Campaigns `made by ERGO`
ERGO Network and its members and allies are involved in a number of European campaigns to raise awareness of a wider audience - to help end stigmatization and discrimination, to build a positive Roma identity and to build bridges between Roma and non-Roma. All the campaigns are owned, co-developed and co-built by the Roma communities, our members and partners.
Stigmatization and discrimination of Roma - in whatever form it is expressed - is intimately connected to the socio-economic exclusion of Roma across Europe. It's easy to discriminate against those who are excluded, it's harder to discriminate against friends and those we see as fellow citizens. We see that unfair politics, media stigmatization and discrimination are interlinked. This is why ERGO Network believes the prejudiced views and attitudes that many people hold of Roma are to be addressed if we want Roma to be fully equal citizens in Europe.
On November 9th 2014, it is 25 years ago that the Berlin wall fell and we will celebrate unity of East and West Germany. Yet, there are still walls that segregate Roma citizens from their non-Roma neighbours across Europe (see annex: glossary). Therefor ERGO has built its advocacy campaign around this historic moment, asking attention for the removal of both physical and mental walls. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, new walls have been erected in Europe. Alone in Slovakia 14 walls exist to separate Roma from their non-Roma neighbours. Also in Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, France and other European countries, local governments build walls to hide Roma -often motivated to protect children safety.
ERGO will launch its Wall Free Europe! campaign asking for removal of the walls and gaining attention for the increasing anti-Gypsyist and racist sentiments in Europe-which creates ‘walls’ in the heads of the general public to relate to Roma. This result in Roma apartheid: segregation in schools, ghettoization and massive unemployment.
RomaReact is about both Roma and non-Roma who want to shape the public debate on Roma inclusion. The interactive multimedia mapping platform allows us to share everyday Roma realities and to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that Roma face. A global online community is built seeking social change and justice. RomaReact mobilises young people to actively participate in society and become agents in their own lives as well as equal and respected citizens.
Together with our members in Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey we are implementing the Roma Women Empowerment campaign Our Place, Our Space, Our case. It stands for women that invite people to their ‘place’, who visualise their ‘space’ and who formulate their ‘case’ for improvement to relevant policy makers and stakeholders.
No awareness – no progress. To tackle the social exclusion of Europe’s largest minority requires an understanding of the problems Roma face and the dedication to solve them. And it requires both a sense of urgency to act and a perspective of concrete opportunities for progress. Roma and non-Roma share the responsibility to create this awareness and translate it into results.
The REACT campaign ran from October 2010 till November 2011. Citizens – Roma and non-Roma – media and governments were encouraged to commit to making Europe an equal place for Roma. [more]
Life for Roma may change whenever governments adopt policies and programmes to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities. But does it?
The international campaign "Thank you ….?! Partnering for Roma inclusion" was part of the REACT campaign. It extended the grassroots advocacy campaigns in Albania and Bulgaria to partner organizations in Moldova, Serbia and Turkey. The visibility of Roma as citizens of their societies – with equal rights and duties – was boosted with this campaign, as such drawing attention to the role of grassroots organizations as watchdogs and partners for policy implementation. Roma themselves play a key role in ensuring that commitments translate into results – if they can express their common voice and share the responsibility to find solutions. [more]
It is time to show that "enough is enough" in the face of determined discourses, measures, opinions and even "jokes" that seem to deny that Roma persons are citizens enjoying full rights in the European Union.
The and the have launched an awareness-raising campaign with a clear objective: to remind that Roma are citizens and therefore enjoy rights - without forgetting obligations as well - that cannot continue to be infringed upon.
You want to join? Ask for badges and stickers (in blue and green to evoke the Roma flag) with a simple motto: Roma = Citizens, by sending an email to: email@example.com and download the banner at http://www.gitanos.org/citizens to include it on your website.
`Typical Roma?` was an international campaign of ERGO Network which ran from January to April 2010, when it ended during the Second European Roma Summit in Córdoba. In the campaign young Roma addressed and challenged the stigmatization and prejudiced stereotyping. NGOs from Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova participated in the campaign.
One of the most visible actions of `Typical Roma?` was the election of the `Most Roma-friendly Mayor` in the five participating countries. These Mayors were invited to the Roma Summit in Córdoba in April 2010, where they were awarded.
The campaign also lead to the publication of the Black & White Book, which presents both positive and negative stories about Roma inclusion through the eyes of Roma youngsters. [more]
Racism beats the game
ERGO is very active in campaigns against discrimnination and anti-gypsyism, like the `Racism breaks the game´ campaign. The campaign combatted stereotypes and prejudices in football and involved many well-known people, such as Romanian football player Banel Nicolita. The former Dutch Deputy Minister on European Affairs, Mr. Frans Timmermans, also participated. Some ERGO members initiated similar activities in their countries, like a football game in Slovakia in Macedonia.
During the `Run against racism and discrimination` campaign, 900 people participated in a run through Bucharest. The event was organised by ERGO, the Italian Union `Sports for All´ and OSI. Many famous Italian and Romanian sportsmen participated, such as Daniel Prodan (former Romanian football player) and Daniele Masala (Italian gold medal winner at the 1984 Olympics).
In 2008, ERGO participated in a spontaneous `fingerprinting campaign`, after Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi ordered the Italian police to register Roma and take their fingerprints. ERGO joined in this campaign, among others by participating in the first Roma Summit in 2008 in Brussels, wearing t-shirts with a fingerprint and the slogan ´against ethnic profiling`.
This event gave a huge boost to the debate on the position of Roma in Europe and kept the European Union alert on paying attention to the position of Roma.