Ms Miranda Vuolasranta (FI)
Ms Miranda Vuolasranta has worked as a Human Rights and International Roma Policy Expert already for four decades in various governmental agencies, national and international organisations such as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
Ms Vuolasranta is one among the first Roma women pioneers, who have fought decades to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for Roma women that are equal to those of men. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
Ms Vuolasranta took part in numerous national and international events and conferences as a speaker and lecturer on Roma integration policies, human rights, language and education policies, history of Roma people, women rights and culture.
As recognition of her work, Ms Vuolasranta has been awarded twice for her fight for human and minority rights by:
- The Finnish Human Rights League (2002), with a Human Rights Plodder (Fighter) award and
- The International Romani Union (IRU) (2007) with a Golden Wheel Cross award for fair and committed work for Roma Human Rights at the 3rd Plenary Assembly of European Roma and Travellers Forum in Strasbourg.
The full version if the CV is available here.
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Mr Gheorghe Raducanu (RO)
Mr Gheorghe Raducanu was born in Romania on 14th July 1951. He is married to Ms Elena Raducanu and has 7 children. He has got a Master's degree in European Public Institutions from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Romania.
Mr Gheorghe Raducanu is a founding member of many political parties and organisations such as Partida Romilor PRO-EUROPA, Romani Criss, the Federation of Ethnic Roma in Romania, the Union of Roma etc. He also is a founding member of several Committees and international Roma organisations among which the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers (MG-S-ROM), the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), the Forum of European Roma Young People (FERYP) etc.
Mr Gheorghe Raducanu was the first elected Roma Member of the Romanian Parliament. He was standing on a Roma party list and was elected thanks to the overwhelming support by the Roma community.
Political Activities in Romania
- Member of Parliament (1990 – 1992 and 1992-1996)
- Vice-President of a parliamentary group and member of the Standing Bureau of the Romanian Parliament (1993-1995) Parliament's Expert on Human rights
- Adviser on Ethnic relations and Human Rights in the cabinet of the Romanian President (2001-2005)
- Honorific Ambassador on Roma issues (2009-2010)
- Personal Adviser on Roma issues to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2010)
- State Adviser in the office of the Prime Minister (2013)
Since 1990 Mr Raducanu has been holding various positions in Partida Romilor PRO-EUROPA, the first Roma political party created in Romania.
As a holder of various high-level positions, Mr Raducanu attended numerous national and international high-level events including conferences and parliamentary hearings. During his vast political career he had several private audiences with many Heads of State, Monarchs and His Holiness John Paul II.
Mr Raducanu was elected as President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum on 18th November 2014 at the ERTF Plenary Assembly in Strasbourg
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Mr Rudko KAWCZYNSKI (DE)
Mr Rudko KAWCZYNSKI, who was also the first interim president of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, has been elected unanimously by the ERTF's first Plenary Assembly in December 2005.
Mr Kawczynski was born in Krakow, Poland on 26 November 1954. His family in 1956 escaped to Austria and later to Germany, where he and his family applied for asylum.
After the first contact with the peace and civil rights movement in the early 1970s, Mr Kawczynski became a co-founder of the Rom & Cinti Union (RCU) which was created in Hamburg in 1975 and has been re-elected as its president since. Since the early 1990s, Mr Kawczynski has been active in the International Romani rights movement. Organising and participating in several international protests for the compensation of Romani Holocaust victims and against the repatriation of Roma refugees from the Former Yugoslavia, he together with other activists from different countries co-founded the Roman National Congress (RNC), which soon became one of the main international Roma organisations.
As a programme director with the Open Society Institute (OSI), Mr Kawczynski initiated many activities and programmes among which the well known the Roma Participation Programme (RPP). He also initiated the creation of the European Roma Rights Center and of the Contact Point for Sinti and Roma Issues of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).He served as a board member of the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) in Brussels.
Mr Kawczynski has been a founding member of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and pushed forward its developments. As a representative of ERTF, he has taken part in many national and international high level events including conferences and parliament hearings.
Mr Kawczynski was re-elected for his second term of office by the Fifth Plenary Assembly of the European Roma and Travellers Forum on 25th February 2010.