Open Letter to NAR and European Commision regarding national strategy on Roma 2021-2027

139 NGOs call on the National Agency for Roma to include Roma women in the post-2020 strategic measures and address violence against women and children, including child trafficking in Roma communities.

On 28th May 2021, CADO-Advocacy and Human Rights Centre, based in Romania, submitted to the president of the National Agency for Roma (NAR) several recommendations, by letter no. 202105281, on improving the draft Strategy of the Romanian Government for the Inclusion of Romanian Citizens Belonging to the Roma Minority for the Period 2021-2027, the version published on November 5, 2020. The respective letter drew attention to the omission of Roma women in the proposed objectives, directions of action, measures and indicators, as well as the failure to address the violence against Roma women and children, in line with the recommendations of the European Commission and the European Parliament regarding the post-2020 national strategies on the integration of Roma people. Several recommendations aim for the first time at a strategic approach of the needs of victims of human and child trafficking in terms of assistance, protection and access to justice.

As no response was provided by the National Agency for Roma, yesterday, 22nd June 2021, 139 national NGOs, requested a formal reply regarding the letter submitted on 28thMay 2021. The NGOs demands that Roma women to be represented proportionally in all areas of action and proposed measures, through an intersectional approach as well as the development of special measures in areas such as preventing and combating forms of violence against Roma women and children.

The failure to address domestic and gender-based violence against Roma women and children is a violation of their rights, since violence represents a major obstacle to emotional and socio-economic development and also the exercise of other fundamental rights and freedoms. Cessation of violence against women and children is a legal, ethical and economic imperative. A number of data show unequivocally that Roma women / girls are disproportionately affected by all known forms of violence (domestic violence, forced marriages, exploitation and human trafficking. According to ANES (The National Agency for Equal Opportunities) data, Roma women in 2018 accounted for 46.5 % (1,569) of the total victims of a certain ethnicity (3374 victims) and in the first half of 2019 Roma women accounted for 35% (611) of 1753 victims of other ethnicities, the same data show that in general, women / girls represent approximately 60% of victims of domestic violence of which 83% are girls.

In February 2021, the European Parliament highlighted the high vulnerability of Roma communities to all forms of trafficking and exploitation, especially of women and children, and called on the Commission and the Member States to develop specific measures to combat trafficking in human beings through national integration strategies of Roma for the period 2020-2030, as well as to collect statistical data on the victims of trafficking in human beings based on their ethnic origin.

CADO underlines that no current national strategy regarding various forms of violence against women or children includes measures on Roma victims.

The Letter was submitted as well to Ms. Helen Dalli, Commissioner of DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission.

This action takes place within the project ReACT- Reform and action for defending children’s rights, victims of human trafficking, in the justice system, funded by Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014 -2021.

The letter can be accessed here:

Working together for an inclusive Europe!

The project is implemented by the Association Advocacy and Human Rights Centre (CADO) in partnership with the European Center for Legal Education and Research Association (ECLER) and Bucovina Institute for Social Partnership (BUCOVINA INSTITUTE) and benefits from 218.965,79 euros grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.

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