Regional Conference: Where to with Roma Integration? (Belgrade, 2019)
- 24 Jun 2019
The regional conference “Where to with Roma integration” was held in Belgrade on 21 June 2019, and was organized jointly by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Roma Integration project, the Government of Serbia, the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Belgrade, the OSCE Mission to Serbia and other partners. This conference gathered over 120 participants from enlargement region to discussed the following topics: non-discrimination, legal assistance and social inclusion of Roma, the position of Roma women in society and the family, education and employment as a means of preventing marginalization of Roma, housing and health.
Speaking at the opening, Orhan Usein, Team Leader of the RCC Roma Integration Project highlighted that ”Today’s conference is focused not only on discussing what has been done, but also on setting the path for the future. Unfortunately, available data shows that progress in the area of employment and housing has seen a quite big regress throughout the region. This is why we consider that strong efforts, strong coordination deserve approach that would have an inclusive message in terms of bigger coordination of all line ministries and bigger coordination of all institutions.”
The word that marked all the statements made during this conference is "together". All participants emphasized that any questions related to the Roma community, be that education, housing, health care or employment, is impossible to effectively solve without joint action of all participants in the process. None of individual efforts would yield any results if we continue to tolerate hidden, seemingly neutral, but systemic discrimination and biased attitudes towards Roma.
The Roma integration is about giving hand from both the sides. A helping hand to a friend, a neighbour in need. But, also a hand for a handshake in partnership.
The conference was officially opened the day before with the multimedia presentation of the Roma culture EDERLEZI CULTURE in Belgrade City Hall.