Seminar "Roma Youth Participation: What now?"
Reviewing the Results of the Roma Youth Action Plan (2016-2019) in relation to Roma youth participation and combating antigypsyism
The seminar on the results and impact of the RYAP is devoted to review achievements and identify future priorities for the youth sector regarding Roma youth participation and combating antigypsyism. It brings together stakeholders, experts and multipliers of the RYAP including: Roma youth organisations and networks, as well as, the members of the Informal Contact Group of the Roma Youth Action Plan, governmental institutions reached by the RYAP activities; young people and organisations involved in the RYAP at the national and local levels, representatives of national youth councils, trainers and Roma youth leaders.
Background information about the seminar
In most European societies, Roma young people have a hard time in asserting their rights and affirming their identity and belonging. Other problems faced by Roma communities are reflected in young Roma’s transition to adulthood, namely poverty and lack of opportunities within and outside the community, as well as difficulties in accessing their human rights. This situation puts specific groups of Roma young people at even a more serious disadvantaged due to multiple discrimination. The Roma Youth Action Plan (hereafter RYAP) is a project of the Council of Europe which responds to the challenges faced by Roma young people in Europe, particularly in relation to their empowerment, participation in policy and decision-making processes and structures, and to the multiple realities of discrimination with which they are confronted.
The project gives priority to human rights and intercultural dialogue as responses to discrimination and antigypsyism, together with development and capacity building of Roma youth organisations and movements. The project uses double mainstreaming of Roma youth issues, capacity building and youth participation as main approaches to support the autonomy and participation of Roma youth. Initiated in 2011, the RYAP was developed on the basis on the recommendations from the first Roma Youth Conference organised in September 2011 by the Council of Europe. The project was prepared and implemented in the spirit of the Strasbourg Declaration on Roma, which it complements by associating young people and taking into account the challenges faced by young Roma and their priorities.
In March 2016, the Joint Council on Youth of the Council of Europe adopted the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Roma Youth Action Plan 2016-2020. The strategic document was developed on the basis of the experiences of the first cycle of implementation of the project (2012-2015 and the proposal made by the participants during the second Roma youth conference. The RYAP Guidelines provide the strategic framework, priorities and main approaches for the implementation of the RYAP for the period of 2016-2020. The document incorporated and takes into consideration the Thematic Action Plan for Inclusion of Roma and Travellers (2016-2019), adopted by the Committee of Ministers in March 2016. The RYAP Guidelines are set for 2016-2020 period as to cover the period of the Thematic Action plan for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers and the term of the Agenda 2020 on youth policy.
The RYAP is carried out within the framework of the Council of Europe Youth Department’s co-management system and with close co-operation with the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe. An Informal Contact Group of the RYAP was set up to coordinate and promote communication among relevant European Roma and youth stakeholders thus building synergies and maximizing the impact of the activities carried out for young Roma people. The Roma Youth Action Plan has been incorporated in the two biennia of the Youth for Democracy programme (2016-2019).
The current RYAP finishes by the end of 2019, producing a variety of experiences, ideas and good practices. The Council of Europe organises this seminar as one of the key activities to review the results of the RYAP and to identify future priorities and ways of action in relation to Roma youth participation and combating antigypsyism.
The seminar is organised by the Youth Department with the support of the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe.
Aim and objectives of the seminar
The aim of the seminar is to assess the overall impact of the RYAP project and its response to the needs and aspiration of Roma young people. It should also examine good practices and recommend further actions to learn from them and youth participation and double mainstreaming.
The objectives of the seminar are:
- To discuss and share experiences from the RYAP in relation to youth participation and double mainstreaming of Roma youth issues;
- To explore the extent of which the main objectives of the RYAP project have been achieved and lessons learned at national and European level;
- To share successful examples of the work on youth participation and double mainstreaming particularly at the European and national level;
- To review current needs and expectations regarding Roma young people and their translation in the policies and programmes of the Council of Europe regarding youth and Roma and Travellers.
Exhibition “Lithuanian Roma during the inter-war period”
Lithuanian Roma during the inter-war period
During the seminar the European Youth Centre will host the exhibition “Lithuanian Roma during the inter-war period”, organised in cooperation with the Department of National Minorities of the Government of Lithuania.
The exhibition tells about the life of Roma people in the region during the World War II and the Roma genocide. Historians estimate that a third of Lithuanian Roma community was killed in Nazi death camps.
The opening of the exhibition is on Tuesday 24 September at 18:30 at the European Youth Centre. Colleagues are welcomed to attend the opening and visit the exhibition.