MINELRES: MRG eBulletin - June 2008

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Sun Jul 13 10:50:05 2008

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Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) email bulletin.
Simply click on the links below in order to access the full news story
or publication on MRG's website, or alternatively visit our site at

News features

MRG new report critically analyses EU's handling of minority rights in
accession process 
25 June 2008

The European Union’s (EU) highly publicized, influential and
path-setting Progress Reports, issued annually on South East European
(SEE) states trying to gain entry into the EU, do not give sufficient
consideration to one of the key accession criteria - minority


Building trust in Kosovo
19 June 2008

Matilde Ceravolo, MRG's Fundraiser, talks to a young Gorani 

"Politicians from every ethnic group pretend to speak in the name of
Gorani. They think to know who we are, but they confuse us with Bosniaks
and other Muslim groups, because of our religion, or with Serbs,
Bulgarian and Macedonian, because of the language. The problem is that
Gorani history has always been made by others. It is time for us to
write down our own history."


Sikhs take French turban ban in schools to Europe's highest human rights
12 June 2008

In March 2004, after years of controversy, the French government banned
the wearing of overtly religious items in schools such as the Islamic
headscarf, Jewish skullcap, heavy Christian crosses and the Sikh turban.
Five French Sikh schoolboys were subsequently expelled for refusing to
take off their turbans - another failed to be admitted to a school.


MRG-sponsored film wins place in Human Rights Watch Film Festival
12 June 2008

Rightful Place tells the story of the impact of displacement on
individual, identity and community through the personal stories of
members of the Endorois community of the Rift Valley, Kenya. 


Historic indigenous gathering in Amazon voices fierce opposition to dam
building project
5 June 2008

In May 2008 over 1,000 indigenous Brazilians from the Xingu River basin
met with representatives from social and environmental movements to
declare their opposition to the construction of hydroelectric dams in
the area. The historic meeting was one of the Amazon region's largest
gatherings of indigenous peoples in the last twenty years.


The Ogiek: forgotten victims of Kenya's election violence
3 June 2008

The Ogiek – Kenya’s largest forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer community –
were badly affected by the violence which engulfed Kenya earlier this
year. And they continue to suffer.


Coming up
In July 2008 MRG will be launching a new campaign on the impact of
climate change on minority and indigenous communities and continues with
its ‘Trouble in Paradise’ campaign pressing for a better deal for
minorities and indigenous peoples in tourism development. MRG will also
soon be launching its 2007 Annual Review and a Briefing Paper looking at
the protection of the rights of Kenya's marginalized minorities and
indigenous peoples in the current febrile political climate.

What’s new? MRG’s blogs, reports, briefings and online resources 
MRG on Flickr
MRG now has it's own Flickr page. To view the most recent photostreams
visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/minorityrights/

So what do you do?
All over the world, ordinary women, men, and children are fighting for
the rights of their communities to be recognized. MRG spoke to Edgar
Rua, an Afro-descendant performance artist and activist from the
Colombian organisation Fundacion Cultural 'Juan Guillermo Rua' and Ra'ed
Al Mickawi, director of BUSTAN and a member of the Bedouin community
from Negev, Israel.



New MRG report: Pushing for change? South East Europe’s Minorities in
the EU Progress Reports
The European Union’s (EU) highly publicized, influential and
path-setting Progress Reports, issued annually on South East European
(SEE) states trying to gain entry into the EU, do not give sufficient
consideration to one of the key accession criteria - minority
protection. A new report by MRG discovers divergence between the EU
messages and the realities that minority communities face in their
day-to-day lives in SEE countries. This is partly because the EU lacks
an institutionalized mechanism for involving local minority communities
in the accession process, the report says.


MRG's World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 
MRG recently launched the first online database of the world's
minorities and indigenous peoples. The World Directory of Minorities and
Indigenous Peoples covers 220 of the world's countries and dependent
territories, and features profiles of about 700 minorities/indigenous
peoples. It is a unique resource for policy-makers, governments,
journalists, academics and all those with an interest in the growing
field of minority rights.



Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
cooperation and understanding between communities.

MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201
Email: minority.rights@mrgmail.org
Website: http://www.minorityrights.org

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