Roma Youth Conference

 

Roma Youth Conference
05/09/2011 - The Roma Youth Conference Voicing the aspirations and projects of Roma youth in the Council of Europetaking place at the end of September in Strasbourg, aims at bringing together Roma youth organisations and Roma youth representatives to discuss the priority needs and objectives for a Roma Youth Action Plan within the Council of Europe. 
In addition to the need to implement a youth dimension to the Strasbourg Declaration, the youth sector of the Council of Europe is driven by the need to refresh its approach on working with young Roma in view of the bi-annual programme of activities for 2012-2013. A Roma Youth Action Plan will provide a strategic approach to the youth policy of the Council of Europe regarding Roma by pooling resources and initiatives and by linking individual activities with medium-term goals.

Background

The youth sector of the Council of Europe has for a long time associated young Roma to its policy and work for intercultural dialogue and human rights education. In 1995 a ground-breaking training course for Roma youth leaders was held at the EYC in Strasbourg, in the framework of the “all different-all equal” European youth campaign (against racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and intolerance). It was followed by training courses, seminars and other activities, targeting specifically Roma youth.

About the Roma Youth Conference

The Roma Youth Conference is planned to be a follow up activity to the The Strasbourg Declaration on Roma, adopted during the October 2010 High-Level Meeting. It will gather primarily representatives and active leaders of Roma youth organisations and young Roma (between 18 and 30 years old) active in other organisations and projects from the Council of Europe member states. During this four day event 50 participants will be able to share their ideas, skills and knowledge in a non-formal intercultural learning environment.
The Roma Youth Conference is organised by the Directorate of Youth and Sport, together with the Support Team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues. It is prepared in cooperation with the two European Roma Youth Networks—FERYP – Forum of European Roma Young People and ternYpe – International Roma Youth Network—with participation of the Advisory Council on Youth and the European Steering Committee on Youth, the two bodies of co-management in the Council of Europe’s youth sector. The European Youth Forum, representing youth organisations, is associated to the preparatory group as well as the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Roma and Youth Initiatives.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the conference is to enhance participation of Roma youth in the activities of the Council of Europe, to allow the young Roma to meet and enter into dialogue with the main stakeholders, to develop proposals and priorities for activities, explore the youth policy responses to the situation of Roma young people today. It will also allow participants and the stakeholders to learn more about the situation of Roma young people and to discuss the meaning and relevance of the Strasbourg Declaration for young Roma today and ways to contribute to its implementation. It is expected that by the end of the conference the participants will provide guidelines and input for the Roma Youth Action Plan as well as will have a better understanding of the situation of Roma youth and Strasbourg Declaration.

Outcomes

The outcomes of the conference will be submitted to the Joint Council on Youth and to the Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on Roma. They will also be taken into account by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues and by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. The main outcomes of the Conference are guidelines for a Roma Youth Action Plan to the taken up by the Council of Europe in the next two years. A report and video will be produced.
Link: http://www.youthpolicy.org/roma/tag/council-of-europe/

Conference website, links and documents

Conference website at www.coe.int
Presentation of the Roma Youth Conference (pdf)
Programme of the Roma Youth Conference (pdf)
Rui Gomes from the Council of Europe on the Roma Youth Conference (mp3)