Posted by: Verena Spilker | September 16, 2008

Human Rights training seminars

Lesson No 1. August 22, 2000
Theme: “Constitutional Consolidation of Single Citizenship”
Place of meeting – town Uzhgorod, Cultural Centre Romani Yag
Attended by 60 people.
Last elections showed that a lot of Roma did not solve the question of their citizenship. This causes certain difficulties in the realization of their rights as citizens of the Ukraine.
That is why we decided to cover the topics about their rights to become citizens of Ukraine, what rights there are and the duties it implements. There was given an explanation of the practical application of the procedure of getting a passport for the Ukraine and for travelling abroad. The changing of new standards, and the observing of a number of their requirements for the authorities.

Lesson No 2. August 30, 2000
Theme: “Juridical System of Ukraine”
Place of meeting – town Beregovo
Attended by 42 people.
While analyzing the experiences of work representing the interests of Roma by the coordinators of the program, information was presented about the system of bodies of juridical power in the Ukraine and about the way cases mov within the diffeent bodies, with the concrete examples given. Also the topics were explained, which arose during the discussion about the concrete power of the judge and a public prosecutor while hearing civil and criminal cases.

Lesson No 3. September 7, 2000
Theme: “Constitution As a Legislative Act Which Guarantees Roma Rights and Liberties”
Place of meeting – v. Tyachivo
Attended by 29 people.
During the class participants got familiar with the theme “Constitution As a Legislative Act With Guaranteed Roma Rights and Liberties ”
After the introduction of the theoretical material on the research of articles of the Constitution of the Ukraine, Chapter II, Rights and Liberties of a Person and Citizen, Articles 23-62, it was held a discussion on the possibility of real application of these articles in present life.

Lesson No 4. September 15, 2000
Theme: “Legal acts that regulate the liquidation of the consequences of the flood, which affected Roma”
Place of meeting – v. Surte
Attended by 26 people.
The removing of the consequences of the flood has still remained a very actual question in the Transcarpathian region. For writing applications and official letters from the centers of Romani Yag it is necessary to use normative acts currently in force, which have to do with the removal of the consequences. Thus there were written numerous requests and applications, addressed to local authorities, to resolve the tasks of giving dwellings to the Roma families from the village Variyevo. The normative acts were presented to Roma at their request. On the grounds of these acts they were able to ask for building materials and other kinds of aid.
The members of the law defense center Romani Yag were often appealed with a request of solving or speeding up the solution of the task of giving new dwellings instead of the destroyed ones and of allowing and providing fair division of humanitarian aid.

Lesson No 5.  September 23, 2000
Theme:  “If You Are Arrested What Further Steps Are to Defend the Roma Rights ”
Place of meeting – t. Dovgon
Attended by 22 people.
The task of illegal arrests of Roma and infringements of law by the police with respect to Roma was raised at the previous meeting. Therefore it was suggested to consider the theme about rights and duties of the police with respect to a person who is arrested and suspected of committing a crime. Roma were given commemorative booklets about their rights when breaking a law. They were given contact telephone numbers of Romani Yag for urgent calls in case of infringement of law. It was very important and helpful that while those facts with respect to Roma were under discussion, a lawyer was present. He gave legal advice on the questions asked (V.P.Didychin).

Lesson No 6. October 1, 2000
Theme: “Tasks of Begging ”
Place of meeting – town Rachiv
Attended by 36 people.
This class raised the topic of Roma job placing in permanent or seasonal jobs. Concrete examples of the violation of law in this sphere where given as well as recommendations concerning proper legalization (making contracts and agreements when being placed in a job). Legal variants of labour agreements and civil-legal agreements and their differences and similarities in the sphere of taxation and further provision of pensions were explained.

Lesson No 7. October 9, 2000
Theme: “Writing and Realization of Grants”
Place of meeting – town Beregovo
Attended by 34 people.
Grant is the legal way of lgainig money for conducting concrete programmes. Different civil foundations like Ford Foundation, Soros Foundation or McCarthur foundation, religious founds and founds on charitable help give grants. For the successful realization of a project it is very important to have the concrete knowledge about how much money is needed for a specfic project. The example given was the project of “Legal education” in Beregovo.

Lesson No 8. October 17, 2000
Theme: “State Aid to a Family With Children”
Place of meeting – Vinogradovo
Attended by 55 people.
On the grounds of the generalization of the practices turned towards the bodies of State Power, for example, the bodies of Town Social Security Department it was suggested to consider the theme of providing the power level of aid to the families with children by the state. This theme started the discussion. During the discussion the audience gave various facts and the concrete size of these kinds of aid and talked about their insufficiency (people were given 12 grivnyas in small change in a paper bag per a child). Ways were suggested to legally defent the rights against these illegal treatment of the state also concerning the delay of these kinds of payment.

Lesson No 9. October 26, 2000
Theme: “Legal Protection of Human Rights” (practical lesson)
Place of meeting – Svalyava
Attended by 29 people.
The lesson was held under the presense of representatives of the ERRC Istvan Fenveshi, Angela Koce and Anna Slavik. There were discussed different urgent problems on human rights protection, which were raised by Roma population during the lesson. Their questions were answered by the legal defender of the society Romani Yag Vasiliy Didychin and Vladimir Hlyobas. The main ways of work of the Law defense center Romani Yag were explained and the lawyers working there introduced as well as contact telephone numbers given in case of the occurance of human rights violations.

Lesson No 10. November 2, 2000
Theme: “State Defence of Family and Childhood”
Place of meeting –town Uzhgorod, Cultural Centre Romani Yag
Attended by 64 people.
This class had to do with the consolidation of the family institutions of laws and other normative acts. The tasks under consideration were as follows: legal consolidation of matrimony, rights and duties that come out of it, and the influence of the later factor on their material security. The discussion broached the issues, which are typical for Roma families, i.e. civil marriage capability of minors who get married. These tasks were explained by the coordinator.

Lesson No 11. November 10, 2000
Theme: “Parent’s and Children’s Duties”
Place of meeting – town Mukachivo
Attended by 45 people.
In relation to the social-economical problems and sudden changes Roma families have to face corresponding articles of codes and tradition about matrimony and family in the Ukraine were considered. The specific task in this discussion was the work of children and women as bread-winners. The impossibility of giving children the aid to study by their parents was also under discussion. The legal basis of consequences of non-payment of maintenance and possible consequences were presented.

Lesson No12. November 18, 2000
Theme: “Right to Housing”
Place of meeting – town Perechin
Attended by 43 people.
According to the law of the Ukraine about „Privatization“ a lot of Roma families got the opportunity to get private ownership of their flats. At the present many families are confronted with new problems concerning their ownership. People apperently get less wages, when it is known that they rent part of their appartement or other payments are stopped completely. For many of them it is also not clear what to do, when they want to move to another place and which part each family member plays in that concern. Adresses were given of the bureaus of technical inventory in the region, who carry out the valuation of houses. There were also pointed out the legal authorities whose consent is necessary to carry out operations with property.
The discussion and legal support of those problems is urgent for Roma families.  As a consequence of the hard social-economic condition they have to face, a lot of Roma families break up. Therefore the question of the division of property and claryfication of the corresponding process of certifying at the notary’s or in court is necessary. In the discussion the role of children in case of a divorce was also discussed.

Lesson No 13. November 26, 2000
Theme: “Roma Language”
Place of meeting – v Poroshkovo
Attended by 32 people.
The greatest problem of the Roma language is that it is not codificated. A common standart does not exist and there are different groups and dialects of the Roma language: Kelderar, Serbian, Lavar, Vlachian and other. Another very important difficulty concerning the Roma language is the way how to study it. When Roma children enter school most of them speak only Roma language. But there do not exist any language courses for them or Roma assistants at schools. That is why from the very beginning children the children entering the school see themselves confronted with more difficulties then other students.

Lesson No 14. December 4 , 2000
Theme: “Rights to Proper Education”
Place of meeting – town Uzhgorod, cultural center Romani Yag
Attended by 52 people
The problem of education is very urgent among the Roma children. Secondary education and further training are inaccessible for most of the Roma children nowadays because of the drawbacks of national education. Improper attention on the part of teachers and lack of help in studies on the part of parents resulted in incapacity of Roma children to cope with the curriculum beginning with the 5-th form. That is why they leave school. The right for education is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Ukraine but should be supported by real possibilities. Materials were presented about taking Roma children to study in secondary technical schools and institutes of higher education. This was conducted by Romani Yag. There was also a discussion about possibilities of job-placement of Roma children after they finish their education. The lawyer, who had been collecting information about the possibility of continuing studies of Roma children, was present at this lesson. O.V.Navrotskaya offered legal advice.

Lesson No 15. December 12, 2000
Theme: “Holocaust ”
Place of meeting – town Berezniy
Attended by 46 people.
The topic of his meeting was he Holocaust or persecuion of people because of their ethnical, religious or racial background. Actually, for the Roma holocaust has never stopped. We remember “blood laws” that were taken to Roma in the 15-16-th centuries in England, Austro-Hungarian, Romania, when Roma could be killed right there on the place and Roma boys were taken as soldiers. Afer the World War II a new wave of the holocaust started during the period of communist power. tht is when laws where set against their own way of life. In 1972 there were sterilizations of Roma women in Swiss and Czechoslovakia, a practise still going on today.
Roma one of the two nations that Hitler wanted to eliminate are still not politically, morally or financially reimbursed. And in our present times a new wave of neonazis starts to violently terrorise Roma rights in Hungary, Albania, Kossovo, Austria, Bulgaria.

Lesson No16. December 21, 2000
Theme: “Changes in Legal Acts concerning National Minorities”
Place of meeting – town, Uzhgorod, Cultural Centre Romani Yag
Attended by 65 people.
This class dealed with the changes which appeared after the election of the new President of the Ukraine. On December 15, 1999 after the election a new law under the №1577/99 “about changes in structure of central organs of executive power” was published. It concerned the fact that the state committee in minority and migration affairs was to be  abolished. Now the Cabinet of Ministers of the Ukraine has to solve the tasks of creating similar structures. As to this there appear some questions: Who will be concerned with making decisions? What structures will take a responsibility for their execution?

Program “Human Rights Training in the Roma Community”
Ernest Buchko

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