EU funds report on Roma community in Ukraine
With Ukraine’s current Roma Integration Strategy ending in 2020 and given the alarming 2018 anti-Roma violence, the EU project ‘A Partnership for All: Developing Strategies for Socio-Economic Cooperation Between Roma Communities and Local Authorities in Ukraine’ has presented report on the realities of everyday life of Roma across different corners of Ukraine, which will aid in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the new Roma Integration Strategy.
The report titled ‘Roma in Ukraine – A Time for Action: Priorities and Pathways for an Effective Integration Policy‘ was compiled by Minority Rights Group Europe (MRG) and International Charitable Organisation Roma Women Fund ‘Chiricli’ and presented in Kyiv on May 8. The report draws on testimonies of dozens of Roma community members, NGO representatives and human rights workers across Ukraine, provided in a series of in-persons conducted between January and March 2019.
‘The purpose of this report, alongside our long-term project in Ukraine, is to build effective partnerships between Roma communities and regional and local authorities. This is in line with the Strategy for Protection and Integration in Ukrainian Society of Roma National Minority,’ says Neil Clarke, MRG Europe’s Managing Director. ‘Genuine partnerships and inclusion of the Roma population will lead to stronger communities and a stronger Ukraine.’
‘A key factor in Roma exclusion is statistical and data invisibility,’ says Julian Kondur, the Programme Coordinator of Chiricli. ‘There is very little reliable, disaggregated data on the circumstances of the country’s Roma as a whole, let alone the poorest and most marginalized communities among them.’
As the report shows, many Roma live in ‘unlegalised houses’ which, because they are not officially recognized, lack access to clean water, electricity and sanitation. The situation is even harder for those who lack personal documentation, and as a result, struggle to secure basic civil rights. Though the Roma population is diverse and living conditions vary significantly between different communities and regions, the community is nevertheless disproportionately marginalized in almost every area, from education and healthcare to housing and employment.
The report makes recommendations to the Ukrainian government and local authorities, between them:
- The long-term sustainability of Roma CSOs and mediators must become a priority for the Ukrainian authorities. Evidence shows that the most effective measures to address social inclusion are those led by community members themselves (Roma mediators).
- While Ukraine has taken a number of steps to amend its legislation to be in line with international standards and has publicly stated its commitment to promoting the inclusion of Roma and other minorities, many of these promises have remained unrealized. The Ukrainian government must demonstrate its ability to achieve these ambitions in the future, with a new post-2020 integration strategy that draws on the work and experience of Roma CSOs.
- ‘A Partnership for All: Developing Strategies for Socio-Economic Cooperation Between Roma Communities and Local Authorities in Ukraine’ is an EU project which helps Roma minority communities to participate in democratic reforms and policy processes and cooperate with local authorities. The project provides face-to-face training sessions on advocacy and monitoring for Roma CSOs, and interactive online training curriculum for local authorities, workshops for community action with representatives from Roma communities and local authorities, supports Roma communities‘ work with journalists and provides 18 small grants for advocacy campaigns available to participants of past trainings. It also helps deliver 12 pilot projects implemented by Roma CSOs in partnership with local authorities and local community members. The project runs from January 1, 2017 until June 30, 2019 and is implemented by Minority Rights Group Europe (MRGE). Its budget is EUR 0.5 mln. The EU contributes 75% of its funding, which is EUR 470,779.
- For additional information and to arrange the interviews, please contact in Ukrainian Julian Kondur (Chiricli), via [email protected] or in English Anna Alboth (MRG), via [email protected].
- View the report, available in English and Ukrainian, here.
Address of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine:
101 Volodymyrska Street,
01033 Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel: +38 044 39 08 010
Fax: +38 044 39 08 015
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