Coalition “Voice of the Roma” seeks creation of Bureau for Relations with Roma Ethnics

Members of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma” ask to found a Bureau for Relations with Roma Ethnics, noting this is a urgent necessity. According to Ion Duminica, a member of the Coalition’s Secretariat, the action plan for supporting the Roma population for 2016-2020 failed because this body wasn’t created to monitor and coordinate the policies concerning the Roma.

“We warn the central public authorities that when they adopt the next Roma population support program for 2021-2025, they should not allow the Interethnic Relations Agency (IRA) to monitor, assess and implement the action plan for supporting the Roma population as this body didn’t coordinate its activities with the Roma civil society, with the local public administration and other development partners,” Ion Duminica stated in a news conference at IPN.

Ion Duminica said there was no regular dialogue between the central public administration and the Roma community. The IRA’s reports on the implementation of the plan contain erroneous, unverified data. For example, the IRA reported that 17 Roma children are out of school in Moldova, while the report compiled by the Coalition “Voice of the Roma” shows that over 300 Roma children do not attend school in Edineţ district alone.

“On the one hand, we have an official report with unreal data posted on the IRA’s website. They are official, but unreal data as they weren’t cheeked with the Roma community, the local public administration. They were published without being verified, discussed, approved by the Roma community. On the other hand, we have the reports produced by the Coalition “Voice of the Roma” in 2016 – 2020. The data were collected from community mediators and the local public administration. They are real data, but they weren’t posted as official data by the Interethnic Relations Agency,” said the Coalition’s member.

Silvia Feraru, secretary general of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma”, reiterated that the Coalition is a platform that brings together 35 nongovernmental organizations that aim to protect the rights of Roma ethnics. In 2016-2020, the Coalition monitored the implementation of the action plan for supporting the Roma population. Being responsible for monitoring the labor and social protection sectors, Silvia Feraru ascertained that no activity was carried out in 2017 for “organizing the formation of the Roma entrepreneurs who want to start a business in localities that are densely populated by Romaies based on existing lending programs”. In 2018, the IRA said this action is not within its remit as it is the responsibility of the Organization for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ODIMM). In 2019, in Donduşeni district alone, 15 Romanies were informed about the existing lending programs. Finally, the IRA reported that ODIMM does not possess differentiated data about the number of Romanies informed about the existing financing programs. Consequently, this action had no impact on the Roma.

Silvia Feraru also said that the Roma community at the moment does not have a policy document that would reflect the problems and solutions of the community, a report or official data from the relevant institutions concerning the plan’s impact. The Roma community detected a number of reports compiled by different institutions or NGOs, which contain inaccurate information and data that are not known by the community, community mediations and it is not clear who will monitor the implementation of a new Government decision and when this will be approved.

The news conference forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of IPN’s project “Exposing Injustice through Multimedia”. IPN Agency does not assume the right to decide if the organizers of news conferences are right in the cases about which they will speak as this is the exclusive prerogative of justice, but the exaggeratedly long examination period of these cases, which is much longer than the law allows, can be considered an act of evident unfairness and injustice. IPN News Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences.

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