on access to social rights needs to be drafted and will take a decision at its next meeting, on the basis inter alia of the final report submitted by the consultants.

      The Group requested the consultants contact authorities from the respective countries (Ireland, United Kingdom), which have so far made comments or reservations as regards the preliminary country reports. The Group also insisted that future reports should be written in a more formal language than for instance in the document MG-S-ROM(2004)4.

      As a follow-up of the Seminar on Cultural Identities of Roma and Travellers and related groups organised by the Council of Europe in September 2003, the Group suggested organising a new seminar on identity issues and on the meaning of “Travellers” and “nomadic populations” after the 19th MG-s-ROM meeting and the submission of the consultants’ report.


IV. DRAFT RECOMMENDATION ON APPROPRIATE ACCESS OF ROMA AND TRAVELLERS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CARE

      The Group took note of Dr. Andor Ürmös’ presentation about the conclusions of the Roma Decade Health Workshop organised in June 2004.

      The Group took note that there had been no further written comments6 submitted to the draft recommendation on Appropriate Access of Roma and Travellers to Public Health Care [MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov.; written comments MG-S-ROM (2004) 3 rev] since the last meeting.

      A new deadline for submitting written comments to this draft recommendation was fixed at 10 February 2005.

      The Group entrusted the Secretariat to organise an ad hoc working group prior to the next meeting (see proposed dates on first page of this report) to finalise the draft text. Governmental representatives and experts who made written comments to the draft will be invited in priority to this ad hoc working group. It will be held in Strasbourg to benefit from the advice and comments from the Health Sector of the Council of Europe. International organisations having an expertise and clear interest in this draft recommendation, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), will also be invited. Other members of the Group will be informed and may be invited upon request, and pending budgetary resources.

V. FUTURE RELATIONS BETWEEN MG-S-ROM AND THE EUROPEAN ROMA AND TRAVELLERS FORUM (ERTF)

      The Group took note of the presentation by Mrs. Soraya Post, Vice-President ad interim of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF). The Group was informed that this International Association was officially registered in Strasbourg in July 2004 and that there would be a signing ceremony of the partnership agreement between the Forum and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 15 December 20047. The first plenary meeting of the European Roma and Travellers Forum is foreseen in April 2005.

      The Group congratulated Mrs Soraya Post for her presentation and welcomed the establishment of the Forum. The Group held a discussion on possible future co-operation between the MG-S-ROM and the ERTF. The Group decided to modify its terms of reference and add the ERTF to the list of observers (international organisations) – see appendix 5.

      The Group also decided to systematically invite among the eight seats reserved for Roma/Consultants a member of the Forum in this capacity. This person – to be nominated by the Forum - will have his/her travel and subsistence costs reimbursed by the budget for the MG-S-ROM. The Group recalled that the seven other seats for Roma/Consultants would remain at the disposal of the MG-S-ROM whose members should decide whom to invite before each meeting.

      The Group also encouraged the European Roma and Travellers Forum to indicate how they envisage co-operation with the MG-S-ROM and whether they would grant the MG-S-ROM with a specific statute, bearing in mind the close links that these two bodies should have at the level of the Council of Europe.

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

      VI. DRAFT RECOMMENDATION ON POLICIES TOWARDS ROMA AND TRAVELLERS IN EUROPE – INCLUDING MONITORING AND EVALUATION CHAPTER

      The Group was informed by the Secretariat that no further written comments8 had been received from member states concerning the draft recommendation on policies towards Roma and Travellers in Europe [MG-S-ROM (2003) 3 rev.2]. The Group took note that a number of Council of Europe sectors (European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, ECRI, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities) had sent comments to this draft recommendation.

      A new deadline for submitting written comments to this draft recommendation was fixed at 10 February 2005.

      The Group entrusted the Secretariat to organise an ad hoc working group prior to the next meeting (end of February or early March) to finalise the draft text. Governmental representatives and experts who made written comments to the draft will be invited in priority to this ad hoc working group. It will be held in Strasbourg or in a member state of the Council of Europe. International organisations having an expertise and clear interest in this draft recommendation will also be invited. Other members of the Group will be informed and may be invited upon request, and pending budgetary resources.

      The Group took note of the presentation by Mr. Alan Phillips of the main conclusions of the “Seminar on Monitoring and Evaluation Methodology of Governmental Programmes for Roma and Travellers” held on 2-3 September 2004.

      The Group was invited to submit written comments to the document distributed by Mr. Alan Phillips at the meeting (regarding the inclusion of a new chapter on monitoring and evaluation in the draft recommendation on policies towards Roma and Travellers in Europe) by 10 February 2005.

      VII. FINANCING OF NATIONAL PROGRAMMES FOR ROMA AND TRAVELLERS

      Discussion on this item was postponed to a future meeting as no information was provided by members of the Group, with the exception of Ireland [see document MG-S-ROM (2004)15].

VIII. EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY FUND

      The Secretariat reminded the Group that the Committee of Ministers had entrusted the MG-S-ROM to study the proposal of creating a European Solidarity Fund (see paragraph 20 of the reply of the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly CM/AS(2003)Rec1557 final 13 June 2003).

      The Chair reminded the Group about the recently established Roma Education Fund under the Decade for Roma Inclusion (2005-2015), as well about existing foundations for Roma in some member states.

      The Group took note of Ms. Silviya Filipova’s presentation of PAKIV European Roma Fund.

      The Chair proposed that such a European solidarity fund be created exclusively for local and regional authorities to encourage concrete and positive actions for Roma and Traveller communities. The fund would be an incentive for local and regional authorities to develop projects for Roma or Travellers, with the condition that projects are elaborated with these communities.

      Mrs Soraya Post, representing the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), supported this proposal.

      Mr. von Klüchtzner (Germany) proposed to clarify the scope and objectives of this fund. Mr. De Boer (the Netherlands) proposed to discuss this proposal with the European Commission.

      The Secretariat reminded the Group about last year’s decision of the Congress for Regional and Local Authorities of the Council of Europe to create a network of municipalities, which are willing to improve the situation of Roma and Traveller communities. It proposed to address both issues together.

      The Group decided to discuss further this issue at its next meeting and to invite the European Roma and Travellers Forum to present their opinion and proposals. The Congress for Local and Regional Authorities, as well as the European Commission, will be invited to express their view on this item. The Group was invited to send comments regarding a European Solidarity Fund, in particular about the objectives of this fund, and the kind of projects which could be financed out of this fund, to the Secretariat by 10 February 2005.

IX. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

      The Group took note of written contributions submitted for the meeting [document MG-S-ROM (2004) 15].

a) The situation of Roma in the context of recent EU enlargement, including migration

      The Chair, Mr. Mirga, presented the Group with the Project on Ethnic Relations (PER)’s report “Roma and EU Accession: Elected and Appointed Representatives in an Enlarged Europe. He reminded the Group of the objective of the Brussels meeting: i.e. to bring elected and appointed Romani representatives together with the European Commission and the European Parliament in open dialogue. The discussion focused inter alia on the use of EU structural funds and on the assets and consequences of increased participation of Roma in governments and parliaments.

      Mrs. Tove Skotvedt (Norway) presented the initiative that the Norwegian Government had financed under the Norwegian presidency of the Council of Europe, i.e. to support the organisation of a Meeting on “Roma Youth and Alternatives to Migration”. She insisted that the Forum of European Roma Young People (FERYP) was given the task of organising this activity from A to Z without receiving any advice on methodology or regarding the analysis. She welcomed the presentation of the draft meeting report as an expression of the views of young European Roma on the issue of migration.

      Mrs Alexandra Raykova, President of FERYP, presented the conclusions of the abovementioned Meeting on “Roma Youth and Alternatives to Migration” that was held in Budapest on 15-17 October 2004. She highlighted the great interest among young Roma for this issue and requested that the MG-S-ROM consider forwarding this draft report to other relevant bodies for consideration.

      The Group as a whole welcomed this draft contribution and appreciated the efforts of FERYP. However, opinions differed in terms of quality and whether such a document can be distributed as an MG-S-ROM document. Some of the members of the Group, in particular the Chair, Mr. Mirga (Poland), would have preferred a more structured, formal approach following the example of previous contributions, such as Dr. Yaron Matras’ report on Roma migration.

      The Chair called for a more balanced approach and a more attentive use of terminology, such as migrants, illegal migrants, regular migrants, persons having a nomadic way of life, refugees, internally displaced persons, etc. He proposed to have a new thorough discussion between experts with a view to producing a report on migration. Elements of FERYP’s report could be used towards this as a starting point for similar feedback in the future.

      On the other hand, other members found the approach taken by FERYP to be refreshing and spontaneous in terms of the views expressed by young Roma, despite the report not following the usual MG-S-ROM document format.

      In the absence of consensus regarding immediate follow-up of the report, in particular regarding its further distribution as an MG-S-ROM document to other bodies of the Council of Europe, Mrs. Skotvedt proposed instead that the Norwegian government circulate the report, without any MG-S-ROM document reference, for information where necessary. The Chair proposed to send a thank you letter to the Norwegian authorities for their contribution regarding further promotion of Roma migration in the future agenda of the MG-S-ROM.

      As a result of the positive interest of the Group in FERYP’s report, the Group decided to relaunch the discussion on migration at its future meetings.

b) Refugees and IDPs issues

      The Group took note of recent developments in the Council of Europe Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Legal Aspects of Territorial Asylum, Refugees and Stateless Persons (CAHAR), in particular the decision to establish a Working Group on internally displaced persons (IDPs) [see CAHAR’s written contribution in document MG-S-ROM(2004)15]. The Group proposed to exchange views on the particular case of Roma IDPs in the context of the future work of this CAHAR working group.

      The Group listened with interest to the Powerpoint presentation of Mr. Džavit Beriša about his concrete experience of being a refugee originating from Kosovo who spent some time in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” before being granted refugee status in Hungary. The Group expressed its deep concern about this issue and thanked Mr. Beriša for this crude illustration of the painful experience faced by Roma following the conflicts in ex-Yugoslavia. The Group noted however that there is some hope since the asylum system is working and Mr. Beriša and his family are now safe.

      Mr. Lauri Sivonen from the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights underlined the importance of this issue, which was however not strictly limited to Roma. He reminded the Group about the respect of human rights and the interdiction of collective expulsions or forced separation of families.

      Mr. Nicolae Gheorghe (OSCE-ODIHR) drew the attention of the Group to the statement of the Roma, Ashkalija and NGOs defending their human rights, made at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting entitled « Internally Displaced Persons » held in Vienna on 4-5 November 2004. A copy of this statement was distributed to the Group. Signatories of this statement proposed inter alia the establishment of a Task Force for IDPs in Serbia and Montenegro and for the organisation of a regional conference on this issue.

      Mr. Gheorghe underlined that the UNHCR had modified their approach since this organisation is no longer insisting on the repatriation in Kosovo to the place of origin, but will accept other places as long as the security of returnees is ensured.

      Mr. Gheorghe called for a common regional and international approach on this outrageous issue. Mr. De Boer (the Netherlands) proposed that the Group write a letter to the Committee of Ministers to invite the Council of Europe to adopt a common approach on this issue with the European Commission and the OSCE.

      The Secretariat announced that a Seminar on Roma refugees and IDPs will be jointly organised with the UNHCR in Belgrade on 13-14 December 2004. The OSCE-ODIHR will be invited to present the conclusions of their aforementioned meeting in Vienna.

      Mr. Gheorghe (OSCE-ODIHR) announced that the issue of IDPs and refugees, as well as migration and integration, will be addressed in the context of the OSCE Human Dimension Meeting in April 2005.

      Some members of the Group proposed that this issue be one of the priorities on the agenda of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF). The Group decided to keep this item on its agenda. No consensus was reached as to whether this issue should be linked with migration.

      The Vice-Chair, Mr. Marta (Italy), proposed that Roma representatives from Kosovo be invited to one of the next meetings of the Group, and that other relevant Council of Europe bodies, such as CAHAR and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the UNHCR Office in Strasbourg, be invited to participate in the discussion as well.

c) Individual presentations on recent developments in their respective countries and presentation from international organisations.

        The document MG-S-ROM (2004)15 has been updated with the Romanian written contributions9.

      Roma Education Fund

        Mrs. Eva Schwebel (Council of Europe Development Bank) updated the Group on the Roma Education Fund, which is an initiative of the World Bank and Open Society Institute in the context of the Decade for Roma Inclusion (2005-2015)10. The main goal of the Fund will be to contribute to closing the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma, including the desegregation of educational systems. Funds will be available for scaling-up existing best practices, for NGO projects (responding to strict eligibility criteria) and for research (via calls for proposals). The Council of Europe Development Bank offered to host the Roma Education Fund in its premises in Paris. A Donors’ Conference will be held in Paris on 2-3 December 2004. The Fund should be operational by Spring 2005 and will be promoted via the media.

      Decade for Roma Inclusion (2005-2015)

      The Group took note of the detailed presentation of the Roma Decade initiative and its functioning mechanism, which was made by Dr. Ürmös, Director for Roma Integration in the Government Office for Equal Opportunities of Hungary. He informed the Group about the International Launch of the Decade for Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 2 February 2005 and indicated that Hungary will continue to provide the Roma Decade Secretariat until June 2005. He underlined that national action plans in the fields of education, employment, housing and health should be adopted by governments and/or national parliaments before the launch and indicated that new terms of reference for the Decade will be drafted by mid-December 2004. He reiterated that the Decade was primarily a political commitment and an opportunity to obtain Prime Ministers’ commitments to address Roma issues on a constant basis.

      Mrs. Kasarova (Slovak Republic) confirmed that Slovakia had introduced health care among its Decade priorities and indicated that the action plans would be submitted to the Government within the next few weeks.

      Mr. Grygorichenko (Ukraine) expressed the interest of CIS countries in participating in the Roma Decade. Mrs Schwebel (Council of Europe Development Bank) answered that incorrect messages regarding funding had been sent to governments and Roma NGOs at the beginning, and that funding from international organisations was very limited. Additional financial efforts should be made by the governments.

      Mrs. Klajner (Croatia) raised concerns about the financing of an international Roma Decade Secretariat. She proposed that this Secretariat be envisaged in the future within the Council of Europe’s structure. Mr. Mirga (Poland) considered that this was not a realistic option.

      Mr. Gheorghe (OSCE-ODIHR) questioned the capacity of the Roma Decade to change the reality of Roma communities if this was intended to be just a political commitment, referring to other political instruments, such as Council of Europe recommendations or the OSCE Action Plan for Roma and Sinti, which seemed to have little impact at the grassroots level. Mr. Gheorghe asked Mr. Ürmös for clarification about the relationship between national programmes/strategies for Roma and Decade action plans, particularly in terms of giving priorities to budgetary allocations, and called for deeper consideration of the possible side effects of these initiatives.

      Mrs. Post (International Romani Women’s Network – IRWN) expressed concerns that the Roma Decade might further divide Western and Eastern Europe in the field of Roma policies. She expressed her preference for a Council of Europe approach which tends to unify the policies of 46 European states regarding the treatment of minorities, including Roma, quoting the mechanism of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

      Mr. Ürmös (Hungary) replied that the Decade action plans were reflecting measures foreseen in the national programmes for Roma adopted in these countries and that the Decade was helpful for clarifying indicators, as well as adjusting the timeframe and putting it into a ten-year perspective. He also underlined that the Decade is an open process and that Western countries might be involved, should their political leaders so wish. He concluded that the Roma Decade should be seen as a peer group mechanism similar to the Lisbon Strategy on Social Inclusion.

      International Conference on Roma and Sinti in 2005

      Mr. Nicolae Gheorghe (OSCE-ODIHR) presented a proposal, which had received the support of the Slovenian OSCE chairmanship, to organise a Conference on Roma Issues in 2005, probably between 11 and 16 April 2005. Mr. Gheorghe called for a joint OSCE-Council of Europe proposal using the model of the 1994 OSCE/CoE Conference in Warsaw.

      Some participants expressed their doubts about the impact of such a Conference and considered that the format of the 1994 conference might be old-fashioned. The Chair (Mr. Mirga) warned about the illusion of perfect co-ordination at international level on Roma issues, as it has its limits. He stated that he would rather focus on resources and political will.

X. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEXT MEETING

      Date and place

      Both Mr. Grygorichenko (Ukraine) and Mr. Dînca (Romania) offered to host a meeting of the Group in their respective countries in 2005. Sweden was proposed by Mrs Post (IRWN), while the Chair reiterated the proposal to have an MG-S-ROM meeting in Germany. The Secretariat pointed out that it might be interesting to go to Spain, since this country is currently in the process of drafting a new national programme for Roma.

      The Group welcomed the Ukrainian and Romanian offers and postponed the decision regarding the venue of its autumn session to its next meeting to be held in Strasbourg at the end of March or in early April 200511.

      The Group is invited to propose names of Roma and Traveller representatives and/or experts to be invited at the next meeting. The decision will be taken by the Chair and the Vice-Chair of the Group, pending items on the agenda.


LIST OF APPENDICES TO THE MEETING REPORT OF THE 18tH MG-s-ROM MEETING

Appendix 1: Report of the field visit in the Romani settlement of Chminianske Jakubovany and in the Romani housing estate of Stará Tehel’ňa in Prešov (Sunday, 21 November 2004) – prepared by the Secretariat

Appendix 2: Report of the public hearing on progress made towards solving the Roma issues in Slovakia (22 November 2004) – prepared by Mr. Peter Drál’, Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities

Appendix 3: Council of Europe Recommendation Rec. CM(2004)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Movement and Encampment of Travellers in Europe, adopted at the 907th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies on 1 December

Appendix 4: Current DRAFT recommendation on Improving the Housing Conditions for Roma and Travellers in Europe adopted by the Ministers’ Deputies Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) on 18 January 2005, following amendments by the British, Irish and Slovak delegations.

Appendix 5: Proposed REVISED terms of reference of the MG-S-ROM, following decisions taken by the Group at its 18th meeting in Prešov, Slovakia

Appendix 6: Agenda of the 18th MG-S-ROM meeting in Prešov, Slovakia

Appendix 7: Final list of participants.

Appendix 1:

Report of the field visit in the Romani settlement of Chminianske Jakubovany and in the Romani housing estate of Stará Tehel’ňa in Prešov (Sunday, 21 November 2004) -
Prepared by the Secretariat

The Group met with Mrs Milka Ivanková, Mayor of Chminianske Jakuvovany who explained that:

    - The municipality is the owner of two cemeteries, the municipal office and a few houses in the village. The rest of the land belongs to private owners. About 1,700 persons live in the village, a majority of them being Roma.
    - The reputation of it being a “rejected village” is not true and there is no opposition between the village itself and the Romani settlement.
    - Originally, there were three Roma families when the village was created but over the last ten years, the Roma population has considerably increased. It is not unusual for Roma girls to have their first child at the age of 15.
    - Since 1997 the process of registration of land is under way. By next September the registration of land from the village should be completed, which would then allow the municipality to build social housing. The Mayor expects to increase the ownership of land of the municipality in the near future if the State gives the non-registered land to the municipality (the Roma said to the Group that the Mayor has had the same intentions for the past ten years).
    - This was her third mandate as Mayor and she was also elected by Roma. There are only two municipal officials. The municipal council is composed of nine persons, six of whom are Roma.
    - Solving the Roma issues is a state-wide issue and not just a local one.

The Romani settlement is located three kilometres away from the village. There are 1,292 inhabitants in this settlement (about 200 of which are not registered as citizens of this village). There are two types of accommodation:

    - 30 houses (9 are legal; 21 are illegal: altogether 437 inhabitants live in this type of accommodation);
    - 130 huts (855 inhabitants).

The Mayor of Chminianske Jakuvovany is responsible for all Roma inhabitants of the settlement, despite the fact that the Romani settlement is located at the crossroads of three different municipalities. In other parts of the settlement, some Roma who have their houses located on the land of other municipalities were given the right to property and are therefore the owners of their homes. In the part belonging to the Chminianske Jakuvovany municipality however, the houses are illegal since the land belongs to private owners in the village. Members of the Group wondered whether the Roma could cultivate this land as this was not their property. In the Mayor’s opinion, the possibility exists but there is no interest in such kind of work from the Roma.

The settlement is located in a hazardous area as a river is located nearby and there are often floods. It is in a valley surrounded by hills where the Roma are cutting down trees (in fact the Group saw cut down trees brought back by children), which further increases the risks of flooding.

As regards facilities, this Romani settlement has no water sewage and no toilets. The settlement has electricity except for those wo have been cut off, because they did not pay their bills. There is public lighting. There is public transport available with a bus stop located in front of the settlement. Most of the “houses” are barracks (huts). According to the municipality, there are five wells (three of them were built next to Roma families’ huts, and two have been built this year in habitats “v Jarku” and “pri Kríži”). The Roma said that there was once a well which has since been closed due to its polluted water. Another well was constructed by the municipality but “destroyed by a drunk man from the settlement”.

Most Roma families receive social benefits (about 4,500-5,000 SKK per family).

All Roma adults from the settlement are unemployed. About 100 of them participate in “activation programmes”, which is a measure introduced by the reform of the welfare system (a participant has to work ten hours a week for the benefit of the municipality to obtain an extra 1,500 SKK in social benefits).

Some Roma said that no doctors visit the settlement. According to the Mayor’s information, Doctor Žonca always comes to the settlement when it is necessary. In case of emergency, Roma need to go to the hospital which is located in the nearest town. Some of the settlement’s women state they have been sterilised. One woman said she was sterilised voluntarily (after giving birth to five children) and received some money in exchange, with which she bought a TV and some furniture. In hospital, Roma are usually placed in separate rooms as the majority of the population does not want to be in the same rooms with the Roma.

There is problem of drug abuse in the Romani settlement but obviously they are only soft drugs.

In the municipality there is a kindergarten (with 17 Roma children and 8 non-Roma) and a special school for Roma (296 children). There are two teachers working in the kindergarten (for 25 children) but their salaries are not guaranteed for the full school year. There are 630 children in total in the Romani settlement.

Most of the Roma children attend the special school in the village. Only 12 Roma children go to the “normal” school located in the nearest town as other children do. According to the municipal authorities and teachers, it is the free choice of their parents to send their children to special schools. The children indeed do not have to provide textbooks, pens, etc. in the special school as the teachers provide this material thanks to donations. They also do not need to do homework. There are Roma school assistants working in the school, but the teachers complain that the assistants have no formal education.

The teachers justify the need for special schools as Roma children do not have all the “tools” to follow “normal” classes. The curriculum is adapted for children attending special schools; one example is that children learn only 11 letters of the alphabet in the first year, instead of the whole alphabet. Since there are too many children, a system of shifts has been introduced in schools (half of the children attend in the morning, the other half in the afternoon – instead of school only in the morning as usual).

The most capable children go on to attend vocational schools. About 62 children attended vocational schools but only seven eventually obtained their diploma. Many of them drop out of school, often due to early marriages. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities offer scholarships to Roma children to attend vocational schools.

The qualification of teachers is higher than in normal schools. The teachers said they are very much dedicated to their job, and could find a better job easily elsewhere if they wished.

Important issues and concerns were raised by the Group:

HOUSING: the recent proposal from the Ministry of Reconstruction and Regional Development to modify the procedure for housing projects should be withdrawn: indeed, originally the state should have covered 80% of the costs, and the remaining 20% should have been covered by labour from beneficiaries. The new proposal reduced the state share from 80 to 70% and the 10% difference should be covered by local authorities. This has two negative consequences:
- for political reasons (re-election), local authorities are usually not willing to spend money for Roma projects; the co-financing can become a pretext not to build the social housing for Roma (to hide the real lack of will to do so);
- many municipalities do not have enough money to cover the 10% for housing projects, especially if many units (houses) need to be built.

The Group did not receive any concrete answer as regards the selection criteria which will be adopted for the beneficiaries of the future social flats. An early decision on this issue would ensure that there are no further delays when the official decision on the ownership of land will be adopted. Any decision should be taken in close consultation with the Roma communities and their representatives in the municipal council.

HEALTH: the Group noted that a project - funded by outside donors - was run by the municipality to improve health awareness among the Roma community, in particular about reproductive rights (which included distribution of condoms). However, the Group felt that this programme did not last long enough to achieve sustainable long-term results.

EDUCATION: the Group expressed great concerns about the practice of special schools. The Group considers this is to be a discriminatory practice, which prevents children from benefiting from equal opportunities in the field of education and, in the long run, in the field of employment. The Group recommends that the authorities and the teachers include Roma children in the “normal” schooling system. Material assistance (textbooks, free meals, etc.) could be also delivered in the normal schools. Pre-school education should be developed for these children to prepare them to enter the “normal school” and other preparatory measures will be needed.

EMPLOYMENT: the Group is concerned that the Roma community who has been living illegally for a decade does not have the possibility of cultivating some areas of land. The Group encourages the municipality and private owners to study possible temporary solutions in this respect.

PREJUDICES: a whole debate emerged when the Roma community of Chminianske Jakuvovany was described as being a special Roma community, which is historically isolated from other Roma communities because they are “eating (dead) dogs” (they are called “Degeše Roma”). The local authorities underlined the way the Roma find these dogs: “they scrounge them off their owners”. This point was considered by the Group as a stereotype, which probably originated a long time ago. It has been generalised to the whole group and has now become a permanent prejudice against this group that is used to legitimise exclusion from the rest of society.

    § Field visit in Romani housing estate Stará Tehel’ňa in Prešov

The Romani housing estate Stará Tehel’ňa is located in Prešov, the third largest city in Slovakia in terms of population. This estate is isolated from the rest of the city. The nearest school is seven kilometres away and there is no public transport to bring Romani children to school.

The land and the flats belong to the municipality.

About 2,000 persons (186 families) are temporarily staying in this estate, 95% are Roma and 99% of this population are unemployed, though some of the Roma present have university degrees, secondary school diplomas or working experience. Some Roma attending the meeting said that they work as musicians in Germany and other EU member states.

Roma families live in this estate because they could not afford to pay the rent in their previous accommodation and so built up debts. Some inhabitants of this estate are also families who used to pay their rent but were evicted from previous housing by private companies or by the municipality itself.

The Group met in a community centre (used as a kindergarten) with Mgr. Peter Németh, representing the Belgium Red Cross and with the Head of the Housing Department of Prešov Town Office.

Mr. Peter Németh stated that:

    - The Belgian Government financed a two-year community development project aimed at providing assistance regarding health, education and social issues. The Project staff provide medical counselling, advise how to keep the apartments clean, and also provide education in kindergarten, pre-school and elementary school assistance and help Roma who want to continue their studies in secondary school or at university.
    - The same project is being implemented in other European countries (Serbia, Romania, etc.).
    - The project is supported by the municipality and the Regional Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities.
    - Most of the Roma living in this housing estate are literate: they can read and sign documents and have a good knowledge of the Slovak language. However, not many of them finished the second year of secondary school.
    - One Roma student entered university and is now in his 3rd year university. At least three other Roma followed this positive example and entered university.
    - Many young adults do not go to school but stay at home as this increases the social benefits for the family (a Roma inhabitant mentioned that he receives 1,400 SKK as social benefits while his monthly rent costs 1,700 SKK).
    - The families living in these flats do not have enough money to buy food or furniture if they pay the rent.

The project of the Croix Rouge Belgique was criticised by the Roma inhabitants of the housing estate as it does not respond to their most urgent needs. Somebody from the Group noted that the project failed in one of its objectives, which was to “reduce potential tension between the majority of society and the Roma community”.

The tensions have indeed recently increased among inhabitants and the local authorities due to the fact that some contracts have been terminated and others are also to be ended. A woman with twelve children was already evicted. She is now staying in the cellar. A question was raised by the Group as to whether this woman and her children could end up on the street, and if so whether her children could be taken away from her by social services. The response from the representative of the municipality was that this would be a decision from the social services concerned, but that this might happen. Six other eviction procedures are pending at the Court. Some Roma said that they proposed to pay the debts of these families but this was refused by the Municipality. It was also reported that flats from evicted Roma are given to non-Roma who were not able to pay their rent in previous accommodation.

The Municipality has now entrusted a private company to deal with the collection and non-payment of the rents. This company was created and is 100% owned by the Municipality. Mrs. Hrustičová, the representative of the Housing Department of the Prešov municipality, said that the decisions to evict families were Court decisions and could not be contested by the Municipality.

Furthermore, Mrs. Hrustičová informed the Group that following a Directive of the Ministry of Reconstruction and Regional Development, the cost to rent social flats corresponds to 5% of the price of the flat. The Municipality of Prešov reduced this percentage to 1,45% of the price of the flat, i.e. 500 SKK per month.

Figures provided for the monthly rent of the flats ranged from 500 SKK to 1,700 SKK. The figure of 800 SKK provided by Mr. Németh does not include charges (electricity, heating, etc.). No clear figures could be given by the representative of the Housing Department of the Prešov municipality12.

    - The contract for the rent was specified for a certain period of time (three years). At present, 42 out of 68 contracts were renewed for families that used to pay their rents and have no debts.
    - People are given three months notice that they will be evicted from their flats.

In Slovakia, evictions can take place in winter (unlike in France for example). There appears to be no definition of social housing in the Slovak legislation. Additionally in Slovakia, there is no free legal assistance available for poor persons provided by the State.

In case of an appeal, the first decision is suspended by the state. However, Roma do not have confidence in the procedures and do not appeal against decisions.

It was also reported that the payment of social benefits is made in three instalments which creates problems since the first instalment is not sufficient to pay the rent for the whole month.

Important issues and concerns were raised by the Group:

HOUSING: the Group welcomed the generous offer of the municipality to provide accommodation in the new housing estate and took note that this decision was initially for families (most of them being Roma families) that were not able to pay their rent in previous accommodations. The Group underlined certain contradictions with the recent policy of evictions, since the financial situation of certain Roma families could not improve over the last three years in the absence of a policy aimed at providing job opportunities or vocational trainings for the benefeciaries of this housing estate. In addition, the Group took note that the responsibilities between state and local authorities regarding homeless persons are not clear (at least from the discussion the Group has had in the housing estate).

DISCRIMINATION: the Group welcomes the recent adoption of an anti-discrimination legislation in the Slovak Republic (adopted in May 2004, the legislation entered into force on 1 July 2004). It encouraged authorities to ensure that this new legislation is well implemented at national and local level.

EMPLOYMENT: the Group is concerned that no job opportunities were given to the Romani population living in this housing estate, which would have enabled the families to pay their rent.

JUSTICE: the Group is concerned that there is no legal assistance provided by the state for poor people, which seems in contradiction with international legislation (Article 6 of the European Court of Human Rights).

COMMUNITY PROJECTS: The Group is concerned that some community projects are not well targeted and do not respond to the needs of the population. They should be adapted to the local situation (and not simply duplicated in other countries). The projects should be regularly monitored to check whether they meet the needs and objectives.

Appendix 2:

Report of the public hearing for the MG-S-ROM on the progress of solving the Roma issues in Slovakia
Rapporteur: Mr. Peter Drál’, Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities

Hearing organized by: The Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Location: Prešov, Slovak Republic
Date: November 22, 2004

After the welcoming speech handled by the Chair of the Hearing, Mr. Krizansky, the Mayor of the City of Prešov, Mr. Benč addressed the meeting providing basic information about the history and present situation of the city of Prešov and the region. By the end of his speech Mr. Mayor briefly outlined the programme focused on Roma community and problems with their implementation.

The Spokesperson of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities, Mr. Urmanic, delivered a speech of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Pal Csaky, in which he emphasized the multi-ethnic character of Slovakia. He contended that the integration of all the minorities is a crucial pre-condition for the full integration of the country into the expanding Europe. In regard to the Roma community, he highlighted the specific situation of this minority as being connected with the problem of extreme poverty. Therefore the main tasks to be addressed are the improvement of education, employment, housing, health care and other sectors of public policy, as specified in the priorities of the Roma policy of the current government. One of the most effective pre-conditions to tackle all of these complex problems is to employ temporary affirmative action. This should not and does not, in fact, lead to positive discrimination in the sense of securing certain advantageous position for some groups – it only means providing equal opportunities in practice. Mr. Urmanic simultaneously informed the participants about the measures taken by the Slovak government to cope with these issues.

The Chair of the MG-S-ROM, Mr. Mirga, made introductory remarks about the group of experts, its inter-governmental character, co-operation with other European organisations (EU, OSCE) and about the main outcomes of its work in the form of recommendations for the Committee of Ministers. Mr. Mirga also informed the participants about the field visit in the village of Chminianske Jakubovany and the settlement of Stara Tehelna. He compared the situation in both settlements to a vicious circle of life in the ghetto.

The Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities, Mrs. Orgovanova, in her opening speech drew some similarities in living conditions of the Roma throughout Europe. She pointed out that the process of creating the Office of the Plenipotentiary was one of the political criteria for the integration of Slovakia into the EU which, according to her, marked the position and opportunities of the Office to deal with the Roma issues. Considering the temporary affirmative action, Mrs. Orgovanova stressed its harmony with the Slovak Constitution and all international treaties and covenants. Its philosophy was to take into consideration the REAL condition, not the legislative status quo, of highly disadvantaged groups in comparison to the majority population. By the end of her speech, Mrs. Orgovanova outlined the adopted priorities of the Office and its co-ordinatory work for the sectoral policies.

In further discussion, the Chair of the Roma Parliament, Mr. Fizik, emphasized the persistent problems in regard to the Roma community and especially the lack of historical recognition for the Roma for all the cruelties and unjust treatment carried out throughout history. Mr. Fizik questioned the effectiveness of the activities developed by the MG-S-ROM, as well as the conduct of the sociographic mapping of the Roma settlements.

In reaction to Mr. Fizik, Mr. Mirga explained that the MG-S-ROM draft recommendations are not a biding documents and that there is always a need for political will and necessary resources to implement those recommendations into practice. Mrs. Orgovanova emphasized that the main reason for conducting the mapping was to gain the information needed for the specification of the costs for solving the problems of the Roma.

Mr. Phillips informed that special and concrete measures meeting the possibility of adjusting the unjust treatment in the past are already settled in international law. Additionally, he raised the issue of mechanisms to include the Roma in tackling the issues, as well as the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

In response to Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Orgovanova informed the participants about the system of monitoring as exemplified by the evaluation process conducted by the relevant ministries. In addition, the international project of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, in which Slovakia participates, contains the National Action Plans in which goals, targets and indicators are clearly specified.

Mrs. Post expressed her frustration from the field visit and asked for more information about the investigation of sterilisation, cuts in social benefits and enrolment of the Roma children in special schools which she considers one of the highest levels of social exclusion.

Reacting on the cuts in social benefits, Mr. Kanka from the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family informed the participants about the report on the impact of the social reform. He further stressed the implementation of the principle of self-motivation and responsibility in the adopted social reform and stated that in Slovakia it was made desirable to get employed. Mr. Mirga opposed the previous view arguing that the REAL unemployment rate is higher than the reported one and that the logic of self-motivation does not work in practice.

Mrs. Kasarova from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the raised issue of sterilisation. She assured the delegates that the Slovak government monitored the problem with high attention, initiating the investigation of the crime of genocide, outcomes of which did not provide any evidence about the State commiting this crime. As a result of the discovered shortcomings of the health care system, the new Law on Medical Care employed the non-discriminatory access clause and it explicitly prohibited sterilization. Concluding, Mrs. Kasarova strongly emphasized that the reported, although not proved, practices were in no way adopted as a systematic policy of the Slovak government.

The plenary discussion on the Roma settlements and housing started with the presentation of Mr. Novak, the Director of the regional offices of the Office of the Plenipotentiary. He made general remarks about the double discrimination: 1. long-term, characterized by a lower level of education and employment preparedness of the Roma ; and 2. current, due to the change in the structure of the labour market. He mentioned the impact of the recent social system reform on the marginalized groups, which causes further fall in the social status of the Roma.

Mr. Sebesta, the Director of the Section of Analysis at the Office of the Plenipotentiary, introduced the methodological aspects of the conducted sociographic mapping that focused on the Roma settlements, not people (so that the right to choose one´s own ethnicity was not breached). He informed the audience about the rates of the integrated, separated and segregated Roma populations and about its access to the basic infrastructure.

Mr. Cvacho, from the Ministry of the Building and Regional Development, informed the participants about the complex housing strategy and contended that no European state has so far successfully coped with the housing situation of the Roma people. He elaborated on the supportive measures provided by the Slovak Republic and informed the participants that social living is defined as any living guaranteed by the state. In Slovakia this is interpreted as accessible rental housing. Subsidies from the state are provided if the rental payments do not exceed 5 percent of the price of the housing. Furthermore, the intensity of building in Slovakia is comparable to other countries undergoing economic transformation. On a final note, Mr. Cvacho assured that the lower standard housing meets all the standards for adequate living.

In reaction to Mr. Cvacho, Mr. Mirga talked about two possible standpoints: 1. the better the economy the better the housing conditions, 2. capitalism with the human face – social justice. He considers the second approach as being more adequate for the Roma communities.

Mrs. Petrášova contributed to the discussion introducing the Long-term Conception of Housing for the Marginalized Groups and the Model of Its Financing. This differentiates suburban concentrations that require complete reconstruction and territorially separated and segregated Roma settlements where new housing units are needed. Unsettled legal ownership of the land and lack of financial resources are perceived as one of the major obstacles for the progress in the field.

Mr. Makatura, the Mayor of the village of Mala Domasa, addressed the audience with one concrete and positive example of how the situation in housing may be improved if there is the necessary will to do so. He also started with the problems of financial needs not being met, building documentation requirements, inter-connectedness of housing and employment. However, according to Mr. Makatura, all of this can be solved by quite easily adoptable administrative measures, however, if local public opinion is not favorable, it is almost imposible to change anything.

In the further debate Mrs. Balážová raised again the question of sterilization and the effectiveness of its monitoring. In response, Mrs. Kotvanová from the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, informed the participants about the monitoring of discrimination conducted by her organisation, as well as about the possibility of providing legal assistance.

Reacting towards the appeals about the unpleasant employability of the Roma, Mr. Kaňka mentioned Article 13 of the Labour Code which explicitly prohibits discrimination and also talked about the monitoring body at the Ministry. He also clarified that the cuts in social benefits were a response to the prevalent problem of usury within the Roma communities. The institute of special receiver of the social benefits may solve the problem, as well as the ongoing project of community social workers in the Roma communities.

The priority of education was introduced by the speech delivered by Mr. Zeman from the Office of the Plenipotentiary. He elaborated on the financial support given towards talented individuals at the secondary schools and universities and mentioned the opening of the private secondary grammar school in the city Košice, the bilingual class in Bratislava and Gandhi school in the city of Zvolen. In regard to the legislature, the Ministry of Education adopted the idea of Roma teaching assistants. Experimental verification of the Roma curriculum is under way. The Language Commission created by the Plenipotentiary works to standardise the Romani language.

Mrs. Ondrášová from the Ministry of Education informed the participants about the Conception of Roma Children and Young People Integrated Education. The whole conception covers three basic levels: preparation of teachers and assistants, creation of textbooks and necessary educational devices and curricular transformation based on the individual approach and emphasizing the complex development of children. Mrs. Petrasova also mentioned the new system of scholarships adopted in order to support children accomplishing good results, as well as children from socially disadvantaged families. Another activity of the Ministry is the project of completion of the basic education for adults complemented with financial benefits.

In further discussion, Mrs. Končoková, the Director of the Open Wide School Foundation, presented the successes achieved and problems incurred in implementing the educational legislature in practice. Mr. Keller raised a set of questions concerning education and legal practices towards Roma. In response, Mrs. Orgovánová mentioned the adoption of anti-discrimination legislation in Slovakia, the existing institute of legal assistance for people unable to afford the regular one and the project of mediation and probation service starting in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.

Mr. Mirga appreciated the work that has been already done in concrete schools, however, he expressed his concerns with the implementation of the educational projects on the nationwide level. Mrs. Ondrášová emphasized the difference between special schools for the mentally challenged and other special schools, and also talked about the past difficulties experienced in regard to the lack of diagnostic procedures that would take the specificity of Roma children into consideration. Currently, there exists the procedure that is responsive to these needs and is applicable for the children from socially disadvantaged environments. Mr. Mirga pointed out that, even if the territorial segregation may well be eradicated, there still exists segregation within the schools in the enrolment of children in classes. In addition, Slovak representatives of the integrated schools raised the problem of the general lowering of the level of education if the special schools are to be closed.

At the end of the Public Hearing, Mrs. Post on behalf of Mr. Kawcinsky, the President ad interim of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, informed the Slovak participants about the establishment of the Forum, its main goals and composition as well as the cooperation with the organs of the Council of Europe.

Appendix 3:

      COUNCIL OF EUROPE
      COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
      Recommendation Rec(2004)14
      of the Committee of Ministers to member states
      on the movement and encampment of Travellers in Europe

      (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 1 December 2004,
      at the 907th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies
      )

      The Committee of Ministers, in accordance with Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
      Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members and that this aim can be pursued, in particular, by means of joint action in the field of social cohesion;
      Convinced that Roma/Gypsies and Travellers contribute to European culture and values in the same way as the other peoples of Europe, and noting that, despite this contribution, they are victims of discrimination in all areas of life;
      Considering that those among the Roma/Gypsy and Traveller communities who wish to continue to lead a traditional nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle should have the opportunity, in law and in practice, to do so, by virtue of the freedom of movement and settlement guaranteed to all citizens of member states and the right to preserve and develop specific cultural identities;
      Considering, also, that in order to allow Travellers to exercise their right to move and set up camp, a coordinated, coherent system of legal safeguards for their freedom of movement is necessary;
      Recognising that policies for dealing with movement and encampment problems should be part of a coherent policy for improving the living conditions of Roma/Gypsies and Travellers;
      Bearing in mind the 1961 European Social Charter of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 35), the 1988 Additional Protocol (ETS No. 128) to it and the 1996 Revised European Social Charter (ETS No. 163);
      Bearing in mind the provisions of the 1981 Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108);
      Taking account of the 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ETS No. 157);
      Bearing in mind its Recommendation No. R (2000) 4 on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe, and its Recommendation Rec(2001)17 on improving the economic and employment situation of Roma/Gypsies and Travellers in Europe;
      Bearing in mind Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 563 (1969) and 1203 (1993), which are concerned with the living conditions of Roma/Gypsies and Travellers in Europe, and Parliamentary Recommendation 1557 (2002) on the legal situation of the Roma in Europe;
      Bearing in mind Resolutions 125 (1981), 16 (1995) and 249 (1993) and Recommendation 11 (1995) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe concerning the situation of Roma/Gypsies in Europe;
      Bearing in mind General Policy Recommendation No. 3 of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on combating racism and intolerance against Roma/Gypsies;
      Bearing in mind European Union Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 on the implementation of the principle of equality of treatment between individuals without distinction of race or ethnic origin;
      Considering that member states' regulation applying to the entry and residence of non-citizens shall remain unaffected by the guiding principles of this Recommendation;
      Bearing in mind that the constitutional structures, legal traditions, and the division of responsibilities differ in Council of Europe member states, which may lead to various ways of implementing the present Recommendation,
      Recommends that, when devising, implementing and monitoring policies concerning the movement and encampment of Travellers, the governments of member states:
      – take as their basis the principles appended to this Recommendation;
      – bring this Recommendation to the attention of the national, regional and local public authorities concerned through the appropriate channels.

      Appendix to Recommendation Rec(2004)14
      I. Scope
      1. The present text covers those Travellers, Roma, Sinti, Yenish and other related groups in member states who have traditionally a nomadic or semi-nomadic life-style and who are citizens of those states or legally residing in these countries. For the sake of convenience the term “Travellers” will be used in this Recommendation.
      II. Definitions
      2. The term “Travellers” covers the populations referred to under paragraph 1; in the French version, the term “Gens du voyage” was preferred to “Voyageurs” although the latter is used in some countries.
      3. The term “encampment area” denotes any place reserved or set up especially for the encampment of Travellers; the term “site” means any site used by Travellers for their encampment; it includes encampment areas, traditional encampment sites and occasional sites.
      4. The term “encampment” denotes a prolonged stay of the Travellers, their families and their “mobile homes” in an area.
      5. The term “traditional encampment areas” is defined as those areas habitually used by Travellers for their encampment. As regards semi-nomadic Travellers, encampment areas refer to areas where Travellers go to set up their winter residence (for a maximum period of about six months). Short-stay areas are those where Travellers stop for a few days or a few weeks during the period when they exercise an itinerant life-style (for a maximum period of about one month).
      6. The term “mobile home” means any enclosed space serving as lodging for Travellers, which can be towed.
      7. “Minimum facilities” include water supply, connection to the electricity network, sanitary facilities and a rubbish bin.
      III. General principles
      Member states should:
      8. guarantee equal rights on individual Travellers, particularly in respect of the following: ownership rights and social benefits equal to persons who are sedentary/settled, fair and proportionate rent and land occupation charges;
      9. ensure equal access for Travellers to social, cultural and economic services;
      10. encourage the use of an official internet site hosting a range of public services in order to facilitate exchanges between Travellers and administrations: revenue declarations, civil status declaration, requests for social benefits, etc. Member states should furthermore support Travellers' organisations so that they can advise and assist their members, and thus facilitate exchanges between Travellers and administration;
      11. promote information and awareness campaigns for: 1) Travellers, with regard to their rights and duties and 2) the sedentary population, so that it comes to know more about the lifestyle and culture of Travellers and lets go of its prejudices and stereotypes with regard to this community; the communities concerned should be actively involved in organising such information campaigns;
      12. give Travellers' mobile homes or, where relevant, the place of residence to which the Traveller is linked, the same substantial rights as those attached to a fixed abode, particularly in legal and social matters;
      13. encourage the signing of quality contracts or charters between local authorities and Travellers, on the basis of the mutual interests of the parties involved;
      IV. Application and implementation
      Member states should:
      A. Travellers' freedom of movement
      14. in the case of circulating on the national territory, refrain from requiring of national Travellers documents other than ordinary-law identity papers and/or documents authorising an itinerant economic activity (hawker's professional card) in countries in which such papers are required;
      B. Establishment of Travellers' official place of residence
      15. ensure that the place of residence to which the Traveller is linked is indicated on ordinary-law identity papers in the countries in which these are required and are necessary for access to other rights;
      16. allow Travellers to have their official place of residence at the address of an individual or association;
      17. refrain from setting up, on the basis of the above-mentioned indications concerning the official place of residence, files that make it possible to identify the person concerned as a nomad;
      18. allow free choice of official place of residence for nationals when it is compulsory to establish such residence;
      19. widely disseminate novel good practices as regards establishment of an official place of residence;
      C. Facilities for Travellers
      20. recognise the right of encampment for Travellers;
      21. provide areas where Travellers can stop over and stay and set up camp for longer periods than usual in consultation with Travellers and taking their needs into account;
      22. when selecting such areas, take account of Travellers' traditional encampment sites;
      23. ensure that these areas:
      i. are equipped with minimum facilities, in particular sanitation;
      ii. are sufficient in number, taking into account the demographic trends among the families concerned, and their location in zones suited to the frequency of use of Travellers;
      iii. are signposted by means of a European traffic pictogram;
      24. set aside suitable areas for large gatherings and/or foreign Travellers passing through;
      25. encourage a number of options with regard to encampment sites, and, in particular, that members of a group who are no longer mobile, because of their age or state of health, can stay all the year round on encampment areas where their families could join them when they want to make a stop;
      26. set up a body to monitor and assess the establishment and operation of encampment sites and short-stay areas; such body should be able to ensure that needs are regularly assessed and provide information as to the sites' locations and facilities. The authorities should ensure that Travellers are fully involved in the work of such a body;
      27. provide Travellers with information on how to buy private plots of land and how these may be used;
      D. Specific provision for the exercise of Travellers' right of encampment
      28. provide for the right of encampment in their domestic legal system in instruments that are legally binding, treating it in the same way as the right to decent housing;
      29. in line with the autonomy of territorial units, use a control and incentive mechanism so that local authorities fulfil their obligation to provide encampment areas; if necessary, give a higher authority the power to take over when local authorities do not fulfil this obligation;
      30. Member states should establish a legal framework that conforms with international human rights standards, to ensure effective protection against unlawful forced and collective evictions and to control strictly the circumstances in which legal evictions may be carried out. In the case of lawful evictions, Roma must be provided with appropriate alternative accommodation if needed, except in cases of force majeure. Legislation should also strictly define the procedures for legal eviction, and such legislation should comply with international human rights standards and principles, including those articulated in General Comment No. 7 on forced evictions of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights. Such measures shall include consultation with the community or individual concerned, reasonable notice, provision of information, a guarantee that the eviction will be carried out in a reasonable manner, effective legal remedies and free or low cost legal assistance for destitute victims. The alternative housing should not result in further segregation;
      31. in countries, which do not differentiate between encampment areas and short-stay areas, set a time-limit to the length of stay on sites so as to prevent them being transformed into a zone of exclusion as a result of their users becoming sedentary on the spot; allow the rotation of Travellers between the sites while refraining from setting a maximum authorised length of stay that is shorter than the longest school period between two periods of school holidays and offering those who wish to become sedentary alternatives to settling on existing sites;
      32. authorise Travellers' associations to assert the rights of individual Travellers before the competent courts in the event of expulsions, as defendant, or plaintiff and at all stages of the procedure;
      33. make statutory provisions for appeal against decisions banning access to certain sites or prohibiting encampment;
      34. define as part of a Traveller's caravan, and therefore of his or her place of residence, an area bound by a perimeter of a few metres around the caravan.

Appendix 4:

Recommendation Rec(2005)…
of the Committee of Ministers to member sates
on improving the housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in Europe

(might be adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 23 February 2005
at the 916th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between its members and that this aim can be pursued, in particular, by joint action in the field of social cohesion;

Recognising that Roma/Gypsies and Travellers have been contributing to European culture and values, just as other European people, and recognising that despite this asset, Roma/Gypsies and Travellers have been experiencing widespread discrimination in all areas of life;

Recognising that there is an urgent need to develop new strategies to improve the living conditions of the Roma/Gypsy and Traveller communities all over Europe in order to ensure that they have equality of opportunities in areas such as civic and political participation, as well as developmental sectors, such as housing, education, employment and health;

Bearing in mind that policies aimed at addressing the problems faced by Roma/Gypsies and Travellers in the field of housing should be comprehensive, based on an acknowledgement that the issue of housing for Roma/Gypsies and Travellers has an impact on a wide range of other elements, namely the economic, educational, social and cultural aspects of their lives, and the fight against racism and discrimination;

Bearing in mind the under-used potential of Roma/Gypsy and Traveller communities and their capacity to contribute to the improvement of their own situation, especially in the field of housing;

Bearing in mind that some member states do not have, or do not implement, a clearly defined national housing-related legislation, addressing various practices such as housing discrimination, discriminatory harassment in housing, discriminatory boycotts, ghettoisation, racial and residential segregation, and other forms of discrimination against nomadic and semi-nomadic Roma/Gypsies and Travellers, as well as unequal housing conditions and access to housing, such as social housing, public housing, do-it-yourself housing and cooperative housing;

Recalling the relevant international documents in the area of housing, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25.1), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11.1), the United Nations Habitat Agenda (adopted in Istanbul in 1996), and the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium (adopted by the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, in New York, 6 - 8 June 2001), the Council of Europe’s European Social Charter of 1961 (ETS No. 35) (Article 16), its additional Protocol of 1988 (ETS No. 128) (Article 4), and the Revised European Social Charter of 1996 (ETS No. 163) (Article 31);

Taking into account the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ETS No. 157);

Bearing in mind its Recommendation No. R (2000) 4 on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe and its Recommendation(2001)17 on improving the economic and employment situation of Roma/Gypsies and Travellers in Europe;

Bearing in mind Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 563 (1969) and 1203 (1993) in which mention is made of the living conditions of Roma/Gypsies in Europe;

Bearing in mind Resolutions 125 (1981), 16 (1995) and 249 (1993) and Recommendation11 (1995) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on the situation of Roma/Gypsies in Europe;

Bearing in mind General Policy Recommendation No. 3 of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on combating racism and discrimination against Roma/Gypsies in Europe;

Having welcomed with satisfaction the Policy Guidelines on Access to Housing for Disadvantaged Categories of Persons prepared by the Group of Specialists on Access to Housing as well as Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation1505 (2001) on amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas in Europe;

Bearing in mind European Union Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin;

Bearing in mind that the constitutional structures, legal traditions, and the division of responsibilities differ in Council of Europe member states, which may lead to various ways of implementing the present Recommendation,

Recommends that, in designing, implementing and monitoring their housing policies, the governments of member states:

– be guided by the principles set out in the Appendix to this Recommendation;

– bring this Recommendation to the attention of the relevant public bodies in their respective countries through the appropriate national channels.

Appendix to Recommendation Rec(2005)…

I. Definitions

The term “Roma” used in the present text refers to Roma/Gypsies and Traveller communities and must be interpreted as covering the wide diversity of groups concerned.

“Housing” in this Recommendation includes different modes of accommodation, such as houses, caravans, mobile homes or halting sites.

The definition provided for by the United Nations Habitat Agenda for “adequate housing”, paragraph 60, should be borne in mind in the context of the present text: “Adequate shelter means more than a roof over one's head. It also means adequate privacy; adequate space; physical accessibility; adequate security; security of tenure; structural stability and durability; adequate lighting, heating and ventilation; adequate basic infrastructure, such as water-supply, sanitation and waste-management facilities; suitable environmental quality and health-related factors; and adequate and accessible location with regard to work and basic facilities: all of which should be available at an affordable cost”.

General Comment No. 4 on the right to adequate housing of United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should also be recalled here.

“Transit/halting sites” indicate sites to which Travellers are admitted, pending re-housing or further movement.

II. General principles

Integrated housing policies

1. Member states should ensure that, within the general framework of housing policies, integrated and appropriate housing policies targeting Roma are developed. Member states should also allocate appropriate means for the implementation of the mentioned policies in order to support national poverty reduction policies.

Principle of non-discrimination

2. Since Roma continue to be among the most disadvantaged population groups in Europe, national housing policies should seek to address their specific problems as a matter of emergency, and in a non-discriminatory way.

Freedom of choice of lifestyle

3. Member states should affirm the right of people to pursue sedentary or nomadic lifestyles, according to their own free choice. All conditions necessary to pursue these lifestyles should be made available to them by the national, regional and local authorities in accordance with the resources available and to the rights of others and within the legal framework relating to building, planning and access to private land.

Adequacy and affordability of housing

4. Member states should promote and protect the right to adequate housing for all, as well as ensure equal access to adequate housing for Roma through appropriate, proactive policies, particularly in the area of affordable housing and service delivery.

Prevention of exclusion and the creation of ghettos

5. In order to combat the creation of ghettos and segregation of Roma from the majority society, member states should prevent, prohibit and, when needed, revert any nationwide, regional, or local policies or initiatives aimed at ensuring that Roma settle or resettle in inappropriate sites and hazardous areas, or aimed at relegating them to such areas on account of their ethnicity.

Participation

6. Member states should, as appropriate, provide Roma communities and organisations with the means to participate in the process of conceiving, designing, implementing and monitoring policies and programmes aimed at improving their housing situation.

Partnership

7. Moreover, member states should encourage and promote empowerment and capacity-building on a wider basis among Roma communities by fostering partnerships at local, regional and national levels, as appropriate, in their policies aimed at addressing the housing problems facing Roma.

The member states should also ensure that members of the Roma communities are also actively involved in this process.

Coordination

8. Member states should ensure that proper coordination is provided in the field of housing between, on the one hand, the relevant national, regional and local authorities and, on the other, the Roma populations and organisations who represent the majority active in this field.

Role of regional and local authorities

9. Member states should encourage local authorities to meet their obligations with regard to Roma – in the same way as for any persons with the same legal status – in the area of housing. They should encourage regional and local authorities to ensure that area-based and local development strategies contain concrete and clearly specific sets of objectives targeting Roma communities and their housing needs.

III. Legal framework

Legal framework for housing rights

10. Member states should develop a comprehensive policy and legal framework related to housing, which is necessary for sedentary and itinerant people (in accordance with the geographical specificity) to exercise their right to adequate housing.

Legal framework for related rights

11. Within this framework, member states should develop mechanisms with a view to ensuring the access of Roma to related rights, such as water supply, electricity and other forms of relevant infrastructure, such as education, medical care, social support, etc., as enshrined and articulated in international human rights laws and related standards.

Implementation of the legal framework

12. In order to provide equal access to housing, member states should ensure the implementation of the aforementioned legal framework and provide clear guidelines to the relevant authorities with regard to the exercise of housing rights. They should also provide clear guidelines for access to and distribution of housing and services.

The need for legal aid

13. Member states should make available to poor people free legal aid, advice and representation related to the denial of housing rights in order to ensure that their ability to protect their rights or seek effective remedy, including judicial redress against denial of housing rights, is not undermined by the lack of legal aid mechanisms.

Transparency, good governance and access to information

14. The legal system should ensure transparency and good governance, including the right of Roma to access information related to housing policies and decisions of national and local authorities likely to concern them.

Support to NGOs

15. Non-governmental Organisations involved in Roma issues, in particular in the fields of counselling and legal assistance, should be given fair conditions in which to perform their activities and effective support. Member states should also provide for the legal conditions to regulate NGOs’ activities in the field of housing.

Monitoring of housing policy implementation

16. Member states should establish appropriate monitoring mechanisms to ensure the implementation of housing policies and practices for Roma. Roma representatives should be involved on an equal footing in any monitoring and evaluation process.

Control mechanisms

17. In accordance with the autonomy of regional and local authorities, member states should make use of the legality control mechanism referred to in paragraph 22 to make sure that regional and local authorities’ decisions do not have discriminatory effects on Roma’s access to housing, or in any way impede the enjoyment of their right to adequate housing.

IV. Preventing and combating discrimination

Adopting anti-discrimination legislation

18. Comprehensive legislation should expressly prohibit direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin in employment and access to and supply of goods and services which are available to the public including, inter alia, housing, land, property, education, employment, health, social services.

Monitoring and review of existing housing legislation

19. Member states, through their relevant authorities, should undertake a systematic review of their housing legislation, policies and practices and remove all provisions or administrative practices that result in direct or indirect discrimination against Roma, regardless of whether this results from action or inaction on the part of state or non-state actors. They should establish adequate mechanisms (for example, parliament, human rights commissions, ombudsmen, and so on) to ensure, and promote, compliance with anti-discrimination laws with regard to housing matters. Such mechanisms should allow for participation of Roma representatives and NGOs at all stages of monitoring.

Protection of the rights of Roma women

20. Member states should ensure that anti-discrimination laws prohibit gender-based discrimination, directly or indirectly, in the supply of goods and services, including housing. Member states should also foster housing policies addressing the needs of Roma women, and in particular single mothers, victims of domestic violence and other categories of disadvantaged Roma women; the relevant authorities should ensure that access to social housing is provided to them, taking into consideration their urgent needs. Member states should create mechanisms that protect women’s housing rights from any form of violation.

Preventing segregation in environmentally hazardous areas

21. Member states should take measures to combat any forms of segregation on racial grounds in environmentally hazardous areas. This includes investing in the development of safe locations and taking steps to ensure that Roma communities have practical and affordable housing alternatives, so as to discourage settlements in, near or on hazardous areas.

Providing effective sanctions

      22. Member states should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions on the institutions, agencies, public officials and private persons who violate anti-discrimination laws with regard to housing. Existing remedies should be accessible and well-publicised and appropriate remedies should be available for victims.

V. Protection and improvement of existing housing

Security of land, housing and property tenure

23. Member states, bearing in mind that the right to housing is a basic human right, should ensure that Roma are protected against unlawful eviction, harassment and other threats regardless of where they are residing.

Legalisation of Roma settlements and encampments

24. The public authorities should make every effort to resolve the undefined legal status of Roma settlements as a precondition for further improvements. Where Roma camp illegally, public authorities should use a proportionate response. This may be through negotiation or the use of legal action. However, they should seek, where possible, solutions, which are acceptable for all parties in order to avoid Roma from being excluded from access to services and amenities to which they are entitled as citizens of the state where they live.

Access to property

25. Member states, through their relevant authorities, should ensure equal opportunity for Roma to acquire the ownership of the land on which they currently live, and an access to the information on the possibilities of doing so. Adequate alternatives should be provided in situations where this is not possible.

Legal protection from unlawful evictions and the procedure for legal evictions

26. Member states should establish a legal framework that conforms with international human rights standards, to ensure effective protection against unlawful forced and collective evictions and to control strictly the circumstances in which legal evictions may be carried out. In the case of lawful evictions, Roma must be provided with appropriate alternative accommodation, if needed, except in cases of force majeure. Legislation should also strictly define the procedures for legal eviction, and such legislation should comply with international human rights standards and principles, including those articulated in General Comment
No. 7 on forced evictions of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights. Such measures shall include consultation with the community or individual concerned, reasonable notice, provision of information, a guarantee that the eviction will be carried out in a reasonable manner, effective legal remedies and free or low cost legal assistance for the persons concerned. The alternative housing should not result in further segregation.

Provision of adequate services

27. Member states, through their relevant authorities, should provide the same adequate level of services to Roma settlements and camp sites as to other groups of the population, while keeping in mind the need for sustainable solutions. Moreover, authorities should be aware that, beyond the delivery of adequate services, they should act so as to improve the overall quality of life in Roma settlements and camp sites by promoting better management of daily life, that is: area-based administrative, commercial, social and sanitary services, public transportation, refuse disposal, the upkeep of public apartments, buildings or camp sites and their surroundings, adequate management of neighbourhood conflicts and of problems linked to non-payment of rents and services, and so on.

VI. Framework for housing policies

Policies to promote access to housing

28. The member states should make the improvement of Roma housing conditions one of their priority areas for action. They should promote equal opportunities for Roma as regards access to the private or public property markets, particularly through non-discriminatory policies and criteria for the allocation of housing, and through a legal and political framework that is consistent nationwide and is binding on local authorities, since they have prime responsibility for housing issues.

Comprehensive and integrated housing policies

29. Member states, taking into account the potentially synergetic links between housing policies and other socially-oriented policies concerning access to welfare, employment, health and education, should encourage public authorities, at all levels, to adopt comprehensive approaches and policies.

Participation in the preparation of housing policies

30. Roma should be involved as early as possible in the process of planning and setting up of their future settlement areas or permanent housing units, so as to assess as precisely as possible what their particular needs are, or will be, in the future. Member states should also ensure that Roma residing on their territory – whether sedentary, nomadic or semi-nomadic – are given an appropriate assistance to define their specific needs in terms of housing, as well as access to appropriate welfare and social services (health, education, employment, culture, and so on).

The need for adequate housing models

31. Bearing in mind the diversity of national, regional and local situations, member states should provide for adequate housing models, through national legislations, policies or strategies. Provision should also be made for Roma to be able to acquire their own accommodation by different means, forms and methods of access to housing, such as social housing, cooperatives, do-it-yourself housing, public housing, caravans and other innovative forms of housing. All the relevant elements to the housing models mentioned (financial, social and other) should be carefully defined.

Housing policy adapted to specific situations

32. Member states should develop and implement programmes and projects that are tailored to the specific situations of the diverse Roma communities. Such programmes and policies should include the building or development of the entire physical and social infrastructure that is needed for adequate and sustainable housing.

Providing equipped transit/halting sites

33. Member states should ensure that an adequate number of transit/halting sites are provided to nomadic and semi-nomadic Roma. These transit/halting sites should be adequately equipped with necessary facilities including water, electricity, sanitation and refuse collection. The physical borders or fences should not harm the dignity of the persons and their freedom of movement.

Access to health and sanitary services

34. Nomadic or semi-nomadic groups should be provided access to proper and adequate sanitary conditions as well as easier access to existing health infrastructures and services (especially in emergency situations, and as part of preventive health campaigns). Roma who are permanently and legally settled in derelict or unhealthy surroundings should receive assistance in order to improve the sanitary conditions of their homes (help for repairs, assistance in improving their living conditions and environment, measures to allow them better access to short-term loans for acquiring better housing, mediation in their relations with administrations or public services).

Role of regional and local authorities

35. Member states should make sure that local and regional authorities meet their obligations with regard to Roma, even when the latter do not reside permanently on a given territory. Local government agencies should be educated in the area of non-discrimination and should be held accountable by the state for discriminatory practices and policies in the field of housing.

International relief

36. When they are unable to carry out their obligations in the field of housing, member states should accept international relief assistance for the benefit of Roma. Member states should pay particular attention to international assistance projects or programmes so as to ensure a high level of cooperation, transparency and closer co-operation with local partners.

Awareness-raising

37. Member states should launch and encourage local authorities and Non-governmental Organisations active in the field of housing to launch awareness-raising campaigns on the rights of Roma to equal access to the housing market and information campaigns for the Roma communities on their rights to adequate housing. National campaigns on secure tenure promoted by the national committees on implementation of the United Nations Habitat Agenda, as adopted and ratified by member states at the Habitat II Conference, could be an adequate framework for such awareness-raising campaigns.

Employment initiatives and construction

38. Member states should encourage employment initiatives at local level inter alia by providing incentives for Roma to participate in the entire process of renovation/construction works of their future homes. This would contribute to improving their economic situation, help to give them better access to funding for their projects, both individual and collective, help to mitigate their feeling of precariousness and rejection, and foster a sense of ownership. This would also provide Roma with new competences that would allow them to explore new vocational avenues and would leave them less vulnerable to unemployment.

Statistical data-base and housing policy indicators

39. As a preliminary tool for policy development, in order to better assess the actual situation of disadvantaged categories of persons as regards housing, member states should ensure that the relevant national public authorities gather statistical data on a regular basis in accordance with, and in the spirit of, international and national norms in the field of personal data protection. They should also establish indicators for measuring the achievement of policy objectives over time. Member states which regularly collect Habitat housing indicators should also apply this to Roma housing.

VII. Financing of housing

Sustainability of financial resources

40. Member states should acknowledge that successful social cohesion policies require proper funding and assistance, continuous commitment and a long-term approach. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that solutions to such a wide array of different issues and problems will necessarily have to be implemented in a flexible manner. Suitable and proper access to funding and to means of fostering stability and security (including, but not restricted to, access to property) are central to any long-term action in this field.

Financing housing projects from various sources

41. Member states should ensure that housing-related projects are financed from national public budgets as well as from a variety of sources (private donors and international financial institutions) and be administered through a network of partners, at local, regional, national and transfrontier level. Since the implementing period of housing projects is quite long, these projects should be accurately planned in terms of financing and works so as not to raise false expectations among the populations concerned. In addition, since these are mainly area- and community-based projects, it is of the utmost importance that local networks and partnerships be built and fostered.

Integrated funding

42. Since housing projects are part of wider-based, further-reaching policies, member states, through their relevant authorities, should approach the financing of such projects in a comprehensive manner that takes into account aspects such as physical and health infrastructures, social cohesion needs and potential initiatives, culture, education, or employment opportunities.

International support for Roma housing

43. Member states should be encouraged to make use of the possibilities, including loans offered by international financial institutions in favour of Roma housing projects. They should also make use of the expertise of international financial institutions that have gained extensive knowledge in managing this kind of integrated project in many parts of the world, among them the Council of Europe Development Bank, whose mandate includes operating in areas such as housing of disadvantaged population groups in Europe so as to promote social cohesion. The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as some European Union programmes could also be of particular use in this respect.

Access to funding possibilities to acquire housing

44. Member states should develop adequate financial structures that provide for easier access to available sources of funding for housing, in cooperation with international financial institutions if necessary. Member states, through their relevant authorities, should also consider appropriate mechanisms to enable nomadic and semi-nomadic people to acquire caravans or mobile homes through low interest loans or other financial schemes, which do not put them at a disadvantage with regard to possibilities offered to sedentary people.

Funding infrastructure and services

45. Member states should ensure that local authorities and financial institutions provide funding for accompanying measures aiming at developing or building basic infrastructures and services and enhancing the quality of life of Roma in general, in order to improve the daily management of settlements or sites and to strengthen the overall social cohesion.

Specific budgetary provisions

46. Competent bodies of member states should allocate specific financial means to serve as an incentive for positive action on the part of the responsible authorities, such as development of field work, inclusion of the issue of Roma housing in land-use plans, access to expert advice and mediation for municipalities concerned, and so on.

VIII. Housing standards

Adequate housing as a basis for all housing standards

47. Member states should regulate and implement in practice, the concept of “adequate housing” as defined in Paragraph 60 of the United Nations Habitat Agenda, and General Comments Nos. 4 and 7 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, bearing in mind the human rights dimension, economic conditions both locally and in the country as a whole, and related social and cultural elements. This concept should be defined so as to apply to all citizens, including Roma. The definition of “adequate housing” should form the basis for all other housing standards.

Standard for housing location and surroundings

48. Member states, through their relevant authorities, should ensure that Roma housing is located in areas that are fit for habitation or suitable for construction under current legislation, and in ecologically healthy surroundings. Moreover, they should adopt measures that would enable Roma communities to react to unexpected events, such as natural disasters or epidemics, which often disproportionately affect vulnerable groups living in precarious settlements. The existing settlements which cannot be removed from unsuitable locations should be improved by appropriate and constructive environmental measures.

Legal standards for public and social services

49. Legal standards applying to public services – water, electricity, street cleaning, sewage systems, refuse disposal, and so on – should equally apply to Roma settlements and camp sites. Public transportation should be a part of area-based facilities. The authorities should also make sure that public services, such as health care facilities, access to education, police stations, post and telecommunication offices, are available in these areas. Authorities should pay specific attention to the physical distance between Roma settlements and camp sites and schools, as it is an important factor in fighting against the creation of ghettos.

The need for non-discriminatory security standards

50. The Roma housing environment should not be worse than, or inferior, to the housing areas, settlements and towns of the majority population. The standards used in supplying settlements and building apartments should not discriminate against Roma in any way.

Minimum construction standards

51. The quality of the material (built-in and permanently visible parts of the apartments and houses, such as joinery, wall and floor coatings, installations, sanitary fixtures, technical equipment, and so on) depends directly on the economic possibilities of the tenants, on community funds, and ultimately on the economic situation of society as a whole. Member states should therefore ensure that minimum construction standards exist, guaranteeing a healthy life, balanced family relations and proper conditions for children, and good neighbourhood relations.

Standards for adaptability and enhancement of housing

52. The apartment surface area should correspond to the number of tenants, while bearing in mind normal human adjustment to the spatial framework. Since families are dynamic – an increasing number of members, changes in economic possibilities and cultural needs, changes in vital needs and the development of aspirations – the architectural and legal solutions should make it possible to follow these dynamics by facilitating extensions to, and improving the interior properties of, apartments. Even when apartments are built with less surface area than average, they should be designed in advance for extension and enhancement. Standards regarding the adaptability of structure and surface size should be introduced, providing the technical possibilities for poor families to start with modest housing that they can expand and enhance later on.

Appendix 5:

Draft revised specific terms of reference (see amendments in blue bold at 5.c)
proposed by the Group of Specialists following its 18th meeting in Prešov, Slovakia

Specific terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers

1. Name of committee:

Group of Specialists on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (MG-S-ROM)

2. Type of committee:

Group of Specialists

3. Source of terms of reference:

European Committee on Migration (CDMG)

4. Terms of reference:

Under the authority of the CDMG, the Group of Specialists on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (MG-S-ROM) shall:

      i. study and analyse the policies and working practices of member states concerning Roma, Gypsies and Travellers.

      ii. draw up guidelines for the development and/or implementation of policies which promote the rights of the Roma, Gypsy and Traveller population.

      iii. keep under review the situation of Roma, Gypsies and Travellers in member states in accordance with relevant recommendations adopted by the Committee of Ministers, and taking into account the reports prepared by other monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe.

5. Membership of the Committee:

      a. The Group of Specialists shall be composed as follows: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine.

      The Council of Europe will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one specialist from each of the above countries for attendance at meetings of the Group.

      Other member States expressing an interest in the work of the Group may designate, at their own expense, specialists to participate in meetings of the Group, with the right to vote.

      Member States wishing to have their travel and subsistence expenses covered by the Council of Europe are requested to make an official request to the CDMG for approval by the Committee of Ministers.

      b. The specialists shall be appointed as follows:

      i. Member States whose specialists have their travel and subsistence expenses covered by the Council of Europe are requested to address to the Secretariat the names of at least two candidates accompanied with their CVs. The latter will be submitted to the European Committee of on Migration (CDMG) - or its Bureau - for nomination.

      ii. Specialists of other member States participating at their own costs shall be nominated directly by their governments via the Permanent Representations in Strasbourg.

      iii. In both cases member States and the CDMG are requested to propose and/or nominate Roma, Gypsy Traveller or non-Roma, Gypsy, Traveller specialists taking into account the following profile:

        § Specialists shall have specialised knowledge of the various issues relating to Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (legal status, discrimination, health, education, employment, living conditions);
        § They shall have direct experience of the Roma, Gypsy and Traveller population and of their culture and way of life;
        § They shall have a deep knowledge of the policies on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers in his/her country and have a good knowledge of policies in other member states;
        § They shall be in close contact in his/her country with the Roma, Gypsy and Traveller population, the decision-making bodies and the NGOs working in this area;
        § The shall be able to liaise with the authorities of their countries about any decisions, documents or recommendations adopted by the Group;
        § They shall have the professional competence for promoting reforms for the improvement of the situation of Roma, Gypsies and Travellers in the various aspects of daily life.

      c. The Council of Europe will also cover the participation of 8 Romani, Gypsy and Traveller representatives – including one representative of the European Roma and Travellers Forum - and independent experts which can usefully contribute to the work of the Group.

      i. A member of the European Roma and Travellers Forum shall be designated by the President of the Forum to attend the MG-S-ROM meetings, bearing in mind the agenda.

      ii. The seven other Romani, Gypsy and Traveller representatives and independent experts are invited by the Secretariat, following approval by the President and Vice-President of the Group, on the basis of proposals received from the specialists and/or topics discussed on the agenda of the Group.

      iii. There are no reserved seats for any Romani, Gypsy and Traveller individuals and independent experts from one meeting to another.

      d. The Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and the Council of Europe Development Bank shall each have the right to send representatives to meetings of the Group.

    e. Where this seems desirable for purposes of co-ordination of activities, the Group may invite representatives of other Council of Europe bodies to take part in its meetings.

    f. Representatives of the following bodies will be invited to take part as observers in the meetings of the Group:

      - European Commission

        - Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights)
        - World Bank
        - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
        - United Nations Development Program
        - European Roma and Travellers Forum
        - Relevant NGOs with consultative status to the Council of Europe

      g. The Group may decide to invite other international organisations to hearings or to participate in individual meetings as required.

      h. The Group will have as a working language for its meetings the Romani language, in addition to the official working languages of the Organisation.

6. Working structures and methods:

      a. In carrying out its work, the Specialist Group shall :


        i. seek to inform itself widely from governments, experts and NGOs;

        ii. work in close co-operation with other international bodies, especially the European Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR, and in this way seek to avoid duplication of work;

        iii. establish working relations with selected Roma, Gypsy and Traveller associations which it judges to be in a position to make a useful contribution to its work.

      b. The Group may be assisted in its work by consultants.

      c. The Group will hold two regular meetings a year, one of which should be possibly hosted by a member state. When a meeting takes place outside Strasbourg, the host country should organise on the occasion of the meeting a public hearing and a field visit.

      d. The Group of Specialists has the right to set-up ad hoc meetings with a restricted number of participants (specialists, Roma, Gypsy or Traveller representatives, consultants) between the regular meetings to progress in its work.

7. Duration:

These terms of reference shall be valid until 31 December 2005. They shall then be reviewed.

Appendix 6:

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON ROMA, GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS
(MG-S-ROM)

18th meeting
Prešov, Slovak Republic
Conference Hall of the Prešov Town Office

23 November 2004 (9.00 am - 5.00 pm)
to 24 November 2004 (9.00 am - 5.30 pm)

The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing on Monday, 22 November 2004.
The agenda of the public hearing will be circulated in due course.

___________________________________________

DRAFT ANNOTATED AGENDA

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

9h00-10h00: The two following items will be discussed in camera.

ELECTION OF THE CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR OF THE MG-S-ROM

      The chair and the vice-chair of the Group are elected for a period of one year and can be possibly reelected once. The Group will proceed to the election of the chair and vice-chair of the MG-S-ROM for one year starting from the 18th MG-S-ROM meeting.

      GROUP’S WORKING METHODS
      [Questionnaire on working methods of the Group [MG-S-ROM (2003)12]; brief analysis of the replies to the questionnaire on working methods of the Group [MG-S-ROM(2004) 12]

      The Group will discuss the working methods on the basis of the questionnaire on working methods, which had been distributed at the last meeting in Strasbourg. 13 answers have been received so far. Members who have not yet submitted their reply to the questionnaire are invited to do so by 8 November.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

10h00-10h15: Coffee break

10h15-11h00: OPENING OF THE 18th MG-S-ROM MEETING

I. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND LIST OF DECISIONS OF PREVIOUS MEETING

      a) The newly elected Chair opens the 18th meeting of the Group and welcomes participants, including new appointed Specialists.

      b) The Group is invited to adopt the agenda for the meeting [MG-S-ROM (2004)10 rev.2] and the list of decisions adopted by the Group at its seventeenth meeting [MG-S-ROM (2004)5].

      c) The Secretariat will inform the Group of recent developments in the Council of Europe.

11h00-12h00:

II. REPORTING ABOUT THE FIELD VISIT AND THE PUBLIC HEARING

      b) The members of the Group will report about the field visit in Romani settlements around Prešov organised on Sunday, 21 November 2004 and about the Public Hearing held on Monday, 22 November 2004.

      c) Discussion.

12h00-12h30:

III. REPORTING ON THE DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING THE STUDY ON ACCESS TO SOCIAL RIGHTS FOR NOMADIC POPULATIONS IN EUROPE

      [Outline for a study on the social and economic rights of nomadic populations MG-S-ROM (2002) 17 rev ; study on the social rights of nomadic populations in Europe including proposed draft recommendation MG-S-ROM (2004) 4 ; Standard analysis form and bibliography on social rights of nomadic populations in Europe MG-S-ROM (2004) 11 ; reports on the social rights for nomadic populations in Ireland, in UK and in Switzerland]

      a) Mr. Laurent Keller, consultant, will report about the developments concerning this study (in particular about the methodology, which has been used following the last meeting, and about the field visit to Switzerland). He will also present preliminary conclusions of the study, as well as the next steps regarding this project.

      b) Discussion

12h30 to 14h00: lunch break

14h00 to 15h30:

IV. DRAFT RECOMMENDATION ON APPROPRIATE ACCESS OF ROMA AND TRAVELLERS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CARE

      [Draft recommendation on Appropriate Access of Roma and Travellers to Public Health Care MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov. ; Amendments to the draft Health Recommendation MG-S-ROM (2004) 3 rev ; Report of Roma Decade Health Workshop].

      a) The Secretariat informs the Group of any comments or amendments received concerning the draft recommendation [MG-S-ROM (2003) 4 prov] since the 17th meeting of the MG-S-ROM. Member states or participants that wish to submit additional amendments are requested to address them to the Secretariat by 8 November.

      b) Presentation by Mr ÜRMOS on the conclusions of the Health Workshop organised in the framework of the Roma Decade for Roma Inclusion (June 2004).

      c) The Group holds a discussion on the draft recommendation bearing in mind inter alia the aforementioned presentations, as well as the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference on Roma Women and Access to Health Care (report distributed at the previous meetings).

      d) The Group could decide to adopt a final version of the draft recommendation or to organise if needed an ad hoc working group to finalise the text before the next meeting.

15h30-16h00: Coffee break

16h00-17h00:

V. FUTURE RELATIONS BETWEEN MG-S-ROM AND THE EUROPEAN ROMA AND TRAVELLERS FORUM (ERTF)

      [Rules of procedure ; what is ERTF ; statue of ERTF ; ]

      a) Mr. Rudko Kawcynski, President ad interim of ERTF, will inform the Group about the establishment of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) and about the recent developments, including the first plenary meeting of the Forum in Strasbourg. He also presents his views as regards possible future co-operation between the MG-S-ROM and the ERTF.

      b) The Chair will give his/her views as regards possible future co-operation between the MG-S-ROM and the ERTF.

      c) The Group will discuss about its future cooperation with ERTF (what will be the status and via which system of exchange of information will they communicate ?

17h00: Close of the first day session.

_______________________________

20h00 : Roma theater ROMATHAN performance in the town of Košice
(transport by bus will be organised)
_______________________________

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

9h00-10h30:

      VII. DRAFT RECOMMENDATION ON POLICIES TOWARDS ROMA AND TRAVELLERS IN EUROPE – INCLUDING MONITORING AND EVALUATION CHAPTER
      [MG-S-ROM (2002) 3 rev. 2 and appendix 1: memorandum adopted by the Group in 1997 on human rights problems faced by Roma/Gypsies; Comments to the draft Recommendation MG-S-ROM (2003) 3 rev.2; meeting report of the “Seminar on Monitoring and Evaluation Methodology of Governmental Programmes for Roma and Travellers”]

      a) Mr. Alan Phillips will present the main conclusions of the “Seminar on Monitoring and Evaluation Methodology of Governmental Programmes for Roma and Travellers”s held on 2-3 September 2004. He makes proposals as regards the inclusion of a new chapter on monitoring and evaluation in the draft recommendation.

      b) The Group will discuss the proposal(s).

      c) The Group will decide about the future steps as regards this draft Recommendation.

10h30-11h00: Coffee break

11h00-12h30:

      VIII. FINANCING OF NATIONAL PROGRAMMES FOR ROMA AND TRAVELLERS
      [MG-S-ROM (2004) 15]

      a) Specialists of countries concerned are invited to present the situation as regards the financing situation of the national programmes for Roma and/or Travellers. Participants are requested to send their written contribution in advance by 8 November 2004.

      b) The Group will discuss ways to improve financial commitments for the sustainable implementation of these programmes at central and local levels.

12h30-14h00: lunch

14h00-15h00:

VIII. EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY FUND

      [Reply of the Committee of Ministers to Recommendation 1557 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the legal situation of the Roma in Europe – CM/AS(2003)Rec1557 final 13 June 2003]

      a) The Secretariat informs the Group that the Committee of Ministers has entrusted the MG-S-ROM to study the proposal of creating a European Solidarity Fund (see paragraph 20 of the reply of the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly CM/AS(2003)Rec1557 final 13 June 2003) and to make concrete proposals regarding this topic.
      b) Proposals by Mr Mirga (Poland).
      c) Presentation by Mr. Nikolay Kirilov (to be confirmed) about PAKIV’s experience as a European Roma Fund for the promotion of socio-economic development of Roma in Europe.
      d) The Group is invited to discuss the above and provide a draft opinion to be transmitted to the Committee of Ministers via the CDMG.

15h00-15h30: coffee break

15h30-17h00:

IX. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

      [Member states written contributions submitted at 18th MG-S-ROM meeting MG-S-ROM (2004) 15] (written contributions can be submitted in advance to the Secretariat for distribution)]

      a) The situation of Roma in the context of recent EU enlargement, including migration

        i. Presentation by Mr. Andrzej Mirga on Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) report “Roma and EU Accession: Elected and Appointed Representatives in an Enlarged Europe”.

        ii. Presentation by Mrs Alexandra Raykova, President of FERYP, and by Mrs. Tove Skotvedt, Norway, of the main conclusions of the Meeting “Roma Youth and Alternatives to Migration” held in Budapest on 15-17 October 2004 under the Norwegian presidency of the Council of Europe.

        iii. The Group will hold a discussion on this topic and will propose actions to be undertaken by the MG-S-ROM and the Council of Europe in general regarding this issue.

      b) Refugees and IDPs issues

        i. Mr Dzavit Beriza : concrete experience of refugee originated from Kosovo.

        ii. The Group will hold a discussion on the above issues and will propose future actions.

      c) Individual presentations on recent developments in their respective countries

          and presentation from international organisations.

17h00-17h30:

X. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEXT MEETING

      i. Date and place

      ii. Organisations and experts to be invited

17h30: Close of the 18th MG-S-ROM meeting

*****************************************

Appendix 7:

Final list of participants of the 18th Meeting of the Specialist Group on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (MG-S-ROM), Prešov, Slovakia, 23-24 November 2004

_______________________________________

Chair/Président: Mr. Andrzej MIRGA (Poland/Pologne)
Co-Chair/Co-président: Mr. Claudio MARTA (Italy/Italie)

Bulgaria/Bulgarie
Mrs. Mirolubka RAZSOUKANOVA
Senior Expert - Directorate for European Integration and Internaitonal Relations –
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy - 2 Triaditza str, BG-1051 Sofia
E-mail : razsoukanova@mlsp.government.bg ; elena@mlsp.government.bg

Croatia/Croatie
Mrs. Milena KLAJNER
Head of the Office for National Minorities of the Government of Croatia
Mesnicka 23, HR-10000 Zagreb
Tel.: +385 1 45 69 358 ; Fax: +385 1 45 69 324
E-mail: milena.klajner@vlada.hr

Czech Republic/République tchčque
Mrs. Jarmila BALAZOVA
Journalist, Nad Primaskou 38, 100 00 Praha 10
Tel.: +420 777 655 805 ; Fax +420 257 322 987
E-mail: jarmila.balazova@seznam.cz

Finland/Finlande
Mr. Henry HEDMAN (excused)
Member of the Advisory Board on Romany Affairs
Sipusaarentie 78, FIN-11120 Riihimäki
Tel : +358 19 73 32 55 ; Mobile : +358 40 516 28 36
E-mail: henry.hedman@kotus.fi

France
M. Marc GARONNE (excused)
Ministčre de l’emploi et de la solidarité, Direction de l’action sociale
11 Pl. des cinq martyrs du Lycée Buffon, F-75014 Paris
Tel. : +33 (0)1 40 56 87 23 ; Fax : +33 (0)1 40 56 86 01
E-mail: marc.garonne@sante.gouv.fr

Germany/Allemagne
Michael von KLÜCHTZNER
Federal Ministry of Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany,
SH II 3, Minority Law issues,
Graurheindorfer Straße 198, D-53173 Bonn
Tel.: +0049 228 681 3765; Fax : 0049 228 681 5 3765
E-mail: michael.kluechtzner@bmi.bund.de

Hungary/Hongrie
Dr. Andor ÜRMÖS
Director, Directorate for Roma Integration,
Government Office for Equal Opportunities
Vigado u., H-Budapest 1051.
Tel.: 36 1 235 4572; Fax : 36 1 235 4407
E-mail: andor.urmos@meh.hu (business) ; urmosandor@freemail.hu (private)

Ireland/Irlande
Mrs. Kathleen BONAR
Ministry of Justice, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bishop’s Square, Redmond’s Hill, IRL-Dublin 2
Tel.: +353 1 479 0200 ; Fax : +353 1 479 0201
E-mail: Kathleen_M._Bonar@justice.ie

Mrs. Mary MULVANERTY
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Bisho Sq, Redmonds Hill, IRL-Dublin 2
Tel.: 00353 1 479 0275 Fax : 00353 1 479 0296
E-mail: Mary_P._Mulvanerty@justice.ie

Italy/Italie: (CO-CHAIR/CO-PRESIDENT)
Dr. Claudio MARTA
Professor of Economic Anthropology,
Istituto Universitario Orientale (Napoli),
Viale Marx 239, I-00137 Roma
Tel: +39 06 86 89 10 21, Fax: +39 06 86 89 10 21
E-mail: claudio.marta@libero.it

Malta/Malte
M. Christian Sgandurra (excused)
f/Director Multilateral Affairs
Palazzo Parisio, Merchants Street, MT-Valletta CMR 02
Tel.: +356-25968406 ; Fax : +356-21251520
E-mail: christian.sgandurra@gov.mt

Netherlands/Pays-Bas
M. Gerard de BOER
Adjoint au Représentant Permanent - Juriste –
Représentation permanente des Pays Bas –
3 Place Sébastien Brant – F-67000 Strasbourg
Tél. : 03 88 36 20 48
E-mail: str@minbuza.nl

Norway/Norvčge
Mrs. Tove SKOTVEDT
Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Department of Saami and Minority Affairs
PO box 8114 Dep, N-0032 Oslo
Tel.: +47 22 24 69 56 ; Fax : + 47 22 24 95 38
E-mail: tove.skotvedt@krd.dep.no

Poland/Pologne (CHAIR /PRESIDENT)
Dr. Andrzej MIRGA
Chairman of the Roma Advisory Council of Project of Ethnic Relations
Razvikowskiego 134, Apr 2, PL-31342 Cracow
Tel.: +48 12 635 90 92
E-mail: usmirga@cyf-kr.edu.pl

Portugal
Mrs. Maria José BOIA LINO (excused)
High Commissariat for Immigration and Ethnic Minorites – ACIME
Pc Carlos Alberto, 71, P-4000 Porto
Tel.: +351 22 2046110
E-mail: maria.lino@acime.gov.pt

Romania/Roumanie
Mr. Ilie DINCA,
Undersecretary of State, Government of Romania,
General Secretariat Office on Roma Issues,
Viitorului Street, nr. 14, RO-Bucarest
Tel.: +40-21-211.30.37 Fax: +40 21-211.05.95
E-mail: ilie.dinca@dri.gov.ro

Russian Federation/Fédération de Russie
Mr Sergey TOLKALIN
Acting Deputy Director, Department for Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya sq., RUS-Moscow, 119 200
Tel.: +7 095 244 30 31/244 30 25 ; Fax: +7 095 244 30 45
E-mail: dgpch@mid.ru

Slovak Republic/République slovaque
Mr. Jan HERO (excused)
State Pedagogical Institute in Bratislava in the Department for Education of Roma,
Štátny pedagogický ústav, Pluhova 8, POBox 26, SK-830 00 Bratislava
Tel.: +42190581742 ; Fax :
E-mail: Jan.Hero@statpedu.sk

Ms. Ivana KASAROVA
Human Rights Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Hlboka cesta 2, SK-833 36 Bratislava
Tel.: + 421 (0)2/54 77 26 47 ; Fax: + 421 (0)2/54 77 21 81
E-mail: ivana_kasarova@foreign.gov.sk

Mrs. Klara ORGOVANOVA
Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities,
Namestie Slobody 1, SK-81370 Bratislava
Tel.: 421 (2) 57 295 833
E-mail : klara.orgovanova@strategy.gov.sk

Slovenia/Slovénie
Mr. Samo DROBEŽ
Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia,
Office for European Affairs and International Cooperation,
Mackova 2, SLO-1501 Ljubljana
Tel.: +386 (0)1 300 94 12 ; Fax: +386(0)1 300 94 34
E-mail: samo.drobez@gov.si

Spain/Espagne
Mrs. Isabel ALONSO LUZURIAGA
Jefa de Área de Programas
Subdirección General de Programas Sociales
José Abascal 39, E-28003 Madrid
Tel.: +34 91 363 81 27 - Mobile : +34 637 50 30 41 - Fax::   +34 363 74 58
E-mail: ialonsol@mtas.es

Sweden/Sučde
Mrs. Klara GRUNDBERG (excused)
Ministry of Justice
Enheten för demokratiutveckling, mänskliga rättigheter, folkrörelsefrĺgor och idrott
Justitiedepartementet
S-103 33 Stockholm
Tel.: 08-405 35 73
E-mail: klara.grundberg@justice.ministry.se

Ukraine
Mr. Petr GRYGORICHENKO
Ukrainian representative to the MG-S-ROM
9B Mala Zhytomyrs'ka St., UA-Kiev 01001
Tel/Fax : +38 044 228 87 11
E-mail: forumo@kievweb.com.ua

United Kingdom/Royaume Uni
Mr. Ian NAYSMITH (excused)
Race Equality Unit - Home Office
Allington Towers - 19 Allington Street
GB-London SWIE 5EB
Tel.: +44 20 7035 5411 Fax : +44 20 7035 5399
E-mail: ian.naysmith@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

INVITED NGO’S / EXPERTS / ROMA REPRESENTATIVES
ONG / EXPERTS / REPRESENTANTS ROMS INVITES

Mr. Dzavit BERISA
Roma refugee, consultant for European Roma Rights Center (ERRC)
Csabdi UTCA 20 – H-2060 Bicske, Hungary
Tel.: +36 14 13 22 22
E-mail: dzavit@errc.org

Mrs. Andrea CUPEROVA
Poradna pre obcianske a ludske
Prava – Kovacska 28, SK-040 75 Kosice, Slovakia
Tel.: +421 55 670 95 30 ou 18
E-mail: poradna@poradna-pravda.sk

Ms. Silviya FILIPOVA
Pakiv European Roma Fund
Tel: + 36 1 237 60 27; fax: + 361 237 60 29
Regional office: BG-1000 Sofia, 26 Gurko str., 2nd floor, Bulgaria
Tel/fax: + 359 2 980 1355 ; Web: www.pakiv.org
Email: s.filipova@pakiv.org

M. Laurent KELLER
Juriste
17 A, rue du Général Picquart, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
Tel. : +33 (0) 3 88 36 14 82
E-mail : LrntKELLER@aol.com

Mr. Ljuan KOKA (not present)
Roma National Council
Vidovdamska 2B, SCG-Belgrade 11000, Serbia and Montenegro
Tel.: +381113117374 Fax : +381113117374
E-mail: ljuankoka@yahoo.com

Mr. Vitomir MIHAJLOVIC (not present)
President , Roma National Council
Krusevacka 37 – 18400 Prokuplje
Serbie Montenegro
Tel.: 381 63 891 98 82 Fax : +381 13 661 954
E-mail: srdjan_sain@yahoo.com

Mr. Alan PHILLIPS
67 Carlisle Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 4FQ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44.1273.72.1358 Fax : 00 44 1273 721358
E-mail: aphillips@gmx.net

Mrs. Soraya POST
President of the International Romani Women’s Network (IRWN)
Oterdahlsgatan 6 D, S-417 16 Göteborg, Sweden
Tel.: +46 (0) 31 221417
E-mail: soraya@antidiskrimineringsbyran.se

Mrs. Alexandra RAYKOVA
President of the Forum of European Roma Young People (FERYP)
Foundation for Promotion of the Roma Youth,
99 Suhodolska Str, P.B. 106, Sofia 1373, Bulgaria
Tel.: ++359 (2) 232 744
E-mail: alex-raykova@yahoo.co.mk ; feryp2003@yahoo.com

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS/INSTITUTIONS / INSTITUTIONS/ORGANISATIONS INSTITUTIONS INTERNATIONALES

Council of Europe Development Bank /
Banque de Développement du Conseil de l'Europe 

Mrs. Eva SCHWEBEL
Sector Manager – Department for Project Financing
Council of Europe Development Bank
55, avenue Kléber, F-75116 Paris, France
Tel./ + 33 / (0)1 47 55 55 92 ; Fax : + 33 / (0)1 47 55 37 52
E-mail : Eva.Schwebel@coebank.org

European Commission/Commission européenne

Mme Odile QUINTIN (excused)
European Commission
Director General
DG Employment and Social Affairs
B – 1049 Brussels, Belgium

Mr. Anthony LOCKETT (excused)
European Commission
Deputy Head of Unit ; Unit D-3
DG Employment and Social Affairs
Office J 37 5/26 6
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Mr. Joseph BUCKLEY (excused)
European Commission
DG REGIO
Rue de la Loi
B – 1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: + 32 2 29 60 146

European Parliament/Parlement européen

Mrs. Lívia JÁRÓKA (excused)
European Deputy
European Parliament
Altiero Spinelli Building, 12E253
60, rue Wiertz/Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Brussels, Belgium

OSCE-Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)-
Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues (CPRSI)/
OSCE-Bureau pour les Institutions démocratiques et les droits de l’homme (BIDDH)-
Point de contact pour les questions roms et sinti (PCQRS)

Mr. Nicolae GHEORGHE
Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues
19 Ujazdowskie Avenue
PL - 00-557 Warsaw, Poland
Tel.: +48 22 520 06 00/41 43 ; Mobile : +48 603 793 786
E-mail: nicolae.gheorghe@odihr.pl

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) /
Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés (HCR)

Mrs. Fumiko KASHIWA (excused)
Associate Program Officer
UNHCR representation in the Czech Republic
Nam. Kinskych 6, CZ-Praha 150 00, Czech Republic
Tel.: 420-257-199-860 Fax : 420-257-199-862
E-mail: kashiwa@unhcr.ch / czepr@unhcr.ch

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/
Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD)

Mr. Andrey IVANOV
UNDP, Human Development Advisor
Regional Support Centre Europe and the CIS
Grösslingova 35, SK - 81109 Bratislava
E-mail : andrey.ivanov@undp.org

World Bank /Banque mondiale
Mrs. Tunde BUZETZKYT
Communications and Operations Analyst
The World Bank
Slovakia Country Office
Suche myto 1 – SK-811 03 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tél : +421 2 5752 6724 Fax : + 421 2 5752 6701
E-mail : tbuzetzky@worldbank.org

INTERNATIONAL NGOs / ONGs INTERNATIONALES

Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Mrs. Melinda CHING SIMON (excused)
Deputy Director
Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
83 rue de Montbrillant, CH-1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel +41(0) 22 7341028; Fax +41 (0)22 7338336
Mobile: +41 (0)79 713 5867
E-mail: melinda@cohre.org

European Roma Information Office (ERIO)
Mr. Valeriu NICOLAE (excused)
Deputy Director
European Roma Information Office
Avenue Eduard Lacomble 17
B- 1040 Brussels, Belgium
E-mail: valeriu.nicolae@erionet.org

European Roma Rights Center (ERRC)
Mr. Claude CAHN (excused)
Eurpean Roma Rights Center
Nyar u. 12, 1072 – Budapest
Hungary
Tel.: + 36 1 413 22 00 ; Fax : +36 1 413 22 01
E-mail: ccahn@errc.org

Mr. Cristi MIHALACHE (excused)
Advocacy Officer, 1386 Budapest 62, PO Box 906/93, Hungary
Tel.: +36 1 413 22 35 ; Fax: +36 1 413 22 01
E-mail: cristi@errc.org

Open Society Institute (OSI)
Mrs. Deborah HARDING (excused)
Open Society Institute
Oktober 6. street 12.
H - 1051 Budapest, Hungary
E-mail : dharding.errc@sorosny.org

Project on Ethnic Relations (PER)
Mrs. Livia PLAKS (excused)
Executive Director, Project of Ethnic Relations,
15 Chambers Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 08542 USA
Tel.: +1 609 683 5666; Fax: +1 609 683 5888
E-mail: per@per-usa.org

COUNCIL OF EUROPE BODIES / ORGANES DU CONSEIL DE L’EUROPE

Bratislava Information Office/Bureau d’Information de Bratislava
Mr.Viliam FIGUSCH
Director – Information Office of the Council of Europe
K’ariská 5, P.O. Box 217, SK – 810 00 Bratislava 1, Slovak Republic
Tél : + 421 2 5443 5752 Fax : + 421 2 5443 5672
E-mail : viliam@radaeuropy.sk

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights / Bureau du Commissaire aux droits de l’homme
Mr. Lauri SIVONEN
Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France
Tél : +33(0)3 90 21 47 97 Fax : +33(0)3 90 21 52 85
E-mail : lauri.sivonen@coe.int

Directorate General III-Social Cohesion/ Migration and Roma Department /
Direction générale III-Cohésion sociale / Service des migrations et des Roms
Website: English version: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Social_Cohesion/Roma_Travellers
version française : http://www.coe.int/T/F/cohésion_sociale/Roms_Tsiganes

Mrs. Maria OCHOA-LLIDÓ
Head of Department
Tel.: +33 3 88 41 21 79; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: maria.ochoa-llido@coe.int

Mr. Michaël GUET
Administrator, Secretary of the MG-S-ROM
Tel.: +33 3 90 41 49 63; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: michael.guet@coe.int

Mrs. Nelly TASNADI
Assistant,
Tel.: +33 3 88 41 38 54; Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 31
E-mail: nelly.tasnadi@coe.int

Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers / Secrétariat du Comité des Ministres

Parliamentary Assembly : Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population /
Assemblée parlementaire: Commission des migrations, des réfugiés et de la population

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe /
Congrčs des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe

Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Legal Aspects of Territorial Asylum, Refugees and Stateless Persons (CAHAR) / Comité ad hoc d’experts sur les aspects juridiques de l’asile territorial, des réfugiés et des apatrides (CAHAR)
(excused)

European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)/
Commission européenne contre le racisme et l’intolérance (ECRI)
(excused)

Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities /
Secrétariat de la Convention-cadre pour la protection des minorités nationales
(excused)

Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages /
Secrétariat de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires
(excused)

Directorate General IV – Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport
Direction Générale IV – Education, Culture et Patrimoine, Jeunesse et Sport
(excused)

INTERPRETERS/INTERPRETES

Mrs Diana SIMA
Mrs Norica COSTACHE
Mme Claude Emmanuelle JEAN-ALEXIS
Mlle Karine SACHS

* * * * *


1 A 21st reply has been received since the meeting in Prešov.

2 On 1 December 2004 the Council of Europe Recommendation Rec. CM(2004)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Movement and Encampment of Travellers in Europe was adopted at the 907th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (see appendix 3). Following amendments by British, Irish and Slovak delegations, the GR-SOC adopted a revised draft recommendation on Improving the Housing Conditions for Roma and Travellers in Europe on 18 January 2005 (see appendix 4). This recommendation should be adopted by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 920th meeting on 23 February 2005.

3 A number of MG-S-ROM members took part in the field visit: Mr. Mirga (Chair, Poland), Mr. Marta (Vice-Chair, Italy), Mrs Alonso Luzuriaga (Spain), Mrs Balazova (Czech Republic), Mr Dincâ (Romania), Mr. Drobez (Slovenia), Mrs Razsoukanova (Bulgaria), as well as Roma representatives and consultants: Mr. Keller (France), Mrs. Raykova (Bulgaria), Mr. Zadja (Czech Republic), Mrs Post (Sweden) and Mrs Sima (interpreter, Germany). The Secretariat (Mrs Ochoa-Llido, Mr. Guet and Ms. Tasnadi) accompanied the delegation.

4 Following the MG-S-ROM meeting, the consultants decided to organise a field visit to Northern Italy by mid-February 2005.

5 The dates are now confirmed as 7-8 April 2005.

6 Written comments received to date from Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

7 See Council of Europe website for further information regarding the European Roma and Travellers Forum: http://www.coe.int/T/E/social_cohesion/Roma_Travellers/ERTF/ , as well as the Forum’s website: www.ertf.org .

8 Written comments received to date from Bulgaria and Germany.

9 Since the meeting in Prešov, the Secretariat has finalised its report of Roma and Travellers activities in 2004 [see document MG-S-ROM (2004) 14].

10 Countries participating in the Roma Decade are : Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, the Slovak Republic and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

11 The dates are now confirmed as 7-8 April 2005.

12 Since our visit, additional information was received from the Housing Department of the Prešov municipality which explained that the monthly rent depends on the size of the flat. There are four types of flat:

1st type (smallest flat): 517 SKK monthly ; 2nd type: 801 SKK ; 3rd type: 818 SKK ; 4th type (biggest flat): 1023 SKK monthly.