Empowerment of Roma to Fight Rights Deprivation

Grantee: European Roma Rights Centre

The project sought to support and empower grassroots Roma organizations in six countries in Central and Southern Europe to advocate for laws, policies and practices to combat racial discrimination, and to promote the application of international human rights standards concerning housing in national legislation. Working with Roma youth activists to lobby policy makers the grantee hoped to strengthen working relationships. A separate project component aimed to raise awareness among the Roma population of using legal means to challenge rights abuses.
By focusing on the themes of anti-discrimination laws and housing and shelter rights, the project emphasized particular spheres where action was urgently required. Targeting Roma youth and young activists, the project sought to address in a practical way the weakness of Roma civil society organizations in undertaking advocacy on behalf of their own people. The litigation component finally was to demonstrate to the Roma people the viability of taking legal action as a means through which the state might be held accountable for its failure to uphold their rights.