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To prevent "Loshchynivka scenario": human rights delegation visited Shelud'kivka
The Roma family from Shelud'kivka asked to help resolve the conflict between them and locals. Photo by Olga Zhmurko/IRF.
The Roma family from Shelud'kivka asked to help resolve the conflict between them and locals.

On December 17, 2016 the delegation of human rights defenders visited the city of Zmiyiv and Shelud'kivka village, Kharkiv region. The visit was planned and focused on the detailed study of the situation around one of the Roma families, which the local residents threatened with eviction

One of the participants of the delegation, Director of the Roma Program Initiative of the International renaissance Foundation Olga Zhmurko shared details and results of the meeting with the family and representatives of the local authorities in the relevant Facebook group "Protection of the rights of the Roma”.

"We have visited Romani family, which is now the subject of increased attention from some members of the Village Council through their social position, living conditions and the complaints about the "behavior" of its members from the individual representatives of the rural authorities.

The departure was attended by the representatives of Civil Coordination Council on questions of integration and protection of Roma rights, representatives of the UN missions, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees and the Office of the High Commissioner for human rights, the monitoring mission of the OSCE, the International renaissance Foundation (totally 10 people).

The visit began with participation in a special workshop, which was held under the chairmanship of the head of Zmiyiv district Council, with the participation of the Secretary and authorized representatives of the SMS, National Police, social services, Department of family, youth and sports, representatives of the departments of education and health.

The event was attended by the Chairman of the village Council, the Deputy of the Batkivshchyna faction, which is one of those initiating and supporting the issue of eviction of Romani families from the village, as well as several members of the rural community.

The meeting began with presentations by representatives of the village and demonstration of the specially made video that illustrated the damages committed by thieves in the country houses located in the village. The representative of the Roma community is accused of the caused.

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Working meeting in Zmiyiv district Council. Photo by Olga Zhmurko/IRF.

In general, the speeches of the villagers were emotional, judging, not backed by facts and containing the one-sided coverage of the issue. No desire to settle the conflict in peaceful ways, but to resort to the illegal and discriminatory eviction of families with children.

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The house where the "disgraced" Roma family is living. Photo by Olga Zhmurko/IRF.

In the framework of the activities of the working group on the social integration of the Roma of Shelud'kivka village it is worth discussing approaches and possible integration measures, awareness of joint cultural initiatives for Roma and non-Roma residents of the village.

Direct work in the region is a responsibility of the invited members of the Civil Coordination Council on the issues of Roma inclusion and representatives of local authorities".

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