ISSA Co-organizes Roma Week 2023 through REYN

This year ISSA, through its REYN initiative, became one of the co-organizers of Roma Week 2023 that will take place on 24-27 April in Brussels, Belgium. Policymakers, experts, activists and organisations concerned with persistent antigypsyism in Europe will be collaborating for Roma Week in the European Parliament and other EU institutions. The Roma Week 2023 is aligned with the objectives of the European Year of skills 2023.

In the framework of the Roma Week 2023, there will be a series of events focusing on how history affects the current situation of Roma in Europe and what are the prospects for the future. The Roma Week 2023 is hosted by the European Parliament and European Commission and organized in partnership with Roma and pro-Roma civil society.

ISSA, through REYN initiative, will be co-organizing the event “Unlocking the Potential of Young Roma Children in Europe” on 27 April, together with European Public Health Alliance, Minority Initiative and Eurochild and hosted by dr. Milan Brglez, Member of European Parliament (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats). The discussion will be about that each and every child deserves a fair start and equal opportunities in life. However, across Europe Romani children disproportionately face hardship during the early years and beyond. The first six years of a child’s life are critical in determining the rest of their lives. Early Childhood Development is therefore crucial in ensuring that Romani children have all the opportunities to unlock their full and unique potential and grow up in good health and wellbeing – to grow and thrive. However, there are barriers which make realising this difficult. The size of the problem is difficult to determine because of a lack of (disaggregated) data. Adverse conditions for Romani children and their parents are also persistent, as antigypsyism and poor social determinants lead to hardship in all facets of life; employment, education, health, housing to name a few. A result is that Romani children are disproportionately placed in separate schools, sent to ‘special needs education’, or simply removed from their parents and placed in institutional care. Poverty and discrimination run through these issues like a red threat, a structural issue.

During this event, these issues will be illustrated by outlining the scale of the problem, by providing examples of how these issues might manifest in daily life for Romani children, and most importantly how this issue can be resolved through policy action. More information about the event you can find here.