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75% of Roma are unemployed in Cherkasy region
The staff of the NGO "Law Centre" Andrii Nikolaienko (left) and Petro Burlachenko with representatives of the Cherkasy regional employment Center.Photo by the Law Centre.
The staff of the NGO "Law Centre" Andrii Nikolaienko (left) and Petro Burlachenko with representatives of the Cherkasy regional employment Center.

The staff of Cherkasy NGO "Law Center" and representatives of the regional employment Center unite efforts to help the Roma find jobs.

During a working meeting held in the office of the Law Center on February 10, 2016, human rights activists and civil servants discussed among other social issues the problem of employment of the Roma. According to the head of the Law Center Petro Burlachenko, about 75% of the Romani population of Cherkasy region are not working. The reasons for this high unemployment rate a lot.

"While working with Roma, we are faced with their total poverty, low legal literacy, illiteracy – all this leads to a decline in living standards of the Roma, many of which are at the bottom”, said the lawyer. “As for the Roma who have at least a high school diploma, they are often refused over national identity – employers find a variety of excuses".

Another reason is a psychological barrier in communicating with officials. In such a situation, human rights defenders act as mediators between their compatriots and civil servants.

Participation in the dialogue of the Manager of the Department of active support of unemployed at the Cherkasy regional employment Center Olena Gaschuk allowed to obtain information about services available in the Center of Employment of Roma, who are looking for work.

Human rights activists have found following important points:

  • - whether a person can contact the Employment Centre without a passport and obtain information about job vacancies;
  • - whether the person who did not work and has no insurance experience has the right to register and unemployment assistance;
  • - whether Roma young people can participate in employment testing together with a qualified psychologist to determine their professional orientation, to find a suitable sphere of activity;
  • - training in what fields can be offered by the Employment Centre with guaranteed work at the end of the course;
  • - what public works the Center can offer the Roma.

"Also, the Law Center received handouts of the Employment Center. We plan to disseminate these information booklets during the outreach consultations, when we explain people how to contact, what documents they need to provide," said Petro Burlachenko.

In addition, human rights activists and civil servants discussed the possibility of joint departure to the village councils of Cherkasy district to provide free legal aid to local Roma.

Reference
NGO "Law Center" implements the project "Support to the activities of the Law Community Center in Cherkasy. Providing quality legal aid to the Roma community" supported by Roma Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation.

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