Now, the first body of Roma self-organization will be able to defend the rights and freedoms of its people

11 March 2016 21:20  37118658 0119839
Roma self-organization will be able to defend the rights and freedoms of its people

The idea of building the Roma self-government in the Transcarpathian region has come a long way: from finding Roma activists, forming initiative groups and to several hours of talks with representatives of local councils, the Press Center of the Charitable Foundation "Rozvytok" reports.

"Today we are happy to announce that the first body of the Roma community self-organization in Ukraine has been established! This so far unprecedented event will become a new milestone in the history of the Roma people: it marks the transition from common law to civil relations", - Natalia Kozyr, the Project Coordinator of the Charitable Foundation "Rozvytok" said.

The first Roma self-government is intended to dramatically change the relationship between the Roma community, local authorities and ordinary Ukrainians. We believe that the establishment of Roma self-organization bodies will help to speed up and to improve the integration of the Roma minority.

Speaking of Roma self-government, first of all one should understand that despite the misunderstanding that can occur in this process, there is no alternatives to such development of Roma communities.   If we want to contribute to the integration of the Roma population in the Ukrainian society, we, both community activists and authorities at all levels, should make every effort to establish bodies of Roma self-organization in most cities of Transcarpathia so that Roma could themselves build their Roma communities.

One of the significant advantages of the Roma self-government over local authorities is that of its bodies will be comprised of inhabitants of Roma settlements. That is, people with inside knowledge of the problems, with understanding of what changes the residents of the settlements need.

"We have come a long time to create this body. Now, enterprising and ambitious Roma have an institution with which they can not only improve the quality of life of our community, but also defend our rights and freedoms" - the elder of the Roma settlement in Svalyava Matvey Balint said.

PS: The centers of legal information and advice that provide free legal aid to Roma people are supported by the Roma Initiatives Program of the International Fund "Renaissance".

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