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JUSTROM progress in improving Roma women’s lives

Implemented in more than 25 Roma settlements and covering 9 different locations in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania, JUSTROM3, a EU/CoE joint programme that focuses on access to justice for Roma women, has managed to have a significant positive impact in the lives of Roma women from its launching until present despite the challenges faced recently.
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©Photo credit: JUSTROM Greece | Christina Kokkoni, JUSTROM3 Facilitator in Athens, Greece

©Photo credit: JUSTROM Greece | Christina Kokkoni, JUSTROM3 Facilitator in Athens, Greece

The programme, defined to evolve around 3 interconnected pillars, has been very active in promoting and taking steps to empower Roma women. So far, 59 different events took place until June 2020, from Awareness Raising Gatherings, to Info Days and Mentoring Sessions with Roma women. A total number of 867 participants, among which 774 Roma and 581 Roma women, took part and benefited from these activities discussing challenges women face nowadays, exchanging stories about gender discrimination, the concept of empowerment of Roma women, and gaining knowledge of legal mechanisms, the justice system and human rights institutions, and how to access public services, local authorities and legal structures.

This was possible thanks to JUSTROM consultants who continued their work and showed commitment towards Roma women and Roma communities even during the Coronavirus crisis, when most of them were confined, had limited resources and movement and gatherings were restricted. They stepped up their work and re-shaped some of the activities to respond to the needs, while still in line with the overall purpose of the programme.

During COVID-19, the dissemination of information (via Facebook, phone call, flyers, etc) and the distribution of hygiene products, material and food became a constant activity. So did online legal consultations provided to Roma women by JUSTROM legal consultants. On top of this and adapting to the situation, online courses using different platforms were developed in partnerships with universities, either at the request of national stakeholders or at the initiative of JUSTROM. Ten webinars with 5 universities and more than 330 participants took place.

At the level of synergies, 113 regular partners are actively involved in the implementation of the programme in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania, giving their support to the national teams of consultants to meet the needs of the programme’s beneficiaries at all levels.

Furthermore, 11 out of 16 Info Days already took place with a variety of stakeholders from municipalities to national women associations and Roma NGOs. Several topics were discussed, among which the new JUSTROM3 programme and provision of legal information on a variety of issues of the beneficiaries.

More actors and stakeholders will be involved in the future in sharing of knowledge and experience activities, and in activities to generate awareness and find solutions to issues affecting Roma women. JUSTROM3 action plan envisages:

  • 2 study visits on community development and community policing, each followed by 18 cascading events;
  • 96 trainings on antidiscrimination, gender equality, ECHR standards, gender-based violence and human trafficking targeted to lawyers, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement agents and social workers.

See below more information - JUSTROM3 in numbers by June 2020  or download the material here.