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Young Roma celebrating International Roma Day 2024 in Strasbourg

From April 5th to 8th, the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg is hosting 40 young people for the Roma Youth Together – a seminar on Roma youth empowerment and pride for the celebration of the International Roma Day, co-organised by the Council of Europe’s Youth Department and Roma and Travellers Division, in cooperation with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), TernYpe, the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network and Phiren Amenca.

 Over the course of 3 days, young Roma activists and leaders will explore multi-faceted Roma identity and heritage through workshops about music, drama, creating/speech writing, advocacy, and storytelling, practicing their skills for expression of pride and achievements. Moreover, participants will learn more about the work of the Council of Europe on Roma youth empowerment and are developing messages and actions for their communities on the implementation of the Recommendation CM/REC(2023)4 on Roma Youth Participation.

 The opening session was attended by Tobias FLESSENKEMPER, the Head of the Youth Department, Eleni TSETSEKOU, from the Roma and Travellers Division and Petr BANDA, a young Roma who is a member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. They spoke to participants about the historical background and realities of Roma youth in the context of the Council of Europe, highlighting the role of young people in celebrating achievements and pride over the past decades taking a front-lead role in being agents of change for the future. Moreover, Carmen TANASIE from ERGO Network addressed the participants on behalf of co-organising partner Roma youth organisations.

 On 8 April participants celebrated the International Roma Day in the presence of Michael O’FLAHERTY, Commissioner for Human Rights with whom they discussed the state of human rights, expectations and actions for and with Roma youth and women in the coming years. The exchange was followed by the official ceremony with addresses by the Commissioner, the Chair of the Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (ADI-ROM), Manuel DEMOUGEOT, and a youth speaker from the seminar, Roxana PETRACHE, who all highlighted the importance of Roma heritage, culture, identity and pride as means to achieve greater empowerment of Roma and Travellers people. After musical interlude and the Romani anthem Djelem Djelem, the celebration was closed with flower casting and a singing performance of the seminar participants. 

 For detailed information on the seminar please visit the dedicated webpage.

European Youth Centre Strasbourg 5 April 2024
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