“Human Rights Webinar for the Romani People”
From Discrimation and Prejudice to Equality and Tolerance
Date and Time: Saturday, June 18th, 2022, 10:00PM (ECT)
Location: Online (Zoom)
Topics: discrimation for Romani people, Human Rights
Host: HWPL Incheon Branch
– Rafael Saavedra, Fundación Secretariado Gitano, International Department,
– Georgiana Ionita, Agentia de Dezvoltare, Coordinator of education project
– Štefan Simončič, Scientific and Research Association EPEKA, President
– Karolina Stankiewicz Kwiatkowska, Central Roma Council in Poland, General Secretary
Due to the low perception of the history and identity of the Romani people, the Romani people are having many difficulties in each European country. Therefore, we will hold an event to improve awareness and understanding of the Romani people and inform the current state of discrimination faced by the Romani people in each country.
“Roma populate inhomogeneous social and economic worlds, with great diversity within the same ethnic group. Social risks are not evenly distributed among the entire Roma population, being also determined by the forms of construction and identity identification.
The social programmes addressed to Roma beneficiaries must address the Roma in all their variety and avoid looking at the Roma as a homogeneous group. ”
Georgiana Ionita (Romania)
On June 18th, a Webinar related to human rights was held under the theme of “From Discrimination and Prejudice to Equality and Tolerance” by the international peace NGO called, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (hereinafter referred to as “HWPL”).
Through the Webinar this time, the history and identity of the Romani people were introduced, it was also emphasized that Romani communities need to join in order to seek cooperation and solidarity to improve social awareness. Furthermore, the problems of the system applied to the Romani people who are in the blind spot of human rights were pointed out and discussions were made with emphasis on supplementing the policies.
As one of the oldest minority groups , approximately 10 million to 12 million Romani people mostly reside in Europe. To this day, however , there are still many prejudices and social discriminations against them due to lack of knowledge.
Therefore , through this event , HWPL wishes to invite people and organizations in each European country to promote an understanding and awareness of the Romani people. Furthermore, we would like to set up a place to discuss what policies each country has for the Romani people, what parts should be supplemented.
About 50 participants—including the representatives of NGOs, human rights organizations, as well as journalists and young people from countries such as Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and Poland—joined the event, and the presentation also suggested a direction to promote human rights based on the core values of the DPCW.
Points of discussion
Mr. Rafael Saavedra from International Department/Fundación Secretariado Gitano in Spain
calmly presented the historical facts how Romani people settled down in Spain, as well as the racial discrimination, anti-Romani policy, and the holocaust that occurred in the process of settlement, and particularly, how the culture of Romani people contributed to Spain.
Mr. Štefan Simončič from Scientific and Research Association EPEKA in Slovenia said “Many of the Romani people live in marginalized environments and face various disadvantages and structural inequalities in education, housing, employment, and healthcare. In addition, the lack of systematic education among legal experts on anti-discrimination laws makes it unable to completely address to the needs of Romani society,” appealing for inequality and problems faced by the Romani people.
Another speaker Ms.Georgiana Ionita from Agentia de Dezvoltare Comunitara Impreuna in Romania said, “Social programs must be given to the Romani people in all diversity, and national programs need to be carried out to foster awareness of the unfavorable situations of the Romani people and to draw public attention to the both direct and indirect forms of discrimination experienced by the Romani people,” while explaining the impact of social programs such as vocational training, education program, and medical support on narrowing the racial gap.
In addition, Karolina Stankiewicz Kwiatkowska from Central Roma Council in Poland gave a presentation about the difficulties faced by the Romani refugees from Ukraine in Poland. She emphasized the need for realistic measures, pointing out the reality of discriminations against the Romani refugees, problems arising in the reception center, and the lack of legal support.
Rafael Saavedra(Spain): FROM SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO GREAT CREATORS- Roma’s rich culture has offered much to universal art, and has also benefited from major influences that have helped to transform it. Roma aesthetic and art has been for centuries, and continues to be, a source of inspiration for creators in various disciplines.
Štefan Simončič(Slovenia): A considerable proportion of Roma in Slovakia and Slovenia live in marginalized conditions and face multiple disadvantages and structural inequalities in education, housing, employment and healthcare. In contrast to the prominent levels of discrimination, Roma communities face serious barriers in access to justice.
Karolina Stankiewicz Kwiatkowska(Poland): Roma refugees often emphasize that they do not receive enough hygiene, medical and nutritional products. We need non-discriminatory support, including legal and psychological support, for Ukrainian Romi refugees.
We will report on the discussion points of the event in an article to improve the understanding of the history and culture of the Romani people. In addition, We will try to ensure that the issue of discrimination experienced by the Romani people can be discussed as an international agenda.
>> Download the Webinar Report