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Book Launch

"Between Past and Future - The Roma Center for Eastern Europe", Will Guy (ed.), 2001

"State of Impunity, Human Rights Abuse of Roma in Romania" - European Roma Rights Center, 2001

"On the Margins, Roma and Public Services in Romania" - Open Society Institute, 2001


OSCE Conference - Press Reports

OSCE hosts conference on ways to protect Gypsy minority in Europe
By ALISON MUTLER - Associated Press Writer

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Senior international officials urged action to end anti-Gypsy discrimination Monday, at the start of a conference on the status of the minority in Europe.
"Along the centuries, Roma have traveled a long road of pain, sometime violence and often the indifference of their fellow citizens," said Mircea Geoana, foreign minister and chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is hosting the conference.
"The social project of human rights which Europe is building cannot ignore the Gypsy problem," said Geoana. "It will be a test of values of the new Europe and the only antidote against a social time bomb."
Gypsies, also known as Roma and Sinti, are believed to have emigrated to Europe from India more than 600 years ago. They are at the bottom of the rung across Europe, but live particularly deprived lives in the continent's former communist countries. The victims of widespread prejudice, some Gypsies have illegally migrated to Western Europe looking for better economic conditions since the end of communism in Eastern Europe more then a decade ago.

"We cannot pass the buck because ... we have a common interest to find solutions," Rolf Ekeus, OSCE's high commissioner on national minorities, told the conference, called "Equal Opportunities for Roma and Sinti: Translating Words into Fact."
Prime Minister Adrian Nastase of Romania said that many Gypsies in Romania do not have identity cards, or birth certificates, "so adults cannot vote and do not get social welfare, and cannot buy and sell property and their children do not get welfare."
Romania officially has 409,000 Gypsies, but the real number is believed to be between 1 to 1.5 million. There are approximately nine million worldwide.
Speaking to assembled delegates from the 55 OSCE countries, Nastase noted that in Romania, just 27 percent of Gypsies had regular jobs, much of it menial. Just half of Roma children go to school, and almost one-third of Gypsies over 45 are illiterate, Nastase said.
In April, Romania's government adopted a 10-year-strategy of including Gypsies in society, including hiring them for local administration. The aim is to reduce discrimination which is widespread at an official and public level.
Some 300 participants are attending the conference, including European government officials in charge of dealing with the Gypsy minority, and prominent leaders of the minority.

 
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