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
The intercultural mediators’ training is a part of the VET4 Mediation with Roma project implemented in five European countries – Spain, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Serbia – and funded by the Lifelong Learning Program of the European Commission. Besides PPCO, the project implementation in Serbia has been supported by the Roma Inclusion Office of the Government of the AP of Vojvodina and the Project Generation Facility (PGF) of the Open Society Foundation focusing on the Roma.
The aim of the project is to promote mediation and empower women and men mediators, as well as facilitating their engagement in local communities, esp. those with a significant proportion of Roma population. One of its objectives is certification of the mediators’ training along the lines of the VET4 European curriculum in order to contribute to standardization and profesionalization of intercultural mediation. It is expected that introducing this kind of mediation as a subject into a college or univeristy degree educational facility would inspire young Roma women and men to opt for becoming mediators in the future and to contribute to improvement, exercise and protection of the rights of all members of the Roma community.