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The Winners of the 6th “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities’’ focused on education and youth

headline Strasbourg 19 October 2017
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The Winners of the 6th “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities’’ focused on education and youth

Today, the Turkish municipality of Şişli won the 6th “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities”, for a project aiming at revising anti-discrimination policies and measures through a holistic approach involving Roma and non-Roma participation. The “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities” commends innovative and creative initiatives that effectively ensure the long-term inclusion of Roma and Travellers, while respecting the diversity of these communities and ensuring their active participation in democratic life.

Mr John Warmisham, the Congress Spokesperson on Roma Issues, presented the award on the occasion of the 33rd Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.  ‘’We have to ensure that in the years to come we can continue to showcase municipal and regional efforts for Roma inclusion. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is a unique platform that can draw from 47 member States and therefore from more than 200.000 local and regional authorities to push for Roma inclusion at the local and regional level. This mandate is a great opportunity that is also connected to a responsibility which we have to take collectively as much as individually in the member States.’’ said Mr Warmisham.

Since 2007 the “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities, an initiative of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Dosta!-Campaign is part of the on-going efforts to strengthen the role of local authorities in assisting inclusionand protecting the rights of Roma and Travellers.

The jury selected Şişli for its outstanding achievements in introducing anti-discrimination policies and measures in its strategic documents through a holistic approach involving Roma and non-Roma participation. As a consequence the municipality established an office for equality and appointed a Roma member within the City Council Executive Board (Şişli Kent Konseyi).

The other winners are:

  • 2nd Prize - Volos (Greece), for aproject on increasing the completion rates of Roma in secondary education. As a result, school drop-out rates of Roma have decreased significantly due to the establishment of an informal support network and the promotion of “role models” for Roma youth. The continued commitment by the municipality of Volos is reflected by the fact that the municipality has already been awarded the 2nd “Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities” in 2009.
  • 3rd Prize - Gliwice (Poland), was chosen for facilitating an after-school program for Roma and non-Roma children. Education through experience is an important feature of this project and advances social cohesion among the children.

The call for application for the prize was open to municipalities/local authorities from Council of Europe member States who have run projects in 2015 and 2016 targeting Roma and/or Travellers. They had to provide evidence for the implemented policies aiming to combat stereotypes and prejudices against Roma (through the media, educational systems, institutions, and local authorities). Furthermore the projects attempted to improve access of Roma to social and cultural rights (in particular through education) and promote intercultural and inter-ethnic dialogue, diversity in community life and active democratic participation. The international jury is composed of different stakeholders from the Council of Europe and the President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum Forum.

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Want to find out more?

SRSG Support Team Contact: Mr Robert Rustem, Outreach Officer, +33 (0)3 90 21 43 31 or Valentin Unger, +33 3 90 21 27 68

To learn more about our work: www.coe.int/roma