The second cycle of the intercultural mediators’ training within the frame of the VET4 Mediation with Roma project has started today in Novi Sad.
Around twenty women and men working with Roma communities in Serbia have had an opportunity to find out more about the work of the Provincial Protector of Citizens – Ombudsman (PPCO) in a session with the National Minority Rights Protection Deputy Ombudswoman Eva Vukasinovic. Specific topis tackled by Deputy Vukasinovic and the PPCO Associates Аndriјаnа Cоvic, Маriја Мilаdinоvic and Zеlјkа Prоdаnоvic were Roma women and men’s rights exercise before the authorities and public services concerning housing, healtcare, welfare and education, as well as discrimination and women’s and children’s rights
On 28 July, Novi Sad was the venue of the third module of the VET4 Mediation with Roma intercultural mediators’ training concerning healthcare, housing, employment and education. Around 20 intercultural mediators took part in the training and had a chance to talk to Eva Vukasinovic, National Minorities Protection Deputy Ombudswoman to the Provincial Protector of Citizens – Ombudsman (PPCO) and learn more about the jurisdiction and work of this institution. Deputy Vukasinovic introduced them to the ways and proceedings they can utilize the ombudsman human rights protection mechanism, esp. as related to housing issues.
Health mediators in Serbia, women that assist Roma women and men with maintaining and improving their health status and communication with the health care, will continue their engagement. Signing a memo of collaboration between the Ministry of Healthcare, Telenor andUNICEF will provide for continuing of collaboration started in 2008.
In Serbia, there are 140,408 Roma people living in unhygienic settlements, aka slums. Children make 50,754 of them, while another 46,453 are women. Continuing the Connecting project will facilitate establishing an improved, more efficient communication between the local communities, the Roma population, the health mediators working with them and the healthcare. In 2008, the Ministry of Healthcare initiated the health mediators’ project engaging women from grassroots communities in health promotion of the Roma population by going to Roma settlements and educating the people on the necessity of raising their awareness about health, the significance of vaccination, proper diet and hygiene. Continue reading
Despite obligations of the Republic of Serbia based on the ratified international human and minority rights documents, as well as on the Roma Decade, the position of Coordinators for Roma Issues (CRIs) with the local self-governments in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is still difficult, verging on grueling.
CRIs are often the only link between the local Roma community and the authorities, institutions and state services. Meetings with the local CRIs in the AP of Vojvodina have proved that a majority of them has been working at this post in municipalities part-time for several years back, which is contrary to regulations. A significant proportion of them are still not employed full-time with the local self-governments, despite their several years’ part-time or volunteering engagement at this post. Continue reading
The Roma Inclusion Office of the Government of Vojvodina, Serbia, has officially supported the implementation of the VET4 Mediation with Roma project. The activities of this Office aim at involving Roma in public life and local communities. The Office is a part of an overall strategy that is being implemented within the Decade of Roma, the Declaration of which has also been signed by the Republic of Serbia. The main aim of the Roma Inclusion Office is to improve the living conditions, level of education, employment and the general situation concerning human rights of the Roma in Vojvodina. The work of the Office is focused on four priority areas of the Decade – education, health, employment and housing.