ENAR Weekly Mail 18

28 October 2005



      ENARgy, October 2005

ENAR will be publishing the October issue of the ENARgy newsletter on its website. This issue focuses on the specific theme of awareness-raising and contains an interview with Deirdre Hodson (Anti-discrimination Unit of the European Commission) about the ìFor Diversity. Stop Discriminationî campaign; examples of projects of ENAR members; and two articles on recent EU developments. Download the newsletter on Monday: in English. The French version will be available early next week.




      Islamophobia: Echoes of the Past

This 8-page briefing paper by b:RAP (Birmingham Race Action Partnership) is a response to the recent and more overt panic-fuelled hysteria around Islam and ëMuslimsí, which it thinks is reminiscent of the inaccurate and dangerous portrayal of Jewish communities during the Nazi occupation. The paper argues that there is a disturbingly similar trajectory, associated with widespread xenophobic sentiment, which occurs when a number of variables come into play: economic crisis / poverty, welfare retrenchment / scarcity of resources and the fear of a cultural invasion or indeed ëreligious take-overí. Read the paper




      France: Solidarity and integration - withdrawal of funds

The Finance Commission of the French National Assembly has this week suspended funding for ìSolidarity and Integrationî projects, related to the future immigration museum and the HALDE, the High Authority against Discriminations. Read more (French only)




      Commission Communication ìFighting trafficking in human beings - an integrated approach and proposals for an action planî

This Communication, presented on 19 October by the Commission, aims at further strengthening the commitment of the EU and the Member States to prevent and fight against trafficking in human beings, committed for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation as defined in the Framework Decision of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings, and to the protection, support and rehabilitation of its victims. Read more ñ Read the Communication in English // in French


      Commission Communication: European values in the globalised world

The Commission published this Communication to serve as background document to the October Meeting of Heads of State and Government on 27 October, discussing the European ëeconomic and social modelí. 

Download the Communication: in English // in French

ÿ    In a letter sent to heads of States and Governments ahead of the summit, social NGOs urged leaders to bear in mind the views of thousands of citizens' organisations. Reform is needed to deal with major challenges facing Europe, must not mean abandoning the fundamental values and principles which are so important for a modern and cohesive society. Read the letter / Read the statement

ÿ    The webzine CafÈbabel devotes this weekís issue to the European social model. Read SOS social model: in English // in French


      New Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Thomas Hammarberg, currently Secretary General of the Olof Palme International Centre in Sweden and a former Secretary General of Amnesty International, was on 5 October elected as Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights by the Organisationís Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Read more: in English // in French




      Roma politics in Central Europe

Estimates of the size of the Roma population in Europe range from seven to nine million, almost the total population of many smaller European states. Approximately 70% of the Roma in Europe live in the new (and the potential) EU member countries. The author of this article, P·l Tam·s, analyses the situation of the Roma in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. His question is: could the EU influence effectively the Roma policy of the member states, especially the new ones? The article was published in The Analyst, a new quarterly focused on the key political, economic and social developments in Central Eastern Europe. Read the article (English only)


      Greece: Human Rights Defender Illegally Detained - Police Collusion to Promote Segregated Schooling for Roma Children?"

The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) on 25 October sent a letter to the Greek ministers of education and public order and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court to draw their attention to the illegal detention of Theo Alexandridis, legal adviser of Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), following his participation in the defence of Roma rights. The letter also takes up the generally precarious situation of the Roma community in Aspropyrgos, near Athens. Read the letter (English only)


      Romanian President: Roma must be considered as Holocaust victims

The Romanian President has sent a bill back to parliament requesting that the definition of the Holocaust include Roma. The request follows an open letter the President received from rights activists and European lawmakers, which asked him to change the wording of the bill. The bill will ban Holocaust denial and aims to make racism illegal. Read more


      ERRC lodges complaint to EU about Slovak Prime Minister

Following a recent request by the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC), the Slovak Prime Minister refuses to publicize a correction about the recently emerged scandal concerning coercive sterilization cases. Two weeks ago, Slovak chief prosecutor Jozef Contos said that they have closed their investigations into the case and the UN also ceased their investigation, further stating the operations without the women's consent had never happened. Read more




      Roma EDEM International Seminar - Monitoring of anti-discrimination legislation and policies addressed to the Roma/Traveller

Date and venue: 24-25 November 2005, Madrid (Spain)

The Roma EDEM project, implemented by the FundaciÛn Secretariado Gitano (FSG), aims at reducing the existing gap between anti-discrimination legislation and institutional practices through training and awareness raising as well as the empowerment of the Roma/Traveller associations in all participant countries.

For more information on the conference, contact Cristina Dominguez Robles at the FSG: cristina.dominguez@gitanos.org




      PICUM report: ìTen Ways to Protect Undocumented Migrant Workersî

PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) released a report which presents detailed information obtained from nearly 50 NGOs, trade unions and other actors working with and advocating for undocumented workers, both in Europe and in the United States. Grouped in ten actions, a range of methods are presented that contribute to the aim of respecting the dignity of undocumented migrants as humans and as workers. To download or order a copy of the report, please visit: www.picum.org


      Social Voices, Number 14, October - December 2005

The Social Platform has just released the latest issue of Social Voices, the newsletter of the Platform of European Social NGOs. In this issue, Social Voices focuses on fundamental rights-based policies and the demographic change. The ìMeet the member organisationsî column on page 9 tells readers about ENAR. Read the newsletter: in English // in French


      EUMC: Policing Racist Violence and Crime - A Comparative Analysis

The EUMC published a comparative analysis of police responses to racist crime and violence in the European Union. The 52-page report was presented at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE (OSCE) in Warsaw. The report finds police forces in many EU Member States to be ill-equipped to respond to racist violence.

Read more: in English // in French ñ Download the report (English only)


      EUMC Newsletter, Issue 24, October 2005

This Newsletter presents the EUMCís latest report (see above), information from the 25 EUMC National Focal Points on issues related to the EUMC's mandate, as well as updates on EU developments. Download the newsletter (English only).