International Roma Day 2014

“We mark the day by celebrating the rich Romani culture and the diverse contributions of Roma to our societies. On this day, we should reflect on the obstacles that continue to prevent millions of Roma from realizing their potential.”  -Secretary of State John Kerry, International Roma Day 2013

Want to learn more about Roma history and culture? Watch this informative video from the Open Society Foundations.

The U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic published a video titled “Co pro mě znamená znamená být Romem?(What Does It Mean To Be Roma?)” on International Roma Day 2014:

Click here to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Romani.

Read György Makula’s inspirational story, a Roma-Hungarian police major and the chair and cofounder of the Fraternal Association of European Roma Law Enforcement Officers (FAERLEO).

U.S. Embassy Activities 2013-2014

A project organized in conjunction with the Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Serbia and the Ministry of Health educates young girls about their rights and reproductive health. This initiative is significant because many young Roma girls are susceptible to early marriage, sexual exploitation and bride kidnapping.- Embassy Belgrade, Serbia
Embassy Bucharest concluded a three-year educational project between Roma NGO RomaniCRISS and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The project, titled Civic Involvement and Dialogue Program for Young People (YCED), brought together Roma and non-Roma students from Romania and the Republic of Moldova to support managing ethnic tensions by developing intercultural understanding in schools.- Embassy Bucharest, Romania
A U.S. delegation visited the Law Enforcement Vocational High School in Miskolc and Borsodbota, where half of village residents are Roma. The school runs a Roma program, which offers students of Roma origin specialized academic attention and summer camps for Roma applicants to prepare them for work in the police force. The delegation also met with a dance group comprised of Roma and non-Roma teenagers that is a strong unifying force in the community.- Embassy Budapest, Hungary
Ambassador Mussomeli visited two Roma settlements in the Kocevje municipality and met with a Roma family to discuss how they are included in the local environment and education system. This visit provided public support for the Roma community and highlighted the government’s positive steps to protect the rights of this group. -Embassy Ljubljanal, Slovenia
U.S. Embassy Paris provided a $5,200 public affairs grant for translation support during a summer seminar on Romani studies at the University of Lyon 1/IUFM. Eleven Romani teachers from Europe and the United States led discussions and informed participants including students, educators and interested members of the public. The seminar’s focus was on education and Romani contributions to regional, national and European politics.- Embassy Paris, France
Ambassador Sue K. Brown presented the Ambassador’s Active Citizenship Award to Fana Delija, Coordinator for the Center for Roma Initiatives. The award was given in recognition of Ms. Delija’s exceptional civic activism that has improved the status of Egyptian and Roma women in Montenegro.- Embassy Podgorica, Montenegro
The American Center hosted the annual Romano Suno awards on December 11th. This literature and art contest for Roma children supports the use of the Romani language and awareness of the Romani culture. - Embassy Prague, Czech Republic
Cultural Affairs Officer Sherry Keneson-Hall opened the first of a series of trainings for young Roma women activists who want to get engaged in politics. The so-called Manushe Group and the training is organized by the NGO Slovo 21.- Embassy Prague, Czech Republic
In summer 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, in partnership with the Open Society Institute Bulgaria, hosted four Fellows in the second iteration of a Fellowship Program for Romani students and recent graduates. The Fellows worked in four sections of the Embassy, helping with projects relating to accounting, IT, management, human rights, and other issues. – Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria
In the run up to a high-level OSCE conference on Roma and Sinti rights, the U.S. Mission to the OSCE facilitated an hour long Google+ Video Hangout between Ambassador Daniel Baer and six Roma NGO activists from around the OSCE region.- U.S. Mission to the OSCE, Vienna, Austria
The Center for Anti-Corruption Education created a short film providing advice on fighting employment discrimination and protecting children from bullying, as well as introducing social services and resources. The video will be disseminated at Roma schools and communities and at institutions working with Roma people.- Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania
An art exhibit titled “Parubanka: Broken Ties,” which documented the lives of incarcerated Roma women and their children, was brought to a local museum thanks to a $3,400 grant from the U.S. The artist, Jolanta Pakeviien Kiure stated that she was inspired to complete this project because she is a mother, a woman, and an individual with ties to the Roma community. - Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania

USAID’s Roma Education Project in Macedonia

    “Many of the project beneficiaries who have graduated from university are now employed in local and international organizations, public and private companies, and public administrations where they contribute to Macedonia’s growth and development. They are now in positions to advocate for Roma inclusion and to direct Roma-related policies,” said USAID Mission Director James Stein. He added, “This is one of the most valuable legacies of the project.”
    - Learn more about this project.

U.S. Government Engagement on Roma Issues

Cost of Marginalization Much Greater”: Nathan Mick on Roma Rights – December 11, 2013 Protecting Roma Rights a “Major Piece of Unfinished Business” – Ambassador Daniel Baer – November 8, 2013
    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Uzra Zeya visited a Roma Community Center in Kursanec, Croatia in October 2013. The visit highlighted Roma social inclusion projects. PDAS Zeya met with Roma preschoolers who are utilizing computer equipment donated by the U.S. Embassy to improve their Croatian skills, attended a mentoring course for Roma and non-Roma teens presented by the NGO “Status M” and met with Roma organic farmer trainees in the NGO “CEDRA’s” job training program. - Embassy Zagreb, Croatia

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