Anti-discrimination advocacy training for Roma in Italy

On April 28th and 29th, 2005, the ERRC, together with local partner organisation Metis Africa – onlus, held an anti-discrimination advocacy training workshop for Romani and Sinti activists in Florence, Italy. The workshop drew participants from all over Italy, including Italian Sinti and Roma, foreign Roma from Romania and former Yugoslavia living in Italy and several non-Romani activists. The workshop provided a forum to raise and discuss issues including discrimination in access to adequate housing, employment, education and goods and services and police harassment.

With a focus on effectively employing national, regional and international anti-discrimination legislation to combat discrimination, international and Italian experts introduced existing mechanisms and discussed how activists could advocate for their effective implementation. A representative of the Italian Ministry for Equal Opportunities' National Office against Racial Discrimination presented the work of the Office in the area of combating discrimination and engaged in a fruitful discussion with participants as to how activists can access the Office and how the Office can act in cases of discrimination. The workshop posed a step towards establishing links between Romani and Sinti activists and the official structures that exist in Italy to end discrimination.

Following the discussion of anti-discrimination mechanisms, several sessions were devoted to documentation and advocacy skills development in order to better enable participants to advocate for the effective implementation of anti-discrimination measures in Italy. The workshop ended with a strategy session aimed at developing next steps to be taken by the participants and organizers to combat discrimination against Roma and Sinti in Italy.

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