Our Staff

Organisational chart

Executive Director

András Ujlaky, began his career in the finance sector and for many years was the Director of Hungarian International Bank in London. In 2003, he joined the Hungarian Ministry of Education to head up its EU-funded efforts to improve inclusive education opportunities for Romani children.

During that period, he worked with Viktoria Mohacsi (who later became the first Romani MEP from Hungary) and learned first-hand about the reality in Romani communities. His experience in the Ministry inspired him to start the Chance for Children Foundation (“CFCF”) in 2004, as an organization dedicated to fighting for equal rights in education for Romani and marginalized children, focusing on school desegregation. As founder and first Board Chair of CFCF, he was intimately involved with all aspects of the organization's work, from program strategy and implementation to fundraising and administration. Today, CFCF is the premier legal advocacy organization in Europe working on a national level to address the exclusion of Roma from school. His work at CFCF has also taken him to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Brussels to assist in addressing the segregation of Roma, and he has a good appreciation of the problems affecting Roma throughout the region.

He believes firmly in the value of legal advocacy to change the political calculus and to help dismantle these segregating structures. András Ujlaky has also a deep commitment to Roma participation. He joined the ERRC in October 2014.

Darya Alekseeva, Lawyer. She holds a Master of Laws from the South Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, a Master of Arts in Human Rights from Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary, and a post-graduate certificate in Project Management from the CEU Business School. She joined the ERRC in December 2009.

Dorottya Átol, Advocacy Coordinator. She holds a PhD degree in international studies and human rights from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a Masters Degree in international studies from Corvinus University of Budapest. She was a Refugee Case worker and a volunteer at Amnesty International Australia, then campaign coordinator at Amnesty International Hungary, where she worked on the issue of hate crime and racist violence affecting Roma, also on the right to adequate housing and the right to education of Roma. She joined ERRC in June 2014.

Dzavit Berisha, Publications Officer. He has a secondary school degree as a miner. Due to the war in Kosovo he didn't have the opportunity to further his education. Since 1999 he is a human rights activist, working to defend the rights of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian refugees in Macedonia. He received the Human Rights Award of the Hungarian Ministry of Justice in December 2007. He joined the ERRC in June 2004.

Andrea Čolak, Legal Consultant. She graduated International Law at the Law School University of Belgrade. As an Open Society Institute fellow in 2004/05, she attended the undergraduate exchange programme at the Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, USA. She has been working on Roma rights issues since 2007 and from 2009-2012 was the Executive Director of the Minority Rights Center (MRC), a Belgrade-based human and minority rights NGO. During her work with MRC, she was involved in project management, and monitoring implementation of Roma related policies and anti-discrimination legislation, particularly in relation to hate crimes, discrimination in education, health care and housing. She completed a two-year legal training programme at a law office in Belgrade and has experience in representation before domestic courts and administrative bodies. She joined the ERRC in May 2012.

Dora Eke, Programmes Assistant. She has a degree in Computer Programming (Information Systems option) from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada. She managed the Freedom Forum Library at the Center for Independent Journalism for seven years. She joined the ERRC in January 2004.

Nicole Garbin, Legal Officer. Nicole graduated from the Trieste University (Italy) and has a LLM in French Private Law (Paris 2 Panthéon Assas). She is a qualified Italian lawyer and worked for Italian and French law firms for almost 5 years. Nicole is currently completing a MA in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Paris 2 Panthéon Assas. She joined the ERRC in January 2015.

Judit Geller, Lawyer. She holds a BA degree in Public Administration from the Corvinus University of Budapest and a Master of Laws from the Eotvos Lorand University Budapest. She studied international law at the Law Faculty of University of Leuven, Belgium and completed a traineeship at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Judit passed the Hungarian State Bar exam in April 2012. She joined the ERRC in November 2007.

Sinan Gokçen, Media Coordinator. He is a human rights activist and journalist with around 20 years of experience in Turkey, Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia. He is a founding member of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, one of the pioneering human rights organisations of Turkey. He earned an MA degree in Human Rights Law from Central European University as an Open Society Justice Initiative Fellow. He joined the ERRC in October 2006.

Djordje Jovanovic, Networking and Research Director. He holds a university degree in preschool education and completed Romology studies at the University of Novi Sad. He also studied psychotherapy at the school of Transactional Analysis (TA) and is a TA practitioner. Djordje has had a long relationship with the ERRC. He was an intern in 2001, in 2003 he joined the staff as a Research Assistant and after that he worked as a researcher in various ERRC projects. He joined the ERRC in November 2009.

Csilla Kacso, Administration Officer. She has a degree in Banking and stock exchange and a degree in Physics and Physics teacher, both from the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania. She mostly worked in the field of financial investment, as a software expert, and as an economics and physics teacher. She joined the ERRC in 2006.

Stefan Luca, Lawyer. He holds a BA in Law from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest, and has studied international human rights law at Lund University, Sweden. He is a member of the Bucharest Bar and has worked at the European Court of Human Rights and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within the department of the Government’s Agent for the European Court of Human Rights. He joined the ERRC in August 2013.

Tefik Mahmut, Advocacy Officer. He holds a BA in Law from the Faculty of Law at the European University of Macedonia. He worked as a Debate and Street Law teacher and as a Legal Trainee in NGOs in Macedonia. He is a human right activist and has organised many initiatives, public debates and protests related to human/Roma right issues. He joined the ERRC in January 2013.

Crina Elena Morteanu, Legal Trainee. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu, Romania and an LLM (Human Rights) from Central European University in Budapest. Since 2009, Crina has worked with international and national NGOs in the field of human rights, including Roma rights. In 2011, she was a fellow at the Open Society Institute in Washington D.C. where she worked on issues related to criminal justice across the United States with particular relevance to Roma in the United States. Before joining the ERRC, Crina worked with a Hungarian NGO on the right to education of Roma children, where she coordinated the implementation of a regional project on the desegregation of Romani children in Europe. She is co-author of a handbook on tackling the segregation of Romani children in nurseries and primary schools. Crina joined the ERRC in July 2013.

Hajnalka Nemeth, Office and Operations Manager. She started her career as the Secretary to the Executive Director for a Construction Company. She moved to Budapest in 1990 and worked at MTI (Hungarian News Agency) as an English Language Operator. She joined the ERRC in January 2005.

Kieran O’Reilly, Research Officer. He holds a BA in Russian from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MA in International Relations from Dublin City University. He is currently completing a PhD at Dublin City University on International Human Rights Law with a focus on post-Soviet states. Kieran has volunteered with Irish NGO Frontline Human Rights Defenders since 2007, and taught courses in International Human Rights Law and Public International Law at Dublin City University and for Boston University. He joined the ERRC in September 2012.

Julianna Oros, Financial Officer. She graduated from the in Budapest University of Technology and Economics and a post-graduate degree in statistics. She also completed a tax-advisory course. She joined the ERRC in June 2004.

Anna Orsos, Programmes Assistant. She studied Human Management in PTE-FEEK and completed an international program in NGO Management, Advocacy and Public Campaign Facilitation at the International Peoples' College in Helzingor, Denmark. She worked as a regional coordinator at the National Educational Integration Network and at the Amrita association for Integrated education of Roma youth. Her experience includes work with PHARE, HEFOP and many research projects. She joined the ERRC in January 2009.

Anca Sandescu, Human Rights Trainer. She holds an LLM in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam and an MA in Human Rights from Central European University, Budapest. She previously worked with PATRIR, the Romanian Peace Institute, the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center (EDRC) in Romania and several other European NGOs such as UNOY Peacemakers in the Netherlands and the Human Rights Students Initiative in Hungary. She joined the ERRC in March 2010.

Marek Szilvasi, Research and Advocacy Officer. He holds a BA and MA in Sociology and Philosophy from the Palacky University Olomouc, the Czech Republic, and a MA in European integration and identity-building processes (Euroculture, Europe in the Wider World) from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is currently completeing a PhD in political sociology. Marek previously worked with the Secretariats of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and the European Sociological Association (ESA). He joined the ERRC in February 2012.

Hajnal Vernes, Finance Director. She holds a Masters degree from Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Economics and a diploma in Finance and Banking from Budapest Business School, Faculty of Finance and Accountancy. She worked as a Financial Manager for Civic Education Project and as a Financial Coordinator at the Open Society Institute, in the Open Society Justice Initiative department. She joined the ERRC in May 2009.

Adam Weiss, Legal Director.  Adam is a member of the New York State bar and holds an LLM from King’s College (University of London), a JD from Columbia Law School, a diplôme d’études approfondies from the Université de Paris-IV (La Sorbonne) and an AB from Harvard University. Adam joined the ERRC in August 2013.  His areas of specialty are European Union migration law (particularly EU law on the free movement of persons) and litigation under the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as discrimination law.  Before joining the ERRC, Adam was the Legal Director at the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) in London, where he worked for six years.  Adam has been involved in the litigation of a wide range of cases before the European Court of Human Rights, as well as cases before domestic courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union.  He has lectured widely on European law to judges, lawyers and NGOs.

Michal Zalesak, Lawyer. He holds a Masters of Law (Mgr.) degree from the University of Matej Bel in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia and a Master of Law in Human Rights with a specialisation in EU Law (LL.M) degree from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He was an intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Slovak Republic, in 2008 and at the ERRC in 2010. In 2010, he also attended a Summer University in Budapest with a special focus on  EU law that was taught by the Total Law team, led by Professor Joseph Weiler. Later, he worked as a legal trainee in a law office and also for Ludia proti rasizmu (People Against Racism) as a project manager. He joined the ERRC in October 2012 as a legal fellow dealing with litigation and research in relation to the Czech Republic and Slovakia and was promoted to the position of Lawyer on 1 January 2015.

Roma Rights 1 2014: Going Nowhere? Western Balkan Roma and EU Visa Liberalisation

1 October 2014

This issue of Roma Rights draws attention to Roma from the Western Balkans and EU visa liberalisation. Migration of Roma from the Western Balkans has attracted significant attention, which at times amounts to hysteria. It has had an impact on migration policy both in countries of origin and target countries for migration. Romani migration has also become a common topic in public discourse, often framed in negatively by media and by public figures. The articles in this issue assess the motivations for Romani migration, the impact of migration policies on Roma, and the experience of Romani migrants. 

Roma Rights 1 2014: Going Nowhere? (PDF)

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Destroying Progress/Progressing Destruction: EU Romani Women and Children in France

16 September 2014

This report specifically addresses the situation of EU Romani citizens from Romania living in informal settlements in France and does not deal with the particular human rights concerns of Roma from other EU and non-EU countries or French Roma, Sinti, Gens du Voyage, Manouche, etc. 

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ERRC Challenging Evictions in Romania

9 April 2014

In December 2010 76 Romani families were evicted from their homes on Coastei street in the city of Cluj-Napoca, in North Western Romania.

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