On November 22, 2013 interregional scientific and practical conference on “Cultural integration of migrants: problems and solutions” was organized by the Leningrad regional Committee on local self-government, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations. Sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, representatives of various civil associations, ethnic communities, as well as members of the regional and local administrations of the Leningrad region, Karelia and Murmansk regions took part in the conference.
One of the topics of the conference was Russian language as a prerequisite for successful social adaptation and integration of foreign immigrants into the Russian society. Olga Abramenko, expert of ADC “Memorial”, presented a report on “Observation of rights of foreign-speaking children”, in which she pointed out that foreign speaking children in Russia include not only “new immigrants”, but also children from Roma communities. One of Roma settlements is located in Leningrad region and the situation of children’s education in this community is a catastrophe. Human rights activists believe that the reason for that is that local schools segregate Roma children from other children by creation of so called “Roma classes”, in which the standards of education are very poor. A total of about 100 Roma children study there. Olga Abramenko also spoke about the positive experience of non-segregated education for Roma children in Russia, as well as voluntary initiatives for teaching Russian to children from immigrant families (carried out by regional public association “Children of Saint Petersburg”).
Photos from the conference: http://lenoblnews.info/society/item/6318-inkulturazia.html