IT IS NOT TOO LATE
On 17 and 18 January It is not too Late Conference was held in Prague (Czech Republic) in the framework of PAL project. Conference was organized by RomPraha and was a great opportunity for exchanging experiences and best practices among PAL project partners, public and institutional stakeholders from Czech Republic, professionals active in the field of education and school inclusion. Participants came from 9 EU countries (Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Belgium).
Jan Wolf, the councilor of Praha, opened the conference and municipal officers from the Municipality participated. Representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and from the Agency for Social Inclusion were present. The main topics covered during the first day of conference were: causes of marginalization of Roma people, what does racism mean, discrimination and anti Gypsism and human rights perspective.
The second day was the chance for PAL project partners to share the best practices they gathered during the work in their countries.
Particularly, it was outlined the important role that the European Union can play in the process of inclusion and integration of Roma people in the educational system, as it is the main Institution that ensures and promotes equal standards of human rights. Focus was also given on the importance of working directly with young people and the importance of giving young people earlier and good opportunities; in respect of this, it was also highlighted the need of adopting policies coming up from the grassroots and promoting this approach among stakeholders and decision makers. Another fundamental way to address the question will be to improve the economic situation of people: currently the level of unemployment among Roma makes people think they do not work and this reinforces racism and exclusion against them. Last, but not least, in terms of human rights, it was revealed the urgent need to work more and more on the law enforcement policies which do not adequately protect Roma people and their basic rights.
It is not too Late Conference was also a focal point in It is not too Late Awareness Campaign. Each partner will carry out dissemination and awareness activities in order to share Conference results and to promote the issue of integration of Roma children and families in the school environment: local events of dissemination, publications on newspapers, magazines and websites, sending newsletters, radio-tv interviews, distribution of material (leaflets, brochures etc.) will be organized in each country of PAL consortium.