MINELRES: Readmission and Roma from Balkan

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Nov 5 15:16:05 2007


Original sender: Asmet Elezovski <elezovski@nationalromacentrum.org>


01.11.2007 

Respected,

European Roma and Travelers Forum (ERTF), was participating at the
Conference on Durable Solutions for Roma Refugees, IDP’s and Returnees
in the Balkans, which was held from 29-30 October 2007 in the National
Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and it was organized under the
Serbian Chairmanship in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe.

The purpose of the Conference was to analyze recent developments
regarding possibilities of returning or integrating Roma IDP’s, refugees
or returnees, the Conference was intending to identify obstacles
regarding returnees integration. The Conference as it was say so "has
the intent to address a longstanding issue, which despite many
conferences and meetings, has not found any durable solution, Roma were
forcibly expelled and now they are supposed to be forcibly returned
through readmission agreements". 

According to the Readmission Agreement between EU and Republic of
Serbia, Roma refugees in EU countries, except Denmark) are going to be
sent back to Serbia. Roma have been successfully integrated in the host
European countries, started to learn language, and suddenly they are
going to be sent back, and once again they are forced to migrate and to
start a new life.

ERTF has urged to stop the process of readmission return of Roma
refugees from European countries, because Republic of Serbia does not
have the capacity to provide quality and decent living conditions for
Roma. 

With regards to the refugee’s issues, and Kosovo Roma refugee’s status,
ERTF notes:

About 100.000 Roma are still refugees from Kosovo, which remain main
political concern. The process of return started with readmission
agreements and is pushing Roma in very difficult position, they must
return on Kosovo and in Serbia. And, as in the case of Roma, they may
remain confined to camps where they depend on international relief
assistance. Roma do not have access to land or access to the labour
market. 

If the aim is to integrate Roma as citizens and to give them the right
to choose better life, then is logical to provide substantive measures
for integration in European countries, not to force them under the
Readmission agreement. Local integration in the asylum countries is a
legal, socio-economic and political process by which refugees
progressively become fully integrated members of their host societies.
Roma have successfully been integrated in some European countries,
started to learn language, and suddenly return and new life.

Roma are faced with many difficulties, irrespective whether they are
refugees, asylum seekers, forcibly returned or something else. On
30.10.2007 Romani refugee that was forcibly returned from Germany to
Kosovo in Boshnjacka Mahaala in Mitrovica, which is not safe settlement.
The man has died soon after he was returned in Mitrovica, with no
visible injuries. Intimidations, fear, persecution, poverty,…many
questions with no answers and no visible real investigation that will
explain what has happened.      

Roma are political responsibility and we must act in that manner more
seriously, ERTF is urging to European countries and EU not to force Roma
to return, but to give them the chance and the right to integrate. 
 

With respect
Asmet Elezovski
Co-ordinator of Skopje Group
Directorate of Human rights, European Roma and Travellers Forum,
Strasbourg 
elezovski@nationalromacentrum.org

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