ERRC presented the prestigious Silver Rose Award

Brussels, 4 February 2010: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is honoured to have been presented with the prestigious Silver Rose Award for social justice by SOLIDAR. The ERRC shares the 2010 award with Colombian Trade Union Federations and former Prime Ministers Gyula Horn (Hungary) and Pierre Mauroy (France).

Recipients of the Silver Rose Awards are selected by a jury of European Parliamentarians involved with SOLIDAR's work. The jury, chaired this year by Véronique de Keyser MEP, conducted various interviews to determine the winners. The jury awarded the Silver Rose Award in the European Social Justice category to the ERRC for its "outstanding work in promoting Roma rights and keeping this important question in the public arena."

Commenting on the award, ERRC Managing Director Robert Kushen said, "The award serves as an important reminder that the ideals of the European Union require equal rights for all its citizens, including Roma. We are grateful that SOLIDAR has chosen through this award to highlight the ongoing problems of Europe's largest minority."

Conny Reuter, Secretary General of SOLIDAR highlighted; "Despite many political initiatives from the EU and national governments, Roma communities still suffer massive discrimination in all areas of life, discrimination which keeps them in poverty and condemns them to being excluded from the community at large. By awarding the ERRC with this SOLIDAR Silver Rose Award, we hope to raise awareness of the vital work that they are carrying out to promote Roma rights and keep the issue of anti-discrimination in the public sphere".

The ERRC is an international public interest law organisation that combats anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse of Roma in Europe. The ERRC has set in motion more than 500 court cases in 15 countries to bring to justice state and non-state actors who have discriminated against Romani individuals in education, housing, employment, healthcare and other areas, or have committed violence against them. It has secured over 2 million Euros in compensation for Romani individuals for the abuse they have suffered and the subsequent failure of their respective governments to ensure justice. Since its establishment in 1996, the ERRC has worked to ensure that human rights issues facing Romani communities are firmly on the political agenda in Europe and beyond.

SOLIDAR is a European network of NGOs working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide. With 53 members based in 25 countries, SOLIDAR works in cooperation with progressive civil society organisations, socialist democratic and social parties, and trade unions, aiming to influence EU and international policy and linking members together to network and carry out humanitarian and development projects.

SOLIDAR's Silver Rose Awards were launched in 2000 to help raise the profile of individuals and organisations "whose struggles contribute greatly to social justice and equality throughout the world."

The ERRC is pleased with this recognition of its efforts to improve human rights respect for Roma across Europe. The award ceremony took place in the Members Dining Room of the European Parliament in Brussels on 3 February 2010 and was attended by Managing Director Rob Kushen and Women's Rights and Equality Coordinator Ostalinda Maya Ovalle from the ERRC.

For further information, please contact:

Rob Kushen, ERRC Managing Director,
rob.kushen@errc.org +36.1.413.2200
Sinan Gokcen, ERRC Information Officer,
sinan.gokcen@errc.org +36.1.413.2200
Abigail Goundry, Solidar, Communications Officer
Abigail.Goundry@solidar.org +32 (0)2 500 10 34

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