ABA ROLI Partners Celebrate International Roma Day

April 2011

On April 8, ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) partners in Macedonia, Romania and Serbia marked International Roma Day by celebrating the life and culture of Roma people, by helping Roma communities understand their rights and by providing legal assistance to those in need.

The Roma Woman Organization in Macedonia, widely known as “DAJA”, organized its second community law school an event to raise people’s awareness oftheir rights on the occasion. The event highlighted the difficulties Roma people face and educated participants on obtaining identity documents and gaining access to employment, health and other social benefits.

In Serbia, United States Ambassador Mary Warlick visited the Novi Sad Humanitarian Center an ABA ROLI partner serving the Roma community and met with Roma representatives. The representatives told the ambassador about their community’s challenges and about the legal assistance ABAROLI and the center are providing to help address those challenges.

In Romania, the Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies, Romani CRISS, partnered with the U.S. Embassy to organize an event in Baicului, a Roma settlement outside of Bucharest. United States Ambassador Mark H.Gitenstein opened the event, which drew about 2,000 people. The event included performances by school groups and professional artists. Variousnon-governmental organizations and artists also exhibited their work. Additionally, Romani CRISS provided Roma rights-related information, including about the Romania census planned for October, and free legal consultations.

To learn more about our Roma rights-related work, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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