Chirikli

22 Sep
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ODIHR event participants call for greater efforts to ensure security for Roma community in Ukraine

Zola Kondur, Vice-president of the Roma Women Fund "Chiricli" and Deputy Chair of an inter-ministerial working group on the protection and integration of Roma into Ukrainian society, speaking at an ODIHR-organized event on Roma security issues in Ukraine. The event was held in Warsaw on 18 September 2017, during the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. (OSCE/Ewa Jasińska) Zola Kondur, Vice-president of the Roma Women Fund "Chiricli" and Deputy Chair of an inter-ministerial working group on the protection and integration of Roma into Ukrainian society, speaking at an ODIHR-organized event on Roma security issues in Ukraine. The event was held in Warsaw on 18 September 2017, during the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. (OSCE/Ewa Jasińska)

Ensuring security for the Roma community in Ukraine was the focus of discussions at a side event organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on 18 September 2017, during the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.

The event brought together representatives of civil society organizations and state delegations from across the OSCE area to look into security threats and challenges faced by Roma people in Ukraine and to identify possible ways to address them.  

The event featured a presentation of the preliminary results of an ODIHR-commissioned study on security perceptions among Roma men and women in Ukraine, carried out by the Kharkiv Institute of Social Researches. The study analyses the security needs of Roma communities in the Transcarpathia and Odesa regions, drawing attention to the specific security concerns and needs of the most vulnerable groups, in particular Roma women and displaced Roma. It highlights that major threats to the security of Roma in Ukraine are connected to interaction with the police and a lack of social protection and economic opportunities, exacerbated by general negative attitudes and discrimination against Roma.

“A lack of trust between the Roma community and the police, along with discriminatory practices employed by law-enforcement officers, remain a major concern and have led to a further worsening of the security situation of Roma people in Ukraine,” said Tatjana Perić, Acting Chief of the ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues. She reminded participants of the findings and recommendations of ODIHR’s 2014 ‘Situation Assessment Report on Roma in Ukraine and the Impact of the Current Crisis’, which identified specific security issues affecting the life of the country’s Roma community and suggested ways to overcome them.

“Roma are one of the most vulnerable groups in Ukraine and are frequently subjected to various human rights violations,” said Aksana Filipishyna, Representative on Children’s Rights, Non-discrimination and Gender Equality of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner on Human Rights. “Greater efforts are needed to ensure their right to security, with proper attention to gender-specific issues.”

Event participants also exchanged information on recent cases of violence against Roma in Ukraine and discussed possible ways to improve their human rights situation.

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