Roma Left Out of Media Coverage Surrounding Albanian Elections

03 April 2006

According to the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF) 1 November 2005 Newsletter, Romani issues were largely ignored in media coverage of the 3 July 2005 Albanian elections despite attention paid to difficulties experienced by the Greek minority in the country. The findings came from monitoring activities undertaken as part of the Minority Rights in Practice in South- Eastern Europe programme by various NGO's including the Human Development Promotion Centre (HDPC). Two local television channels, two national newspapers and two local newspapers were monitored during the three months leading up to the election.

While the findings of the monitoring activities point to some progress in the way of minority issues, the KBF carefully noted that discussions focused solely on the Greek minority and no mention was made of the Roma minority, "despite the fact that the economic and social hardship suffered by the Roma is incomparably greater than that suffered by other minorities". Additionally, where minority issues were debated, discussions tended to be largely political and did not address specific local minority problems.

KBF continued by stating that the findings were well-received and prompted a proposal to hold debate on national television, in which representatives of political parties as well as MPs from minority regions could discuss minority issues. For information on the situation of Roma and Egyptians in Albania, visit the ERRC website at: www.errc.org.

(The King Baudouin Foundation)

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