torsdag 28 juni 2012

Idebatten om Romer

The Center for Roma Initiatives is the first organisation to work for the rights of Roma women in Montenegro and is this year's winner of the Anna Lindh Prize. Last Monday the Center was praised for its work by the Chair of the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund Mona Sahlin at a stirring ceremony at the Riksdag in Stockholm.

One of the speakers at the ceremony was Thomas Hammarberg, former COE High Commissioner for Human Rights, who spoke about the situation for Europe's twelve million Roma.

Hammarberg described how the Roma have been subjected to widespread racism, from high-level political leaders too. In such a situation, it is important that there are individuals who can fight back against this extensive anti-Ziganism and racism, but who also have the courage to highlight such sensitive issues as oppression of women within the own community.

 "This prize means a lot to us. We feel very honoured that our work has been recognised at such a high level. The award also gives us further strength to continue our work, it inspires us with hope and optimism", said one of the founders of the Center for Roma Initiatives (CRI), Fana Delija, who was in Stockholm to receive the Anna Lindh Prize, together with Fatima Naza, CRI's other founder.

In addition to starting CRI, the two of them have also established a network for young Roma women. They are also advisers to Montenegro's Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court in matters relating to the situation and rights of Roma women.

One tangible result is that the share of Roma women who give birth in the home fell from 60 per cent to below 30 per cent between the year 2000 and 2005, and today, in principle all women deliver their babies in hospital. Women have started to get an education and enter the labour market. The changes are also notable as regards education; the number of children attending school has increased manifold and today there are also Roma women who have....... 

Fatima Naza and Fana Delija believe that the Anna Lindh Prize will serve as an inspiration for CRI's work and to draw greater attention to the situation of Roma women. They work with concrete problems in the Roma community. There are Roma leaders who defend arranged marriages - a violation of the rights of women and children. Fatima and Fana spread information about violence against women, but also about where women who are exposed to violence can turn. But they also provide education in society in general about prejudices against the Roma. I believe these worthy award-winners will also welcome this report. We, as politicians, and this entire assembly all have a responsibility, but the most effective way of combating discrimination is together. We need CRI and I would greatly welcome the emergence of more Roma organisations in our communities.

inlägg i en debatt i Europarådets parlamenteriska Församling, det talade ordet gäller