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23rd edition, May 2018:

Welcome to the latest Roma Support Group e-bulletin. Including:

  • Under GDPR, we want to explain how we are respecting your privacy – and hopefully, your continued receipt of our newsletter
  • First speech by a Labour MP – Kate Green – explicitly supporting Roma communities in the UK
  • UN special Rapporteur finds post-Brexit racism in the UK – and makes criticisms of the treatment of Roma (and Gypsy and Traveller) people in the UK
  • The government’s independent review of school exclusions, and our evidence to the inquiry
  • Latest Roma cultural awareness training; 10 July in Central London
  • “Unsettled status” – Migration Observatory report, their conclusions
  • Meeting: “The Rights of the Roma – the struggle of citizenship in post war Czechoslovakia”; 30 May in Central London
  • Glasgow Roma – an unusually good article in the mainstream press from a Scottish reporter; Roma young photographers; a pictorial guide to “Knowing Roma; ten facts that people should know about Roma” produced by Friends of Romano Lav (Glasgow); and a job vacancy in Glasgow
  • “If you could do one thing….to support integration of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers”. Roma young children in Bradford; and Roma youth in Slough

22nd edition, March 2018:

  • RSG’s concerns about the government’s Race Disparity Audit
  • RSG’s video about Hate Crime – made with the Met Police in Newham
  • The latest Roma Support group training for professionals
  • Some news about school exclusions, and the absence of Roma students in UK universities
  • The BBC Three documentary about Roma families in Hungary – the cycle from poverty imposed by far right functionaries, via racist social workers, to disinterested children’s home staff – ending with Roma young people fending for themselves, separated from their families
  • News of an important victory against the UK government which prevents the Home Office from removing EU nationals who are forced to sleep rough – they are not breaking their right to live and work in the UK because they are homeless and in the open
  • And the last meeting of the National Roma Network

21st edition, November 2017:

  • A major new report about the disproportionate use of exclusions of Roma pupils in English schools
  • A new Roma Oral History project
  • The range of difficulties Roma people have applying for disability benefits
  • An RSG training event in London in January
  • News from National Roma Network (NRN), including their national conference in London on 14 December; the NRN website info and link; and their recently published ‘South Yorkshire reports’
  • A multi-media toolkit for Roma parents – from Law for Life
  • Commentary on the government’s new Race Disparity Audit and the accompanying website – Ethnicity: Facts & Figures
  • The latest assessment by the European Commission on the success of the UK government’s policies to achieve greater Roma integration. Their conclusion is, “the mainstream approaches have not demonstrated sufficient impact on improving the situation of Roma.”
  • Three new books from the writer and publisher Bob Dawson
  • And finally, events surrounding a football match in Belfast…..

20th edition, June 2017:

  • A description of awareness training that Roma Support Group staff have been delivering with local GP practices in East London
  • The closing of an exemplary project aimed at supporting Roma patients, and primary care staff, in Sheffield
  • A report of the last Roma Refugee & Migrant Forum meeting in East London in January; and the agenda for the forthcoming Forum meeting on Friday 2 June
  • We provide a guide to the manifestos of the political parties standing in the 2017 General Election
  • RSG’s submission to the parliamentary Women & Equalities Select Committee about UK government policy towards Roma (and Gypsy and Traveller communities and populations); and how the inquiry is now closed due to the General Election; and how you can view other submissions that have been made
  • The Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, opinion on the UK – especially the position of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma in the UK
  • The publication of Roma Voices (written in part by staff and Roma champions from RSG), based on testimony of 159 Roma women and men throughout England and Scotland about their experience of migration and settlement, their use of public services and how they think lives and opportunities could be improved
  • A very recent and important study, Advisors, Welfare and Brexit, which has been drafted for the University of York and was considered at a recent conference; a subject that is highly relevant to many Roma families
  • Police action in Slovakia in a Roma settlement
  • London Gypsies & Travellers campaign: We are so many things, so why pick on one?

Special edition, February 2017: 1 Day Without Us:

  • 1 Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on 20 February 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.

Special edition, December 2016:

  • We are pleased to send you a special edition of the newsletter. Pleased, because some good news has come out of Parliament. One of Parliament’s select committee – Women & Equalities – has announced they are conducting an inquiry: “tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities”. We would encourage everyone who is able to, to send in a statement. The MPs say they want to hear from Roma communities in the UK; let them hear what we have to say. There’s more information below.
  • We carry as usual some European reports that people, groups and services might find useful; our own forthcoming training event, about working with Roma families and safeguarding; and a number of questions asked in Parliament this year by MPs and members of the Lords which include matters relevant to Roma communities in the UK.
  • And finally, a short piece about one of our new Roma Support Group workers – Assen Slavchev, one of the two new ‘campaigning and advocacy workers’ who started work in October.

17th edition, November 2016:

  • This is not an easy time in the UK, or in Europe, or indeed North America. The decision to leave the European Union dominates. Our legendary Annual General Meeting is held next Monday at the new venue of Woodgrange Community Centre; everyone is welcome to attend and to listen, learn and contribute, and to celebrate with our musicians and our chefs! There will be a chance to hear a panel of speakers discuss Brexit and what it means for Roma; and a workshop in community languages about housing rights.
  • This newsletter continues to reflect the implications of Brexit. On the one hand, we are pleased to publicise the Migrant Voice event on 25 November; and to provide a platform for the organisers of One Day Without Us – a protest on 20 February 2017 by migrants and supporters of migrants in the UK. On the other hand, we have no option but to remember that there’s been a growth in acts of violence and intimidation since the referendum; and we are proud that our friends at Herts Gate have launched a “Report Racism” website particularly for Roma and Gypsy and Traveller people.
  • We are pleased to review a recent research report by a leading UK ‘think tank’ – the IPPR – about how local councils (and the government) should respond to how Brexit will affect Roma communities throughout the country. And to compliment this, we want to highlight a report written about how Roma women, men and children think about public services in Glasgow. The voice of Roma women and children, especially, is made very clear; maybe what they say is not new, but it’s said with real clarity and reason.
  • There is growing national recognition in this country of the Roma holocaust – and members of our community have recently had their experiences listened to by staff from the Holocaust Memorial Trust. We are pleased to highlight a forthcoming public lecture arranged by the Pears Institute about what they describe as the “entanglement of Jews and Roma in 20th century Europe”.

16th edition, August 2016:

  • Brexit and the implications for Roma (and all EU nationals) living in the UK; including the video of the recent public meeting organised by Migrant Rights Network with leading legal and migration rights experts
  • London Borough of Brent and the denial of rights to work to Romania Roma
  • Roma children and a decline in their eligibility for free school meals; a research report
  • Rough sleeping Roma in City of Westminster (London); a research report
  • Roma and the criminal justice system; a policy briefing
  • Roma Support Group – two jobs advertised, closing date Wednesday 31 August
  • Roma Support Group – latest training event on Tuesday 11 October
  • European Commission’s assessment of the UK government’s Roma integration measures
  • Fundamental Rights Agency 2016 report on the European Union
  • Romed mediators’ training handbook
  • Anti-Roma violence in Lille and some English football supporters; statement from ERRC and FARE ? Romani language lessons…..

Special edition, May 2016:

  • For the May 2016 edition of the newsletter, we are producing a special one-off issue to advertise the election for a Roma co-chair of the National Roma Network, organised by Migration Yorkshire.

14th edition, April 2016 – Includes:

  • From Roma Support Group:
    –  A new resource about education and Roma pupils, drafted for teachers and colleagues who work in schools, and drafted according to the testimony of Roma pupils, students and parents
    – The latest appearance of the Roma Bridging Sounds Youth Orchestra – playing at the Barbican, Monday 11 April
    – A briefing paper about how Roma, and Gypsy and Traveller, communities appear to be in serious danger of being denied access to European funding, which could help to achieve economic and social integration in England
    – Two submissions prepared: (a) to the recent Welsh Government consultation on a migrant Roma strategy for Wales, and (b) for a recent visit from the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
    – Two forthcoming training events run by Roma Support Group for professionals working with Roma communities, particularly around the theme of ‘safeguarding’
  • News from National Roma Network; about the recruitment of a Roma co-chair for the Network; the terms of reference for the Network; and information about the next meeting of the Network on Friday 22 April
  • A discussion about the extent of Roma integration in Glasgow
  • Two new publications; one from Show Racism the Red Card in Wales, and one from the Equality & Human Rights Commission
  • Information about how to apply for permanent residence in the UK, for EU citizens who have lived in the UK for over five years – including many Roma
  • And two issues concerning government policy in education; one, the present government consultation on funding for schools, which explicitly refers to the needs of Roma, and Gypsy and Traveller, pupils; and secondly, the latest government statement on consultation on Roma (and Gypsies and Travellers) educational matters
  • The film ‘Papusza’
  • Information about National Roma Day on Friday 8 April; and events in Glasgow, Derby, London, Leicester and Sheffield.