JUSTROM was devised as a Council of Europe and the European Commission joint programme to improve the access to justice of Roma and Traveller women. In its first phase, JUSTROM run from October 2016 to March 2018 and it was implemented in Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Romania.
The specific objectives were:
- to facilitate access to court and court proceedings at national and international level, including when on probation or while in prison
- provide legal advice, aid and/or representation through setting up legal clinics
- enhance the capacities of legal professionals, law enforcement bodies to adequately respond to Roma and Traveller women’s needs through training on non-discrimination and gender equality
- strengthen partnerships with national state institutions, local authorities, human rights institutions, legal aid bureaus, bar associations, NGOs and Roma and Traveller communities
- improve synergy and co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on improving the situation of Roma and Travellers with a focus on the particular situation of women.
- needs assessments in 5 pilot countries were conducted by the Council of Europe in May – June 2016, as an inception phase, before the project submission to the EC;
- 4 national launch events took place between October and November 2016 with relevant stakeholders to present the project activities and objectives;
- 5 trainigs for legal professionals on non-discrimination took place between November and December 2016, one in each implementing country;
- the national teams were select with the following format: 1 national coordinator and 2 mediators/facilitators, 2 legal assistants and 2 lawyers per country;
- legal clinics were established through by associate partnerships;
- awareness-raising gatherings with Roma women and other vulnerable groups were organised in the target localities. These gatherings were designed to inform Roma women and those living in target communities about the project, its objectives and services to be delivered to them;
- legal information, advice and counsel was provided by the JUSTROM national teams in the local legal clinic to everyone who requested from the target communities;
- a mid-term monitoring meeting by the Project Steering Committee took place in Brussels in June 2017. Among the participants, there were CoE and EC representatives, a delegation of 3 representatives from each of the 5 pilot countries. This mid-term steering committee meeting provided the chance to discuss problems encountered and asses the possibilities of the project. It was also a platform for experience sharing among partners from the five implementing countries;
- a training of trainers for legal professionals (lawyers, judges and prosecutors) took place in Italy in December 2017;
- 3 training of trainers for police officers on non-discrimination, gender and Roma were organised in Greece in July 2017; another one in Bulgaria in November 2017, and last one in Romania in December 2017. The ToTs were an additional contribution to the programme by the CoE and therefore activities fully funded by the CoE own budget and other voluntary contributions;
- anonymised factsheets were produced on cases of discrimination and gender issues, taken from cases identified through the legal clinics;
- info graphics with project indicators were produced at the end of the project;
- an end-of-project external evaluation was commissioned and published in June 2018.