Objectives of the conference are:
- To support cooperation among Roma and non-Roma youth leaders by meeting, interacting and learning about the role of Roma history and culture in shaping the identities and perceptions of Roma youth in Europe today
- To support the dissemination and usage of Council of Europe standards and educational resources, in particular the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the inclusion of the history of Roma and/or Travellers in school curricula and teaching materials, the handbook “Right to Remember” and the role of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture therein
- To motivate participants and their organisations in their work as multipliers on education about Roma and Traveller history, culture and identity as well as Roma Holocaust Remembrance
- To reflect about and propose action regarding expressions of antigypsyism today such as online hate speech, Holocaust denial and mis-representations of history
- To collect and disseminate experiences and expectations about promoting the participation and inclusion of Roma and Traveller young people
- To celebrate Roma cultural diversity and associate young people and youth organisations to the celebrations of the International Roma Day (8 April) and the 50th anniversary of the First World Romani Congress, held in 1971 in Orpington, Kent, United Kingdom.
The conference is designed for Roma and non-Roma young people, youth leaders and representatives of organisations and networks working with Roma communities from all across Europe who are also:
- Motivated to share experiences and engage in dialogue and cooperation with other participants
- Active within a Roma organisation or a (Roma) youth organisation
- Able to work/communicate in English, French or Romani
- Able to connect to the Internet for the time of the conference.
Priority will be given to participants under 30 years of age. The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all candidates who fulfil the profile above, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.
Participation in the whole event is subject to registration. Open until 26 March at https://youthapplications.coe.int/
Participants attending at least 80% of the conference will receive a certificate of attendance.
The conference is organised by the Youth Department and the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe in the framework of the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. It is prepared and implemented in co-operation with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and in close association with Ternype, the European Roma Grass Roots Organisations Network, Phiren Amenca and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.
The conference will be organised as an online event over 3 days. The programme, methods and technology will be organised so as to favour mutual learning, interaction and dialogue among participants – notably in small discussion groups and workshops.
As a way of sharing experiences and connecting young people all across Europe, participants and partners will be supported to prepare and share an action that they organise or offer to celebrate International Roma Day on 8 April and the 50th anniversary of the First World Romani Congress and the awakening of a “Romani Movement” to promote Roma history, culture and identity, and to fight for human rights, justice, equality and better representation at political level. This will be broadcast in connection with a symbolic event at the Council of Europe.
Online/virtual visits to museums or places of remembrance of the Roma Holocaust and expressions of Roma culture, arts and identity will also be proposed in addition to the formal programme of the conference.
The programme contents will be structured on three main issues:
7 April: Roma history and Roma Holocaust Remembrance
8 April: Celebrating Roma history, arts, culture and identity as well as the 50th anniversary of the emergence of a Romani human rights movement
9 April: Furthering youth action, mobilisation, inclusion and participation
Each theme will feature key inputs, sharing of experiences and workshops facilitated by partner organisations, including Roma youth organisations. Specific links will be made with projects of the Youth Department and of the Roma and Travellers Team that intersect with youth participation, history, and remembrance.
The conference will close with the presentation of conclusions and proposals for furthering work on Roma history with young people and ways to expand Roma youth participation based on double mainstreaming.