The ‘CHACHIPEN’ means ‘truth’ in the Romani language, pursues the key objective to advance the recognition and response to historically-rooted and systemic antigypsyism to achieve justice, equality, non-discrimination and the full participation of Roma as equal citizens across Europe. The project employs an innovative approach, through the model of Truth and Reconciliation Processes (further TRP), to review the past rights violations and ongoing structural discrimination of Roma that hinders the implementation of the EU non-discrimination acquis.
The European Commission has stressed that “the most successful actions do not just align with, but rather transform mainstream structures and policies by fighting prejudices and stereotypes and building a positive image of Roma among policy-makers and other stakeholders”. In October 2020, the European Commission has launched the new Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation for 2020-2030.The CHACHIPEN project aims at understanding and raising-awareness about antigypsyism in societies across Europe with an innovative transitional justice-like approach as a way to transform the shared historical narrative that also acknowledges the contribution of Roma to Europe.
The project partners have successfully piloted this approach. CEPS and the Alliance against Antigypsyism (that includes ERGO Network and Central Council for German Sinti and Roma), have previously produced a landmark study entitled “Scaling up Roma Inclusion strategies”. It aimed at learning from South African, Canadian, Australian TRP experiences as well as from the Swedish Commission on Antigypsyism. These lessons informed and innovated the envisioning of a post-2020 EU Roma policy.
The CHACHIPEN project will combine participatory research, strengthening advocacy capacity among Roma activists and communities, and targeted awareness-raising activities among policymakers, the media, and public institutions. The project aims to learn from TRP experiences in Sweden and Germany and to use them to advance the TRP in Romania and Spain. It also promotes such an approach at the EU level to inspire the other Member States to start similar processes as a way to rebuild trust, cooperation and reconciliation among the Roma communities and majority society institutions as an essential step towards effective delivery of non-discrimination and equality. The European Commission has also committed itself with the new EU Roma Strategic Framework 2030 to ‘raise awareness on Roma history and culture, and promote truth and reconciliation’.
THE OVERALL OBJECTIVES
- To investigate truth by analysing and understanding what happened to Roma across the EU and in the specific Member States and how Roma have contributed to the history of Europe, and most importantly, how antigypsyism became an institutionalised form of racism.
- To map states of play in acknowledging the dark chapters of antigypsyism across the EU and providing the more in-depth analyses as it concerns Germany, Sweden, Spain and Romania.
- To learn from promising experiences of setting up independent expert commissions on antigypsyism in Sweden and Germany, to advance the public understanding of antigypsyism, and the impact of this dark history on the present of Roma communities.
- To empower Romani activists to advocate for Truth and Reconciliation processes and ensuring their co-ownership of the process by building up their capacity and designing, implementing and monitoring such transitional justice-like processes.
- To raise awareness about antigypsyism in society, in particular among duty-bearers, and to promote the potential of truth and reconciliation processes for achieving equality, non-discrimination and full participation of Roma.