Help in cooperation with the Roma Education Fund, the Montenegrin Red Cross and CEDEM organized the Final Conference within the project “Promotion and protection of human rights of Roma Egyptians and other vulnerable groups”, supported by the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.
Speakers at the conference were Mrs. Audrone Urbonaviciute, Deputy Head of the Sector for Cooperation in the Delegation of European Union, Mr. Leon Gjokaj, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, and Mr. Klaus Mock, Regional Coordinator of Help. The implemented activities and results of the project in the form of a documentary film, as well as CEDEM’s research on employment and socio-economic situation of the RE population in Montenegro, were presented by the methodologist Miloš Bešić, PhD.
Ms. Audrone Urbonaviciute, Deputy Head of the Sector for Cooperation in the Delegation of the European Union, emphasized the importance of the implemented project, the visibility of the results thanks to the work of partners and involved institutions in the project, for which the European Union has allocated total funds in the amount of one million euros: “The project does not only make figures, but people and activities that bring changes to society. Our goal was to contribute to the reduction of the socio-economic gap between members of the RE population and others in the Western Balkans, and to strengthen the institutional obligations of the Government to incorporate and implement specific interactions in policy development. ”
Leon Gjokaj, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, said that the Government of Montenegro and line ministries devote special attention to the protection and promotion of the human rights of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro. “Our political and strategic commitment is aimed at creating the conditions for a better life of the RE population, using all the rights prescribed by the laws of our country. The Government of Montenegro adopted the third social inclusion strategy of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro, 2016-2020, which is harmonized with the European framework for the development of strategies concerning RE population. It defined seven priority areas in which specific measures and activities are foreseen for all competent institutions that are focused on solving the RE population in Montenegro. A significant result has been achieved in some areas. ”
Klaus Mock, Regional Help Coordinator, pointed out the following: We have joined our resources in order to improve the status and integration of Roma through action at local and national level and through field work, directly assisting members of the Roma and Egyptian communities. In the long run, RE integration can only be successful if RE are in a position to exercise their rights, if they themselves as well as state institutions are aware of their rights and the latter are prepared to assist RE to exercise these rights. I am very pleased that I can conclude that through this project we have built the foundations on which RE integration can thrive. Most local RE organizations still have only limited capacities to take up their roles as representatives and effective lobbyists for the sake of their communities.
The CEDEM survey on employment and socio-economic position of the RE population in Montenegro was presented by the methodologist Miloš Bešić, PhD, who presented the results of the research, pointed out that many segments this year are better than results in 2016. The objectives of the research were to measure the material status of the RE population, the level of cultural capital, the analysis of the health status of the RE, identifying issues with documents, measuring health status RE, measuring the level of social protection, determining the level and practice of media presentation of RE, facts and practices related to the employment issues of RE and examining the attitudes of employers when it comes to employment of RE.
The Research can be downloaded here
Watch the documentary film on implemented activities and project results: