Classrooms Beyond Race - Inclusive Education for Romani Children

02 November 2015



The European Roma Rights Centre organised an international conference entitled “Classrooms Beyond Race – Inclusive Education for Romani Children”. This event provided a forum to debate and frame the challenges faced by Romani children in accessing high-quality, inclusive education in the EU candidate and neighbourhood countries. The objectives of the conference were:

  • to develop legal and advocacy tools to improve access to inclusive and good quality education for all Romani children;
  • to raise awareness of segregation and barriers to access inclusive and high-quality education for all Romani children;
  • to strengthen the capacity of the NGOs working in this field; and
  • to build greater confidence among regional NGOs to address segregation in education.

The event took place in Belgrade, on 5 and 6 October 2015. Representatives of NGOs working on Roma rights, education rights, as well as human rights generally attended, from the following EU candidate and neighbourhood countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

In each parallel session, an expert speaker made a presentation on the session’s topic, introduced the issue, and shared different experiences in the field. After this introduction, participants discussed the issue based on their experiences and background.

The Conference opened discussion on a draft “Charter” on the rights of Romani children in education. The participants welcomed and contributed to the development of the draft text, prepared by the ERRC on the basis of several international legal and policy instruments. When the Charter is finalised, the ERRC hopes that it will be widely used as an advocacy tool by all in promoting the right to quality and inclusive education for Romani children.

As the participants themselves emphasised, the Conference served as an auspicious venue for the exchange of ideas fostered by the diverse backgrounds of the participants. The participants also appreciated having the possibility to discuss good practices and conduct fruitful brainstorming for future cooperation. Hence, the Conference served as ideal grounds for new networking opportunities.

 Pictures from the conference:




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