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Friday, 9 October 2020

Beginning of the Project "Roma Equality through Increased Legal Access"

NGO Praxis, in cooperation with partner organizations Minority Rights Group Europe and Idetartozunk, Hungary, has launched a two-year project "Roma Equality through Increased Legal Access". The project is funded by the European Union, as part of the "Rights, Equality and Citizenship" Programme. The project is being implemented simultaneously in Serbia and Hungary.

The overall objective of the project is to promote and protect the rights of Roma victims of human rights violations and discrimination by raising society’s and stakeholders’ awareness, as well as by raising awareness about the individual responsibility to prevent and fight discrimination, while also enhancing implementation of non-discrimination legislation and empowering Roma to seek legal remedies.

This project will include a set of activities, starting with the baseline research with the aim to identify the diverse aspects of discrimination against the Roma, their attitudes to and experiences of access to justice mechanisms, legal practitioners’ knowledge of the anti-discrimination legislation, an analysis of local policies, and the participation of Roma in decision-making procedures.

After the research, a series of trainings will be organized for: legal practitioners, with the aim of strengthening their capacities in order to enable and encourage them to provide legal aid for Roma victims of discrimination; for members of Roma-led and non-Roma civil society organizations, on how to identify discrimination cases, where to refer Roma victims of discrimination, on how to conduct advocacy activities and involve Roma community members in decision-making procedures; for Roma mediators and activists, on how to identify discrimination cases, on the available protection mechanisms, including the mandate and competence of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, as well as on modalities of involvement in decision-making processes.

The project also envisages the cooperation with activists at the local level to identify cases of discrimination, as well as to provide legal advice and legal aid to Roma victims of discrimination, including filing complaints with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality. All activities will be accompanied by advocacy activities, both at the national and international level, as well as the preparation of a final briefing, presenting the project findings, which will serve as a tool for further planning of advocacy activities in this field.

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