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Meeting on Roma Inclusion in Kyiv

16-17 November 2017
headline Strasbourg 15 November 2017
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Meeting on Roma Inclusion in Kyiv

The Ukrainian Alliance for Roma Inclusion will meet in Kiev on Thursday, 16 and Friday, 17 November 2017 to discuss initiatives on how to improve the inclusion of Roma at local level and regional level.  

The meeting will be organized by the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Secretariat of the European Alliance for Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Roma Women’s Network “Chiricli”.

Participants will include representatives from ministries, municipalities/regions, members of the Ukrainian Alliance for Roma Inclusion, and Roma NGOs. The meeting will discuss ongoing activities/actions undertaken by the municipalities as well as their future plans on Roma access to housing and identity papers. On the occasion of this meeting, the Ukrainian Alliance for Roma Inclusion will join the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers and its participants will sign the “Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism”.  

The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers:

Since the start of the Decade for Roma Inclusion in 2005, there has been an ever stronger development of European and national policy frameworks for the inclusion of Roma. The goal was to develop policy measures that would particularly target the areas of education, housing, employment and health, the four main pillars of the EU Framework for Roma Integration Strategies adopted in 2011.

Whilst some progress had been noticed, challenges concerning the human rights of Roma and their inclusion in societies remained high. In order to meet those needs, member States of the Council of Europe in October 2010 adopted the Strasbourg Declaration on Roma, identifying clear priorities for the Council of Europe in supporting national as well as local and regional authorities in their efforts to improve Roma inclusion. As a result of the adoption of the Strasbourg Declaration, an online database on Roma and Traveller-related good policies and practices at European, national, regional and local levels was established.

To enhance the social inclusion of Roma and Travellers at local and regional level, the concept of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers was identified at the Summit of Mayors in September 2011. After drawing up a general framework for its objectives and its working methods, the Alliance was officially launched during the 24th Congress Session on 20 March 2013. In 2016, the Alliance adopted its Strategic Guidelines to provide guidance to participating cities and regions.

The Alliance objectives are: a) to promote the exchange of know-how and good practices on Roma inclusion among participating cities and regions; b) to enable participating cities and regions to speak with one voice by providing a platform for advocating on issues concerning Roma inclusion at local and regional level.

The Alliance does so by organising national and international seminars for its participating cities and regions in order to facilitate the exchange of know-how and good practices. Today, the Alliance has 130 participants from 29 Council of Europe member States. Since 2013, the Alliance Secretariat has been in charge of organising the Dosta! Congress Prize together with the Congress.

Furthermore, the Alliance promotes the “Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism” which was endorsed in March 2017 at the 32nd Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Both the Congress and the Alliance call on mayors and elected representatives of local and regional authorities to sign this Declaration and thereby to affirm their explicit opposition to anti-Gypsyism. To date, 65 elected representatives from over 20 Council of Europe member States have signed the declaration.

The Ukrainian Alliance for Roma Inclusion:

After the completion of ROMED 2 project in Ukraine, participating municipalities expressed their wish to continue their efforts on Roma Inclusion. The European Alliance supported the establishment of national network of municipalities which later became the Ukrainian Alliance for Roma Inclusion. The Ukrainian Alliance can be seen as a “follow up structure” to ROMED2 in Ukraine respectively as a control structure to safeguard the achievements of ROMED2.

Today, it consists of 10 active members, namely the regions of Transcarpathia, Zaporizhia, Odessa, Kharkiv and the municipalities of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv, Darnytskyi, Kirovograd, Uzhgorod and Lviv.  The participants of the Ukrainian Alliance engage in different Roma Inclusion strategies among such legalization of campsites, housing, training for Roma teachers and mediators.

The meeting from 16th - 17th November 2017 has not only the goal to exchange good practices and share knowledge, but to identify joint activities and a common approach of the Ukrainian Alliance and to trigger further reaching cooperation between government and local and regional stakeholders.