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31 March 2020

Activity Details (ID# 22368)  

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Title Workshop on ''The protection of the rights of Roma people by the national human rights structures'' (year 2) 
Description Staff members of eligible NHRSs will discuss with peers coming from other NHRSs.
A thematic handbook in English, French and Russian will be published following the workshop and will be disseminated for the use of NHRSs and other human rights actors. 
Status Completed 
Date 24/02/2009 - 25/02/2009 
Location European Youth Centre - Budapest, Hungary
Countries CoE Members: Albania / Armenia / Azerbaijan / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Croatia / Georgia / Republic of Moldova / Montenegro / Russian Federation / ''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'' / Turkey / Ukraine
Others: Kosovo*
  Joint Programme Activity - Peer project
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Peer project - Setting up an active network of independent non-judicial Human Rights Structures in the Council of Europe member States which are not members of the European Union    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2008/DGHL/JP/1765   Assisting National Human Rights Structures (NHRSs)
Expected Result 1.2 - The staff of the National Human Rights Structures have enhanced their knowledge of European standards of human rights protection, and have extended their awareness of possibilities of action.
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Human Rights
Line of Action ⇒ I.2 – Protecting and promoting Human Rights through the other CoE institutions and mechanisms
Programme ☆ I.2.1  Commissioner for Human Rights

Working Method

Organisation of meetings - Workshop (excl. training) 
Directorate Human Rights and Legal Affairs 
CoE Contact FREYMANN, Delphine   email
Last Modified 23/04/2009 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 22368) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The Joint European Union – Council of Europe Programme “Setting up an active network of independent non judicial human rights structures”, or “Peer-to-Peer Project”, aims to empower national human rights structures (NHRSs, i.e. ombudsmen and national institutions) to help prevent and find solutions to human rights violations more effectively at domestic level. Through a series of workshops, where international legal norms are explained and participants discuss their respective experiences to implement these norms, specialised staff members of the national structures can strengthen their own human rights competences and increase their awareness of the possibilities for action at domestic level and for co-operation with international mechanisms.

The first workshop of the Peer to Peer project for 2009 was organised on “the protection of the rights of Roma people by national human rights structures” on 24-25 February in Budapest (Hungary) at the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe. Since addressing in a two-day workshop all issues affecting the enjoyment of rights of a such large minority clearly carried the risk of generalisation, the workshop focussed only on three specific aspects of the general problems affecting the Roma people. 
Output/Results The workshop consisted of three thematic working sessions. During the first session, participants, with the help of experts’ presentations, identified obstacles and venues to combat the almost chronic social exclusion of Romas and lack of their participation in the decision making process, which put them on the fringe of the structured societies. This was followed by a session giving an overview of the international legal standards and mechanisms concerning the housing rights. It was noted by participants that the patent absence of adequate standards of living within Romas is an unfortunate common denominator characterising Roma settlements throughout Europe. In this context, several Council of Europe (CoE) member States have been found by CoE monitoring mechanisms in breach of their treaty obligations regarding the housing rights of Romas. The last session covered the issue related to the education of Roma children, in particular from the perspective of discrimination and segregation in the school system. The participants discussion highlighted the link between lack of proper education and the lack of proper documentation, as well as poor accommodation facilities, which very often are quite distant from school buildings. Through exchanges of experiences, participants discussed whether there were practical avenues and possibilities for NHRSs to reinforce in the long run the protection and promotion of the rights of Roma people. 
Conclusions/Follow Up The discussion, which took place after each expert’s presentation, showed that this theme is of particular interest to NHRSs. Despite difficulties experienced in successfully protecting the rights of this vulnerable group, the NHRS seem to have a potential advantage in tackling the specific problems addressed in the workshop.
During the wrap up session mention was made, as a possible model for an inventory of measures to be adopted in the three specific workshop’s themes, to the relevant recommendations given by the Commissioner for Human Rights in its 2006 report on the human rights situation on Roma, Sinti and Travellers.

As with all P2P workshops, a debriefing paper will be issued in French, English and Russian and disseminated amongst NHRS and other relevant actors. 
Participants 34 participants from NHRSs from CoE member States and other institutions. 
Consultants/Experts Mr. Marco BRAZZODURO Professor of Social Policy at the Faculty of Statistics University ''La Sapienza'', Rome

Mr. Claude CAHN Independent Expert on housing rights

Ms. Orsolya JENEY, Independent Expert

Mr. Robert RUSTEM, European Forum for Roma and Travellers

Ms. Geraldine SCULLION Independent Expert on equality and human rights 
CoE Secretariat Ms Antje ROTHEMUND, Executive Director, European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary

Mr. Markus JAEGER, Deputy to the Director, Head of the National Human Rights Structures Unit,
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms. Nadia SOKOLOVA, Personal assistant to the Director, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr. Stefano VALENTI, P2P Project Manager, Interdepartmental Centre on Human Rights and the Rights of People, University of Padua
Total No. Participants 37 
Last Modified


  * All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.  
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