Not only poverty, unemployment, discrimination. PAL partners detected more than 40 stories of Roma people who achieved their goals through manual skills, intellectual capabilities, family and group support, physical effort provision, informal education centered on success, etc.
Thessaloniki: Opening of a new Community Center with a Roma Branch
11.12.2017 The opening of the new social structure of the Municipality of Ambelokipoi-Menemeni, the Community Center, took place with the Romani Branch. The Community Center runs from Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 16:00 and has three main axes: Reception -Information – Support for citizens; Collaboration with Services and Structures; Provision of Services aimed at improving the standard of living and ensuring the social integration of the beneficiaries.
“The primary goal allowed the communities to begin to talk with each other, rather than at each other, fostering honest communications that would eventually lead to trust. The most important finding in this exercise was that trust is the key element for inclusion”.
“As depicted in both EU Law and the European Convention on Human Rights, the Roma community is protected as an ethnic minority. Under both legal systems, the burden of proof, once a prima facie case of discrimination is established, lies with the respondent.
Specifically, within the context of education and its case law, the Court has condemned national segregational practices which consisted of segregation through misdiagnosis due to unsuitable entrance examinations, segregation within the school through creating Roma-only classes, and voluntary segregation through white flight. (…)
While case law has been able to address these incidents within the area of education, there is no relevant case law regarding employment. This is a result of the fact there is an unwillingness on the victims of discrimination to report alleged infringements and lack of confidence in the legal system set out by the Racial Equality Directive and its respective effectiveness.
Adding to this is the fact that there is a systematic risk of unimplemented or ineffectively implemented rulings. The underlying social tensions are a pertinent problem, as coping with ingrained prejudices and reservations, with traditional legal instruments being stretched to their limits. All of this culminates in a uniformly recognized lack of trust on both sides.
To address these challenges, the SRDA offered a programme for training and awareness. All the major components of the SRDA training were made part of the practical framework of work-throughs that reinforce the concepts of acceptance and trust, recognizing and appreciating one’s strengths and weaknesses as well as cultural sensitivity in fostering better communication and trust. (…)
The goal of the training programme is to take the next step to our final objective of a climate of acceptance and trust where by equality and the rights of persons that are enshrined in the Treaty, the Charter and International Human Rights conventions are promoted and protected.”