The representatives of NGO "The Law Centre" are alarmed by the hostile attitude to Roma in the villages of V'yazivok and Yatranivka, Cherkasy region. Regarding the situation in Yatranivka human rights activists are preparing a letter to the Chairman of Cherkasy regional state administration with the requirement to prevent hate speech and to counteract discrimination.
Lawyers learned about the uneasy relationship between the local Roma and other inhabitants of the village Yatranivka, Uman district, Cherkasy region during the field reception of the Roma community, which was held in late February. In addition to the typical questions – registration of two passports and the establishment of paternity – the representatives of Cherkasy office of the Legal Development Network Petro Burlachenko and Valentyna Pizniakhovska heard from the Roma some other complaints of a legal nature.
“The village head refuses to accept the documents on allocation of agricultural land to the Roma, who worked in the agricultural cooperative, although such decisions are not the responsibility of the village head”, said Petro Burlachenko.
There are more alarming points: according to the lawyer, some residents of the village provoke Roma towards arguments and conflicts, and when the Roma appeal to the village head for help, he refuses them. Petro Burlachenko told about insults and discriminatory acts against Roma children by pupils from a local school.
After the visit human rights defenders tried to talk to the head of the village council.
Since the attempted dialogue failed, by the results of the visit human rights activists are preparing an official letter to the Cherkasy regional state administration with the request to intervene to prevent the incitement of ethnic hatred, to combat discrimination and implement the State Strategy for the protection of Roma rights.
In V'yazivok the situation seems less tense, but also requires attention.
"According to the elder of the Roma settlement Vasyl Serduchenko, there were harassment and threats from law enforcement against Roma, but until they (the police – ed.) stopped come to see them", told the lawyer.
The village has also a serious problem with the unemployment of Roma: Vasyl Serduchenko, for example, told that people are digging wells, gardens to earn for living.
From left to right: the lawyer of the Law Centre Petro Burlachenko, the elder of the Roma settlement Vasyl Serduchenko, an employee of the Law Center Olena Palamar. Photo by the Law Centre.
Human rights defenders advised on the following questions:
- The procedure for obtaining agricultural land;
- The list of required documents that must be submitted to the village council;
- The treatment of the Pension Fund for a pension;
- Assistance for single mothers;
- Subsidies for communal services, if the person is not the owner of the property.
Lawyers Petro Burlachenko and Olena Palamar provided consultations and at the end of reception contact details* and invited them to apply for free legal aid in person.
Field meetings are held in the framework of the project "Support to the activities of the Law Community Center in the city of Cherkasy. Providing quality legal aid to the Roma community", which is implemented by the NGO "The Law Centre" with the support of Roma Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation.
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