Indigenous Peoples and Roma Mediation: the latest ECMI EPP activities in Ukraine

The ECMI Eastern Partnership Programme (EPP) team is back from Ukraine and their latest activities in Kyiv.

The ECMI EPP team organised two seminars focusing on indigenous peoples and Roma mediation in the beginning of April, with participation from local stakeholders and partners from three target countries, as well as the invited international experts.

The first event on “Exchange of experience in Roma mediation: Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova” was organised in cooperation with the Roma women fund “Chiricli”.

“Roma mediation is not only an effective instrument of intercultural communication, but also an instrument for overcoming inequality and promoting integration,” said Dr. Zora Popova (Senior Research Associate at the ECMI) in her opening speech, before giving the floor to the representatives of local organisations working on Roma issues in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. Some of the topics discussed during the sessions included:

  • What is meant by ‘Roma mediation’? What are the different stages of work of a Roma mediator? Questions of mediation in the Roma communities: the role, tasks, and ethics code of mediators.
  • The importance of consolidation of trust and consensus and effective communication skills
  • Presentations of the situation of Roma mediators in three countries: Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova
  • The analysis of thematic cases on the topic – Mediation on general issues (interaction with local authorities, police, etc.) as well as specific case analysis on thematic issues of education and health

Some of the organisations represented during the seminar included the National Association of [Roma] Mediators of the Republic of Moldova (represented by Mr. Valeriu Căldăraru, Director), Romano Alav, the Romani Women and Girls Network (represented by Kristina Raducan, Founder and Execurive Director), the International Charitable Organization Roma Women’s Fund Chiricli (represented by Zola Kondur, Vice President), and National Media Teleradio Moldova / Programme Petalo Romano (represented by Elena SIbru, Journalist).

The second seminar organised by the ECMI EPP team focused on “Indigenous people: political participation and conflict resolution”. The seminar was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and took place also in Kyiv, Ukraine. Thirty civil servants from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and local state administrations attended the event at the premises of the “Crimean House”. The seminar was moderated by ECMI Senior Researchers Dr. Zora Popova and Dr. Raul Carstocea. The seminar featured two international experts: Prof. Alexandra Xanthaki (Director of Research at Brunel Law School, UK) and Elisabeth Nauclér (Finnish independent politician and jurist).

The lecture by Prof. Alexandra Xanthaki on the first seminar day drew attention to the international and national legal mechanisms of conflict resolution over the status of indigenous peoples. The autonomy of the Åland islands, which are home to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland, was the focus of the second seminar day. Elisabeth Nauclér portrayed the early challenges of the autonomy establishment back in 1921 and the political dimension of the modern model. The afternoon session of the second seminar day featured a fruitful discussion of the draft of the Law on Indigenous People moderated by Dr. Raul Carstocea. One of the authors of the law, Ms. Yuliia Tyshchenko, communicated its contents to the audience and provided comprehensive answers to the questions about the substantial points of the piece of legislation.

The ECMI wants to thank all the participants and partner organisations for their active engagement and support!

About the ECMI Eastern Partnership Programme

The EPP addresses Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine – three countries that face various challenges and also have numerous achievements in the accommodation and governance of their ethnic and linguistic diversity. The EPP’s goal is to enhance governance and to advance state policies on the prevention of ethnic discrimination and on the mainstreaming of national minorities issues according to European best practices in the target countries. Read more about the project at: www.ecmi-epp.org

The programme is to be implemented in the years 2014-2017. The Final Conference of the ECMI Eastern Partnership Programme will take place in Kyiv in May 2017. Further details will follow shortly on www.infoecmi.eu.

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