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Roma should be seen as a powerful force, not as a problem
The meeting was held on the eve of the Human Rights Day. Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".
The meeting was held on the eve of the Human Rights Day.

Special "Roma" chambers in hospitals. Failure to feed the Roma patients if they have no own dishes. The question of national identity on the surgical table. Special “Roma” classes in schools. The refusal to accept children in the day care group just because they're Roma. It's not all egregious examples of discrimination on a national basis, given the human rights defenders on December 9 in Kyiv during the meeting "Approaches to the integration and protection of the Roma rights with the participation of SGBs and NGOs".

On the eve of the Human Rights Day representatives of the Roma NGOs and state institutions discussed the facts of discrimination of the Roma and gave examples of successful preventive measures and encouraged at the state level to develop real mechanisms for effective responses to incidents of this shameful phenomenon.

The event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Culture, social policy, regional development of Ukraine, human rights defenders, representatives of the Commissioner for human rights of the Verkhovna Rada, International Renaissance Foundation, Roma NGOs, in particular the Coalition of Roma NGOs of Ukraine.

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The participants of the meeting. Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".

According to the Director of Roma Program Initiative Olga Zhmurko, the aim was to create a communication platform, to establish the communication between public sector and authorities to account for regional differences and the general context for further work on the integration of the Roma.

NGOs, using projects supported by the IRF, presented collected data on discrimination and gave examples of their own developments for integration of the Roma with the involvement of local authorities.

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Olga Zhmurko, Director of the Roma Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".

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Zemfira Kondur, Vice-President of CF Chiricli, the representative of the interagency coordinating Committee on the implementation of the Roma strategy under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".

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The expert of CF Chiricli Larysa Kobylianska (pictured third from right) presented the interim results of the mediation project. Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".

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Maksym Dzhum, a Roma mediator, head of CF "The Planet of Kind People" (Odessa). Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".

Examples of discrimination were heard (most for the first time) and commented on by representatives of the ministries. All these facts will be sent in letters to the Office of the Commissioner for human rights in Ukraine and regional state administrations.

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The Chairman of the Coalition of Roma NGOs "Strategy 2020" Volodymyr Kondur. Photo by Olena Orlova, IRC "Legal Space".


Since the adoption of this strategy, the task of the defenders is to convey to the government that it (the Strategy) should not be declarative. Given this Olga Zhmurko voiced the following sentence:

I would like to address the representatives of ministries, the task of which, in our opinion, in the decentralization process to create policy based on a fundamental respect for the rights and freedoms of a person and relay these principles to the local level to avoid the risk of "excluding" people by selected characteristics... A platform for this should become an interdepartmental working group on the implementation of the Roma strategy, which includes representatives of all ministries, whose competence is to formulate this in clear inclusive policies, future orders and interaction with representatives of authorities in the field.

More photos in the gallery to the article.


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