MINELRES: Fwd: EUMAP News: Access to Education for Roma; Muslims in EU Cities

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Dec 15 08:25:22 2008

Original sender: Roma Virtual Network <romale@zahav.net.il>


11 DECEMBER 2008


In this newsletter:

MUSLIMS IN EU CITIES: Update on project developments

   - Project update
   - Report launches (Macedonia, Serbia)
   - Follow-up projects (Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria)

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MUSLIMS IN EU CITIES: Update on project developments

A number of monitoring reports, covering Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and
Leicester, are currently being finalised in their draft form. Each
report will explore the diversity amongst the Muslim communities in the
city, and examine in depth the situation in one neighbourhood with a
significant Muslim population. The reports will also seek to identify
shared concerns city residents may have regardless of ethnic or
religious background.

Amsterdam and Berlin will be the first two cities to hold roundtable
discussions (early 2009) followed by the others shortly after. The
roundtable discussions aim to bring key stakeholders and relevant
government and civil society actors together to review the reports
before final publication. All 11 reports, as well as an analytical
overview of the 11 cities, will be published before the end of 2009.

Read more about EUMAP's Muslims in EU Cities project at
www.eumuslims.org .


Europe's Muslim Neighbourhoods

The Open Society Institute will be one of the sponsors of the Europe's
Muslim Neighbourhoods project, which should be up and running by early
2009. Conducted by the European Studies Centre of Oxford University, the
project will seek to explore Muslim neighbourhoods, both in European
cities and those on its borders, and study indigenous European Muslim
communities in the Balkans and Russia.

The project will delve into the debate on the dual homeland perspective
and the extent to which relations with countries of origin prevail for
Muslims in Europe. It will provide a perspective from communities which
have been part of Europe for centuries, and explore the relationship of
the EU with Muslim communities inside and outside its borders. 

Read more about this project at www.sant.ox.ac.uk/esc/ .



EUMAP, the Education Support Program and the Roma Participation Program
last year published two volumes of country reports, as well as an
international overview, documenting the problems Roma children face
gaining access to quality education in eight Central and Eastern
European countries. The countries are all signatories of the Decade of
Roma Inclusion (2005-2015): Bulgaria; Croatia; Hungary; Macedonia:
Montenegro; Romania; Serbia and Slovakia.

The reports were published in both English and the national language.
The international overview is available in English as well as in several
other languages. Translated country reports have been presented at
launch events throughout this year.

Download volume I and II or separate country reports, view the press
releases for launch events, or read about the project's methodology,
researchers and case study locations at www.eumap.org/topics/romaed .

At the International Step by Step Association 9th annual conference on
10-12 October, EUMAP presented the project and its main findings. View
the Powerpoint presentation "Advocating for Democratic Practices in
Early Childhood Education" at
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/description . 

The new brochure '10 Goals for Improving Access to Education for Roma'
is based on the findings and recommendations of the monitoring reports.
The goals are intended to help policymakers and civil society groups
define current challenges and formulate effective measures. You can find
a preview of the brochure at
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/description .



Translated country reports have been presented at five launch events
this year. Most recently, reports were launched at events in Serbia and

Launch of monitoring report in Skopje, Macedonia

The country report on Macedonia was launched on 29 September in Skopje.
The report includes three case studies, on Gostivar, Shuto Orizari, and
Shtip. Its findings spurred the attending officials on to a constructive
debate. To download the report or press release, find a description of
the launch event, or follow links to photos and minutes of the launch
and clips of TV coverage of the event, go to
www.eumap.org/journal/announcements/launch_serbia_maced/ .

Launch of monitoring report in Belgrade, Serbia

The country report on Serbia was launched in Belgrade on 23 October. The
report includes three case studies, on Nis, Valjevo, and Zemun
(Belgrade). The launch event took place in cooperation with the Ministry
for Human and Minority Rights. To find more information or download the
report or press release, go to
www.eumap.org/journal/announcements/launch_serbia_maced/ .



EUMAP monitoring is aimed at sparking advocacy activities, and the
monitoring reports are now being used in a number of national follow-up



The Center for Interactive Pedagogy is carrying out a research project
on the education of Roma children in schools for children with
developmental difficulties. While the overrepresentation of Roma in the
system of special education is an endemic problem, its real extent
remains unclear due to the lack of sufficient reliable data and
in-depth, primary research. A team of researchers will therefore
undertake field research and collect primary data to address this gap.

For more information about this project, see
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/serbia .

The Fund for an Open Society - Serbia (FOSS) is carrying out the project
"Indicators for Monitoring Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma".
Three years after the Decade of Roma Inclusion was launched, there is
still no methodology for monitoring the results in Serbia, since no
accurate, measurable indicators were developed to analyse the existing
situation. This project will develop such indicators and integrate them
into an overview of the current status of education for Roma.
Participatory round tables will engage the input from experts and Roma

For more information about this project, see
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/serbia2 .



The Jaszsag Roma Civil Rights Organisation (JPS) is running the "Come
and See Project", which encompasses visits to forty rural Roma
communities in 2008-2009. The visits are intended to raise awareness
among Roma parents about the importance of quality education, uncover
cases of discrimination, and build local partnerships. For these
purposes, the findings and recommendations of the monitoring report have
been summarized in a brief brochure.

For more information about this project, see
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/hungary .

The Chance for Children Foundation will use the monitoring report to
advocate for policy change, liaising with the Parliament's new
Subcommittee of Equality and Integration of Schools and the education

For more information about this project, see
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/hungary2 .


In Bulgaria, three organizations are working together to advocate for
the messages embodied in the Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma

The Open Society Institute - Sofia is preparing case studies to document
the impact which recent policy changes in relation to decentralized
financing of education have had, and to assist municipalities and
schools in drafting strategies to cope with the new situation. The case
studies are forthcoming in 2009. 

The NGO Amalipe has undertaken a series of roundtables this year. The
most recent one took place in Veliko Turnovo on 3-5 December and was
co-organized by the Municipality of Veliko Turnovo and the National
Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB).
Thirty-two representatives of municipalities and members of the
Commission for Education of the NAMRB took part. It was an unprecedented
event in which a Roma NGO worked directly with the NAMRB.

The roundtable was not only a way to familiarise municipal officials
with the EUMAP report and its conclusions, but also a good advocacy tool
to influence the decision making process at the municipal level. As a
concrete result, the NAMRB will advise its members to pay special
attention to Roma educational integration and to dedicate efforts and
money to it, and it will advocate for incorporating Roma integration
points into the Public Education Act draft.

For more information about these projects, see
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/bulgaria .

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) hosted a meeting in September
with the aim of empowering local organizations to support, steer and
lobby for the process of educational integration at the local level. 

The BHC also brought up the issue of Roma educational integration at the
hearing on Bulgaria of the 48th session of the Committee on the Rights
of the Child last May. One of the documents submitted was the Equal
Access to Quality Education for Roma report on Bulgaria. Several
recommendations in the Concluding Observations of the session reflect
this input. 

The BHC is planning to include information on Roma education in its
alternative report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination in February-March 2009.

More information about these BHC actions can be found under "Other news"
www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/roma_education/followup/bulgaria .



EUMAP, the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program of the Open Society
Institute, monitors the development of selected human rights and rule of
law issues in the European Union, its candidate and potential candidate
countries. To find out more view: http://www.eumap.org/about.

eumap.org presents the monitoring done by EUMAP, both past and present,
and provides selected resources, news, and analyses about human rights
and the rule of law in Europe.


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