On 14 June 2023, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma organised the conference “Roma as integral part of Ukraine” in Berlin. Representatives of the governments of Ukraine and Germany, together with international and civil organisations, discussed ways for the equal participation of Roma in Ukraine.
The event was opened, among others, by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Oleksij Makeiew, Minister of State Tobias Lindner, the scientific director of the Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma Emran Elmazi and Yulia Kondur from the Ukrainian Roma women’s organisation Chiricli.
In the panel discussions, the situation of Roma in Ukraine, the current policy of the Ukrainian government and the cooperation with international structures as well as with the civil society were discussed. The basis for the discussion was the strategy paper by the delegation of Ukrainian Roma, which formulated political recommendations for action to the Ukrainian government, the international community and to the civil society with the central demands of combating antigypsyism and inclusion in all important political processes.
Ambassador Oleksii Makeiev highlighted that with the position paper he sees, for the first time, clear recommendations for the Government of Ukraine to promote equality and protect Roma.
The first conversations about the implementation of the recommendations already took place within the framework of the conference. Representatives of the Ukrainian delegation also met with members of the German Bundestag and were able to exchange ideas with German organisations and institutions. The Central Council will continue to work with its Ukrainian partners to ensure that words are followed by actions.
The event was organised by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma together with ARCA (Youth Organisation for the Promotion of Roma Culture, Ukraine) and in cooperation with Chiricli (Roma Women’s Organisation, Ukraine).
The Central Council would like to thank the Federal Foreign Office, the Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin, the EVZ Foundation and the Society for Threatened Peoples for their support and all participants for a successful and enriching event.