Because I hold a scholarship of the “Open Society Institute”, I had the possibility to spend a two monthly internship at the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) in Budapest/ Hungary.
The European Roma Rights Center fights against racism and discrimination of Romas and helps them to protect their rights by means of the following activities:
- Observing the situation of Romas in Europe
- Publishing material about infringements of Roma rights and news about the fight for civil rights for Romas in the form of press releases, reports about the status of Romas in different countries, thematic papers, which compare the situation of Romas in different governments, a quarterly information bulletin “Roma rights” and furthermore the support of the site www.errc.org;
- Offering juristic services by participation in a proceedings about Roman rights and using strategic juristic investigations to eliminate discrimination of Romas;
- Observing the current legislation and juristic services in order to protect the Romas on the basis of law and to create a set of advocates working for their legal protection;
- Organizing workshops with a view to spread information about the rights situation of Romas and the progression on strategic juristic investigations in order to contribute to a legislation reform;
- Protecting the rights of Romas as well in local as in international governmental and non-governmental structures;
- Developing the documentation center, which contains material about Romas, human rights and the national legislation;
- Awarding scholarships to students of Roman descent, which study law or social sciences;
Every summer the ECCR and the Canadian Fond for Human Rights conduct this summer school about Roman rights for young Roman activists. This projects aims at developing a new generation of Roman leaders and human rights activists for international, national and regional institutions and at protecting and supporting the development of Roman rights as well at national as at international stage. At this summer school participated young Roman activist from different countries: Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Rumania, Moldavia, Ukraine, Russia, Austria, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, USA; At the end all participants got a certificate about the successful conclusion of summer school studies in Roman Rights. For me – and I hope for all other attendees also – this project was very important and useful. I want to thank our teachers – Vincent Hassari, Ri Choltshak, Alexandr Raikovoi and Larry Olomof – I learned really much about the situation of Romas in different countries, realized, that most of the problems Romas in the whole world must facing to are very similar and that there are problems, which I’ve earlier not even suspected.
While joining the summer school in Budapest I had not only the chance to talk and become friend with Romas from all over the world, but also learned much about my rights and how to fight for their compliance. If only more Russian Romas could participate in such events! The European participants applied to me with interest, many of them never before contacted a representative of the “Russian Roma” group and for them I was something of a rarity. Unfortunately only a few young Romas get the chance to express them selves at international stage. And that’s such an interesting experience. For me the dialogue with European Romas was of great use and released much energy – energy to fight against discrimination, to protect my rights and the rights of my sisters and brothers. As I noticed, most of the Russian Romas subordinated to the others, they don’t demand anything from life. But why they are so passive? Why do they not have energy to fight for their rights? The European Romas become more and more active. May be the situation of the Romas in Europe will improve even that’s why – because they fight!
Opre Roma! Te del o Devel sarenge tumenge zor, bax i sastipe!