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Roma and travellers' education: a summary of the standards, case-law, projects and actions of the Council of Europe

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Presentation by Michael Guet, Council of Europe, on the occasion of the EESC conference on 'Better Roma inclusion through civil society initiatives: focus on education, employment, housing and antidiscrimination' (Brussels, 7 November 2014).

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Roma and travellers' education: a summary of the standards, case-law, projects and actions of the Council of Europe

  1. 1. Roma and Travellers’ Education A summary of the standards, case-law, projects and actions of the Council of Europe EESC meeting, Brussels, 7 November 2014
  2. 2. Roma and Travellers’ education Endorsed CAHROM thematic reports • CAHROM (2012)6 Thematic report on school drop out and absenteeism of Roma children  The Netherlands (requesting country)  Hungary, Spain , Sweden (partner countries) • CAHROM (2013)5 Thematic report on school attendance for Roma children, in particular Roma  Finland (requesting country)  Latvia, Norway, Sweden (partner countries) • CAHROM (2012)18 Thematic report on inclusive education for Roma children as opposed to special schools  Czech Republic & Slovakia (requesting countries)  Hungary, Slovenia, United Kingdom (partners)
  3. 3. Roma and Travellers’ education Next CAHROM thematic reports •CAHROM Thematic report on pre-school education of Roma children (19-21 November 2014)  Czech Republic (requesting country)  Hungary, Latvia, Poland, “FYROM” (partners) • CAHROM Thematic report on school inclusion of Roma (migrants’) children access to education and distance learning for Travellers’ children (March or April 2015)  France (requesting country)  Albania, Belgium, Italy (tbc), Norway (tbc), Switzerland (tbc) (partner countries)
  4. 4. Roma and Travellers’ education Main issues and obstacles Roma families face multiple issues, (poverty, unemployment, debt, domestic violence, etc.) which leads to more attention being paid by the family on solving socio-economic issues rather than on children’s education. School drop-outs, absenteeism and lack of school enrollment (due to tendency for overprotection; low education of Roma parents; lack of dialogue between schools and parents; fear of assimilation; travelling A lower expectation from teachers way of life; early marriage... concerning Roma children, lower quality education provided to Roma children and a lack of knowledge of Roma culture and history. Language barriers (many children speak Romani at home and have little knowledge of national language). Other barriers include lack of ID, ghettoisation/housing segregation, constant evictions, health problems... School segregation, special classes and enrolment in schools for mentally disabled. Negative attitude and perception from non-Roma parents, and sometimes school professionals based on prejudice and stereotypes. Refusal from schools/local authorities to accept Roma or Traveller children.
  5. 5. Solutions Roma and Travellers’ education • (Roma) school mediators/ assistants • Romani language teachers/mediators/school assistants and Romani textbooks • Pre-school enrolment of Roma children • Free meals, transport, textbooks • Training of teachers on cultural diversity, including Romani culture • Roma history in school curricula • Incubators and inclusion of Roma parents • Fighting bullying and discrimination at school • Raise awareness on prejudice/stereotypes • Collect data and assess education policies
  6. 6. Roma and Travellers’ education Standards and case law • 1950 Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Art. 14- Prohibition of discrimination); Protocol 1 (Art. 2-Right to education), and Protocol 12; • 1961 European Social Charter and the Revised ESC; • 1992 European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages; • 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities • Council of Europe Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights • Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse • Council of Europe Convention the Rights of the Child • European Court of Human Rights’ case law, such as D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic; Sampanis and Others v. Greece, and Oršuš and Others v. Croatia
  7. 7. Roma and Travellers’ education Standards (Recommendations) • CM Recommendation (2000)4 on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe; • CM Recommendation (2009)4 on the education of Roma and Travellers in Europe; • CM Recommendation (2008)5 on policies for Roma and/or Travellers in Europe; • CM Recommendation (2012)9 on mediation as an effective tool for promoting respect of human rights and social inclusion of Roma; • CM Recommendation on policy to support positive parenting • ECRI General Policy Recommendations No. 3 on combating racism and intolerance against Roma/Gypsies (1998); No. 10 on combating racism and racial discrimination in and through school education (2006) and No. 13 on combating anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma;
  8. 8. Other reference texts • Final Declaration of the 22nd session of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education, on “Building a more humane and inclusive Europe: role of education policies” (Istanbul, 4-5 May 2007); • Recommendations and policy orientations included in the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue “Living together as equals in dignity”(Strasbourg, 7 May 2008); • Strasbourg Declaration (20 October 2010); • CM Declaration on the rise of anti-Gypsyism and racist violence against Roma in Europe (February 2012).
  9. 9. Projects and tools 1/2 • Project “Education of Roma children in Europe” (2002-2009)” http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/roma/histoCulture_en.asp. • Programme « Building a Europe for and with children » • Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2012-2015) • CM Guidelines on child-friendly justice • Child participation assessment tool (including indicators to monitor progress of children’s participation) • Guidelines on integrated national strategies for the protection of children against violence • Publication « Children and young people in care – discover your rights! » Roma and Travellers’ education
  10. 10. Projects and tools 2/2 • CoE/EC ROMED Programme • Framework Curriculum for the Romani language • Roma history factsheets • Dosta! campaign against prejudices • No hate speech campaign • Online database on Roma-related policies and good practices
  11. 11. ROMED I and II • ROMED is not just about training (Roma) mediators but about mediation as a process (each actor has responsibilities and accountability). • Some lessons from past experience: There is a need of a code of conduct and a clarification of the role of mediators in order for them to perform their work properly (ref. CM Rec (2012)9 on mediation), as well as a need for institutionalisation (good example: Republic of Moldova) but even more important is the whole process of mediation. • Aim: the mediators should shift from service providers to facilitators of processes. ROMED component on education includes school governance (through which mediators, parents, teachers, education professionals, etc. are involved in the process of education of Roma). • ROMED2’s focus is on governance at local level, including governance in schools and therefore ROMED is a learning exercise for Roma and non-Roma who sit together and agree on matters concerning them through effective participation (in decision making process, again including in schools).
  12. 12. Roma and Travellers’ education THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! www.coe.int (Human Rights / Roma) www.coe-romed.org www.coe-romact.org www.dosta.org Michaël Guet Head of the I-CARE Unit Support Team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for Roma Issues

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