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DDCP-YD/RomaYAP (2012) 1

Strasbourg, 26 March 2012

Roma Youth Action Plan Updated at 28 March 2012

Improving the participation of Roma youth in European policies on Roma and youth to counter effects of discrimination on young Roma On the basis of the guidelines proposed by the participants in the Roma Youth Conference (Sept. 2011)


Introduction The Roma Youth Action Plan is a response of the Council of Europe to the challenges faced by Roma young people in Europe, particularly in relation to their empowerment, participation in policy decision-making processes and structures at European level and the realities of discrimination and particularly antigypysism that they are confronted with. The plan takes into account the results of the Roma Youth Conference, co-organised by the team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Roma issues and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe in September 2011 and the guidelines and proposals of the participants representing Roma young people and youth organisations. The action plan is prepared and implemented in the spirit of the Strasbourg Declaration on Roma of the Council of Europe which it complements by associating Roma youth to it and taking into account the challenges and priorities of young Roma. A major rationale for the Roma Youth Action Plan is the dramatic lack of Roma youth issues and concerns in policies and programmes addressing the Roma communities. The Youth Department of the Council of Europe coordinates the implementation of the action plan in accordance with the principles of youth participation and agency of young people in youth policy, of which the co-management system of the youth sector of the Council of Europe is the key stone. The Youth Department will secure also the involvement of Roma youth organisations in the definition and coordination the action plan an its activities, as well as the involvement of the various Council of Europe sectors concerned by Roma and youth policy. An Informal Contact Group on Roma Youth (ICG) was set following the Conference in September 2011. FERYP – Forum of European Roma Young People, ternYpe – International Roma Youth Network, the Open Society Foundations, the European Roma Rights Centre, the Roma Education Fund, the European Youth Forum and other relevant stakeholders are, together with the Council of Europe, part of the informal group. The role of the ICG is to promote communication and coordination among the various partners and stakeholders and in promoting an ownership of the plan by Roma young people and the Roma civil society. The Joint Council on Youth, as the co-management body of the Youth Department, is responsible for the inclusion of the action plan in the programme of the Youth Department and for its evaluation. Representatives of the Advisory Council on Youth and of the European Steering Committee on Youth take part in the meetings of the Informal Contact Group. The action plan includes activities of the Youth Department and of other sectors of the Council of Europe as well as activities by other partners – intergovernmental and non-governmental – cooperating with the Council of Europe and interested in securing a maximum of impact of their activities by avoiding double work and creating synergies between their activities. The activities are complementary to other national and European initiatives which have a fundamental role in addressing and overcoming the structural forms of discrimination and social exclusion affecting Roma across Europe. The plan should be reviewed and updated regularly and potentially expand beyond the first biannual budget and programme of the Council of Europe (2012-2013). Principles of action The Roma Youth Action Plan is prepared and developed within the framework of the Strasbourg Declaration on Roma and of the youth policy of the Council of Europe. It takes into account the challenges of gaining personal autonomy which are common to young people by 2


promoting equality of opportunities for young people to develop “knowledge, skills and competencies to play a full part in all aspects of society”1 and the specific challenges and hurdles that Roma young people face, starting with being denied “the right to be young”. In most European societies Roma young people have a hard time in asserting their rights, their identity and belonging, their lives. Other general problems faced by Roma communities are often reflected in the transition to adulthood of many young Roma, namely poverty and lack of opportunities within and outside the community, difficulties in accessing human rights. The situation can be direr for Roma girls and young women and for invisible groups among Roma youth such as young people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual persons, migrants and undocumented young people. In this framework, the Roma Youth Action Plan is set out in order to: a) Support the creation in Europe of an environment for Roma youth to grow free from discrimination, confident about their future perspectives and appreciating their plural cultural backgrounds and affiliations as young people, as Roma, as citizens of their countries and as active Europeans. b) Change prejudices and stereotypical attitudes against Roma c) Support and develop the participation and autonomy of Roma youth at European and national levels d) Defend the human rights of Roma by preventing future violations and by empowering young Roma through human rights education e) Promote measures for real equal opportunities of Roma young people in all aspects of life, including education, employment, health and housing f) Promote the desegregation of Roma schools and settlements g) Adopt an integrated approach in all Roma youth related policies h) Promote the respect and development of Roma identity, culture and language. The Roma Youth Action plan is based upon the following principles and values: a) Participation and consultation of Roma youth and Roma youth organisations, including their involvement in youth policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation b) Linking Roma youth projects to the situation of Roma communities in Europe and the need for systemic changes to address structural forms of discrimination c) Integration of a gender equality dimension, including the prevention of domestic violence and gender-based discrimination d) Human-rights based approaches to the challenges faced by young Roma and the empowerment of Roma young people in addressing and finding responses to them e) Explicit but not exclusive targeting of the Roma. It focus on Roma youth as a target group but not to the exclusion of other young people who share similar realities and without prejudice to broader policy initiatives which also impact on Roma youth. f) Motivating Roma youth to take part in mainstream youth programmes as well as in decision-making processes of youth policies; g) Encouraging member states of the Council of Europe to adopt positive duty policies, where national and local authorities will be responsible for the monitoring, 1

Agenda 2020 on the youth policy of the Council of Europe 3


implementation and reporting on the Roma youth actions and the Roma organisations should be equal partners; h) Capacity-building activities such as training for trainers as well as training in management, advocacy and fundraising, using information and communication technologies, etc i) Ensuring that Roma youth issues are placed in the agenda of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Roma (CAHROM) and that Roma youth networks are invited to their meetings j) Involvement of all active stakeholders who are not members of the Informal Contact Group in the implementation of the action plan. Objectives and expected results The overall objective of the Roma Youth Action Plan is to improve the participation of Roma youth in European youth and Roma policies and to initiate pilot programmes and initiatives to combat discrimination of young Roma. The expected results are: 1. Setting up of the Roma Youth Action Plan with input and contributions from various stakeholders; an informal Roma youth contact group is established and facilitated; Roma youth issues are mainstreamed in the Council of Europe. 2. Roma youth leaders and activists are trained in human rights, anti-discrimination and active youth participation. Projects on anti-discrimination and human rights are initiated and improve participation of young Roma at local, national and international levels. 3. Awareness is raised about history and diversity within Roma communities, and the multiple forms of discrimination affecting Roma women and migrants, LGBT persons and religious minorities. 4. Successful projects and initiatives are implemented based on the Roma Youth Action Plan objectives and guiding principles 5. Strategies for creating a Roma youth fund in order to secure the sustainability of the Action Plan are developed and encourage sustainable funds for local Roma youth structures; resources are mobilised for the action plan, including a coordinator for the plan (who should be a Roma young person). This result is dependent on the allocation of sufficient resources. Means and resources The resources for the implementation of the Roma Youth Action Plan are mobilised by the various partners in the plan; advocacy and mobilisation strategies are jointly built by the Youth Department and the Roma Youth Networks aiming to bring in other partners and funders. The European Youth Foundation has a particular role to play, notably through its regular support to European activities with Roma youth and its support to local pilot projects. A fundraising strategy is also to be sought with the support of the Informal Contact Group. Working groups may be set up for specific objectives and activities of the RYAP (with the commitment and participation of Roma youth networks). Thematic areas The first meeting of the Informal Contact Group (EYC Budapest, March 2012), several thematic areas and specific objectives and outcomes for each of them were prioritised. While 4


the implementation of the proposals included in the Roma Youth Action Plan depends on stakeholders’ support, all the six areas are equally relevant for the purpose of the Plan. 1. Strengthening Roma youth identity The specific objective in this area is to support the creation in Europe of an environment for Roma young people to grow free from discrimination, confident about their identity and future perspectives and appreciating their history and plural cultural backgrounds and affiliations as young people, as Roma, as citizens of their countries and as active Europeans. Expected outcomes relevant to this objective are: 

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Knowledge about Roma history and language is promoted among Roma young people, within and outside Roma communities. Specific recurrences, like the 8 April and 2 August, are used to strengthen Roma identity and raise awareness about Roma history and language; Good practices and positive examples of initiatives and policies that support Roma identity are promoted to trigger other initiatives, through exchange of practices; Non-formal educational approaches are used more thoroughly in youth activities to foster Roma identity and to overcome discrimination.

2. Diversity within the Roma community The specific objective in relation to this area is to empower groups that suffer discrimination within Roma communities, including young women, LGBT, religious, migrant and other minority groups within Roma communities. Expected outcomes relevant to this objective are:  Awareness is raised about multiple discrimination and diversity among young Roma, particularly in relation to the situation of young women and LGBT groups;  Networking with non-Roma youth networks and organisations on specific human rights and diversity matters affecting minorities within Roma communities is reinforced;  Research on the diversity within Roma communities, about perceptions of Roma about diversity within the community and access to basic rights is regularly developed. 3. Building a strong Roma youth movement The specific objective in relation to this area is to facilitate and enable Roma youth through existing and new structures, alliances within and outside Roma communities, to mobilize, make their voice heard and stake their position in their communities and in European society at large. Expected outcomes relevant to this objective are:  Roma young people participate as equals in society and in the development, monitoring and evaluation of all the programmes related to them;  Cooperation and networking with the non Roma youth structures, organisations, institutions and population in general is stronger;  Development of mechanisms and capacity building for local Roma youth structures in order to ensure their sustainability, strengthen their capacity and promote cooperation and networking;  Positive role models at the local level are promoted, in order to change the existing stereotypes related to Roma people in society, with the aim that the Roma youth movement contributes to the promotion of Roma identity;  Cooperation with the existing youth structures is ensured and new structures are built, whenever needed, in order for young Roma to be able to and have the space to be active citizens, especially on grassroots level.

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4. Policies and programmes The specific objective in relation to this area is to achieve, through building on existing programmes and schemes, active Roma youth participation as equal partners in decisionmaking in order to mainstream Roma issues in youth policies and youth issues in Roma policies and programmes. Expected outcomes particularly relevant to this objective are:  Youth issues are mainstreamed into Roma policies and Roma youth issues are mainstreamed into youth policies;  Participation of young Roma and Roma youth organisations as equal partners on the table of the decision makers is ensured;  Capacity building in regards to policy making and knowledge of youth policies that respond to the needs of Roma youth and Roma youth organisations is ensured. 5. Human rights and human rights education The specific objectives in relation to this area are to raise awareness about the human rights situation of young Roma and to promote, initiate, implement and monitor local, regional, national and international actions to fight and prevent human rights violations that affect young Roma among and by NGOs, institutions and young people, as well as to promote a culture of human rights Expected outcomes relevant to this objective are:  Young people are able to react to human rights violations and are able to become defenders of human rights  Roma and non-Roma youth organisations are in a position to use a rights-based approach to human rights violations affecting young people, thus the need for capacitybuilding of youth NGOs  Continuous monitoring of the measures and actions implemented to ensure access of Roma young people to their human rights is carried out;  There is ongoing capacity building for youth organisations, policy-makers and the larger public regarding human rights, so that individuals and groups are able to react to human rights violations and can also promote a culture of human rights. 6. Discrimination and Antigypsyism The specific objectives in relation to this area are to initiate and promote systemic changes to structural forms of discrimination and to combat antigypsyism through initiatives at all levels of society by enforcing existing anti-discrimination norms and human rights education. Expected outcomes relevant to this objective are:  Awareness is raised regarding discrimination against Roma within and outside Roma communities;  Young people, both Roma and non-Roma, youth organisations and institutions develop and carry out actions developed against discrimination and antigypsyism;  Policy-makers adopt serious, sustainable, accountable and realistic policies against discrimination of young Roma and implement measures against discrimination. Draft Plan of activities for 2012 and 2013 1. Ongoing awareness-raising on identity -

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Celebration of 8 April - workshops on identity/ open days – meetings, festivals, street actions organised by young Roma promoting Roma history and culture and awareness


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raising on current situation. These activities will take place in 2012 and 2013, at both local and international level. Roma youth networks and other partners will take the leading role in this process Commemoration of the 2 August – Kraków, Auschwitz – conference, seminar and commemoration ceremony dedicated to Roma Genocide during the II World War. This activity will take place in both 2012 and 2013 and will have an international dimension. Roma youth networks will take a leading role in the process, with the expected support from international funders Barvalipe Camp – Open Society Institute initiative – summer camp for around 30 youngsters dedicated to the topic of Roma identity. The camp will take place in July 2012 and will have an international dimension. OSI will have the leading role in organising this activity Youth exchanges on good practices for the recognition of Roma identity, involving young people from different regions in Europe. Roma youth networks will take a leading role in the organisation process, with expected support from international funders in 2012 and 2013 Debates on identity issues (including both Roma and non-Roma target groups) on local/national levels. Roma youth networks will take the leading role in the organisations of these events both in 2012 and 2013.

2. Diversity and multiple discrimination -

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Research on the situation of LGBT young people in Roma communities to be carried out in 2012 by the ERRC in co-operation with the Roma youth networks Study session on the empowerment of young Roma women, to be proposed by the international Roma youth networks for 2013 for co-operation with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe Study and life-stories on multiple discrimination of young Roma, especially including gender-based discrimination. Activity proposed by the Council of Europe for 2013 Conference on multiple discrimination of young Roma LBGT people, proposed for cooperation with the Directorate of Human Rights and Antidiscrimination of the Council of Europe for 2013 Local youth projects and workshops on diversity, to be organised by Roma youth organisations and other partners.

3. Building a strong Roma youth movement -

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At local level, set up of informal youth groups in Roma communities. Roma youth organisations will take the leading role in this process starting from 2012 Training courses on organisational management and fundraising skills for representatives of Roma youth organisations, mainly to be carried out at local level by Roma youth organisations in 2012 and 2013 National Roma youth meetings stimulating networking, debating on issues of Roma youth, exchange of experiences. Roma youth networks will take the leading role in the organisation of these activities in 2012 and 2013 Training courses on using new technologies to strengthen networks of Roma young people, developing effective advocacy and leadership online, as well as other online peer to peer teaching of skills, online Romanes course. Roma youth networks will propose initiative related to this area starting from 2012

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Campaigns promoting participation and active citizenship of young Roma – local, regional, national, international levels. These activities will be carried out by the Roma youth networks on an ongoing basis. Study session with the Forum of European Roma Young People (FERYP) on strategies for inclusion of young Roma, April 2012 – European Youth Centre Strasbourg. This activity is included in the programme of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe. Report on Roma Youth by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in 2012. Establishment of international Roma Youth Congress where youth organizations can strengthen their cooperation and discuss relevant themes. All partners in the Roma Youth Action Plan are to contribute to the organisations of the Congress, to be taking place from 2013 on. Training course on the Revised European Charter on the participation of young people in local and regional life, with a focus on Roma youth. Roma youth networks and the Council of Europe should take the leadership in the organisation of this activity in 2013 Study session with Phiren Amenca on Roma youth participation in fighting discrimination and promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, Autumn 2012 – European Youth Centre Budapest. This activity is included in the 2012 programme of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.

4. Building capacities of Roma youth organisations to influence policies and programmes and participate on equal level in decision making -

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Training courses for Roma youth leaders in democratic youth participation and development of youth policies to be organised in 2013 at international level. Roma youth networks and other partners of the Roma Youth Action Plan will take the leadership in the organisations of the activity. Meetings with the European Youth Forum on participation of Roma youth in policy making processes. To be proposed to the European Youth Forum, all partners in the Roma Youth Action plan should support this process on an ongoing basis. Exchange and building alliances between Roma and non youth Roma networks, through the promotion of intercultural dialogue. This will be an ongoing activity. Workshop on strategies for Roma youth participation in European and national youth policy processes, proposed to be organised by the Council of Europe in 2013.

5. Human rights and human rights education -

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Capacity-building for youth organisations on human rights education. This is an ongoing activity, supported by all the partners in the Roma Youth Action Plan Multi-stakeholder conference for networking on human rights education, focused on youth Roma, to be proposed for 2013. Roma youth networks and the Council of Europe should take the leadership in organising this activity Training course for Roma Youth leaders on Human Rights and Intercultural Dialogue, October 2012 – European Youth Centre Budapest, in the programme of activities of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe Publication into Romani of Compasito, the manual for human rights education with children. This activity should be included in the Council of Europe activities for 2012 Roma Rights Summer School, an ERRC annual capacity building 10 days training course aimed at increasing and strengthening the core of Romani activists working to promote equality for Roma in Europe


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Professional development internships for young Roma in the Council of Europe, ERRC and other organisations.

6. Discrimination and Antigypsyism - European campaign against discrimination and antigypsyism. The activity is to be started in 2013, with the leadership of the Roma youth networks - Youth caravan visiting 50 to 60 cities to discuss with mayors/local authorities about discrimination and antigypsism, with the aim to set up a watchdog on local human rights problems, that would raise awareness and call for action at national and international levels. FERYP will take the leadership in the organisation of this activity in 2012 - Training course for bloggers against hate speech on-line, EYC, 13 May 2012. Activity is in the programme of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe - Seminar on overcoming segregation in school environments, EYC Strasbourg, November 2012. This activity is in the programme of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe - A conference/workshop on Roma youth action against discrimination and racism against Roma, on the basis of lessons from the Dosta! Campaign. This activity should be supported by the Council of Europe - Development of a Tool-Kit for campaigning against discrimination of Roma youth, to be supported by the Council of Europe - A training course for Roma youth mediators on developing participatory approaches against segregation through youth work, to be supported by the Council of Europe - Trainings for civil servants on Roma youth concerns in relation to discrimination, human rights. Elaboration of guidelines for ministries on how to address discrimination. Introduction of youth policies components that refer to how to combat discrimination of young Roma. Development of tools to respond to institutional discrimination. The activity is to be developed in 2013, with the support of all the partners in the Roma Youth Action Plan - Media literacy workshops, aimed at introducing an ethical code of conduct for journalists and capacity building initiatives with journalists about Roma realities. Forming an informal network of Roma youth and journalists to fight discrimination. These activities are to be developed in 2013, with the support of all the partners in the Roma Youth Action Plan. Support measures for the whole Roma Youth Action Plan - Meetings of the Informal Contact Group on the Roma Youth Action Plan. Dates to be defined, European Youth Centre Strasbourg (2012). Future meetings should be held at least once a year. Activities for 2013 and 2014 The programme of activities for 2013 and 2014 will be planned on the basis of the 2012 and its results, a similar volume of activities is to be expected. The Informal Contact Group will make proposals in this respect.

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2012 roma youth action plan