The ERTF and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities entered into cooperation agreement

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Strasbourg, 26 March 2014: On the occasion of the 26th Congress Session, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) entered into a cooperation agreement with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

On the occasion of the signature of the Agreement Mr Kawczynski stated: "To begin with, we have requested to strengthen our working relationship with the Congress because we felt that you can help in improving the living conditions of the Roma and ensure their full participation in society. Your positive response has convinced us of your willingness and commitment to bring about the desired changes for Roma."

International Women’s Day: the status of Romani women and girls in 2014

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On the occasion of the International Women's Day, Phenjalipe (1), the Informal Platform of Romani Women, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) (2) and the Council of Europe under DOSTA! Campaign (3) are inviting you to participate in a meeting on the status of Romani women. The event will take place on 12 March 2014 in the Agora building in Room G06 from 9.30 am until 12.30 pm (see programme below).

The aims of the meeting are to raise awareness on the ongoing obstacles and challenges of Romani women in their daily lives, take stock of positive developments at policy and community level and to encourage Council of Europe action for the advancement of the status of Romani women and girls.

Czech Republic failing Roma under the European Social Charter

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014 Strasbourg, France – The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) announced today that it has filed a collective complaint against the Czech Republic with the European Committee of Social Rights, which is responsible for ensuring that States comply with the provisions of the European Social Charter.

The complaint is one of the first ever lodged before the Committee against the Czech Republic addressing discrimination against members of the Romani minority.

The ERTF alleges that Romani people disproportionately suffer from systematic violations of their rights to housing and education in the Czech Republic.


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Increased attention from both a national and European level has been given to the issues that Roma face today and several initiatives to eliminate these issues have been made. However, Roma still face enormous obstacles and the anti-Gypsysism and discrimination is unfortunately not only still existing, but even rising, in some parts of Europe. The European Roma and Traveller's Forum (ERTF) and its members are committed to the achievement of equal rights and equal opportunities for Roma in Europe, in addition to fighting anti-Gypsyism and discrimination.

The ERTF believes in a joint effort between Roma NGOs, activists and the European institutions to achieve the full realisation of the Romas human rights.

Therefore, you are kindly invited to join us and become a member of the ERTF, so that together we can make a difference for Roma all over Europe.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorated at the Council of Europe

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A ceremony marking International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust took place, Friday, 30 January 2014 on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe. The Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland started the memorial service followed by Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Nachman Shai, Chairperson of the Observer Delegation of Israel to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Sebihana Skenderovksa, Vice-President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum.

Roma, LGBT, Anti-Racist, Disability and Jewish Organisations Stand Together on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the European population recalls the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its allies of millions of Jews and Roma, and the massacre of tens of thousands that did not fit the Nazi ideology, including persons with disabilities, Jehovah's witnesses, homosexuals, and political opponents.

Role and Responsibilities of the local authorities in integration Roma Migrants

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"The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: causes, effects, and future engagement strategies" 2013-2017- MigRom project.

Since April 2013, the European Roma and Travellers Forum is one of the partners of the MIGROM project together with the University of Manchester, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, the University of Verona, the University of Granada, the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities and the Manchester City Council.

The project investigates the experiences, motivations, and ambitions of Roma migrants from Romania who have recently moved to Italy, France, Spain, and the UK, and the effect of migration on their own lives and on the lives of relations left behind in the home communities in Romania. It will also investigate popular, media, and official reactions to Roma immigration. You can read more about the project here

A paper on the Role and the responsibilities of the Local authorities in integrating Roma Migrants has recently been published by the European Roma and Travellers Forum. In order to improve the context and present new possible approaches to the local authorities we are more than happy to receive any comment and/or proposal in this regard. You can send your comments and/or proposals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 14 February 2014.

ERTF comment on the “First ever EU legal instrument for Roma inclusion adopted”

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The Council recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the member states adopted by the Council of the European Union on 9-10 December, 2013 is the umpteenth appeal to member states to honour their commitments to improve the situation of the Roma and to close gaps between the Roma and the general population.

It repeats what has been recommended over the last two decades by the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the OSCE, not to mention the Strasbourg Declaration 2010, the decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights under the European Social Charter and the recommendations made by the various Council of Europe monitoring bodies.

A reference to these texts would have underlined the inaction of member states over several years and in spite of numerous appeals. As the Recommendation stands it would seem that awareness of this tragic situation arose during the last few years and then thanks only to the European Union.

The European Union has undoubtedly got wider powers and capacities than other international organisations. In the present context of widespread anti-Gypsyism one would expect the European Union to take a tougher stance than a legally non-binding recommendation repeating what has been said for years by other international organisations.