03 October 2000

Campaigning for Roma Rights

July 13: Sent a letter to the Macedonian General Prosecutor Mr Stavre Džikov, expressing concern at an instance of police ab use of Roma in Ĺ tip, central Macedonia.

July 27: Sent a letter to Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanović to express concern about abusive evictions of Roma by Serbian authorities which took place on June 8, 2000 in Belgrade.

August 15-16: Submitted a statement to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its 57th Session, on the occasion of its Thematic Discussion on Roma.

August 28: Sent a letter to the "three wise persons" appointed by the President of the European Court of Human Rights to assess the Austrian government's record on the rights of minorities, refugees and immigrants, as well as the evolution of the political nature of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

August 31: Held a press conference to clarify legal issues in relation with a Hungarian case which had achieved national prominence, Zámoly, Hungary.

September 19: Sent a letter of concern to Macedonian Interior Minister Dosta Dimovska to express concern at reports of recent incidents of police abuse of Roma in the Šuto Orizari municipality of the Macedonian capital Skopje.

Conferences and meetings:

June 7-8: Attended a Congressional Hearing on Roma Rights, Washington, D.C., United States.

June 9: Held a discussion to clarify ERRC position on Romani flight issues with guests from the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, the Open Society Institute, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Documentation Centre for Human Rights, Budapest, Hungary.

June 18: Participated in training "Roma Political Leadership Program", Blaoevgrad, Bulgaria.

June 19: Testified before the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe on the status of minorities in Romania, Bucharest, Romania.

June 26-27: Attended the fourth meeting of the NGO resource group, set up by the Council of Europe's ECRI to assist in the preparations of the European Conference against Racism and the preceding NGO Forum, to be held in Strasbourg in mid-October, Strasbourg, France.

July 5-7: Participated in the Regional Seminar of Experts for Central and Eastern European States entitled "The Protection of Minorities and other Vulnerable Groups and Strengthening Human Rights Capacity at the National Level," organised as part of the preparat-ory process of the World Conference against Racism, Warsaw, Poland.

July 21: Submitted documentary information concerning the situation of Roma in the candidate countries for European Union membership, for consideration by the European Commission in the preparation of the Fall 2000 progress reports.

July 24-28: Met with several Romani and human rights organisations to discuss cooperation in Russia, Moscow, Russia.

July 27-28: Attended as observer the fifth world congress of the International Romani Union, Prague, Czech Republic.

August 3: Held a lecture on NGOs and asylum issues with a special focus on Roma Rights issues at the Summer University of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

August 15-16: Contributed with a written submission and an oral presentation to the thematic discussion on Roma, organised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Geneva, Switzerland.

August 28: Held an introductory lecture on Human Rights Philosophy at training workshop for staff, the Open Society Institute, Budapest, Hungary.

September 17-18: Participated in a steering committee meeting of NGOs from Eastern and Central Europe in preparation for the World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, Warsaw, Poland.

September 18-19: Travelled to Slovakia to meet with Slovak government and Parliamentary representatives, as well as with local NGOs, to discuss efforts to draft new anti-discrimination legislation and other governmental measures for addressing issues of discrimination against Roma.

September 26: Participated in the OSCE Conference on "Roma in the EU Candidate Countries", Vienna, Austria.

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