Discussion of the Draft of Regulations about the Body of Roma Self-Government

Today, on the 14th of October, 2013, there was a meeting in the premises of the City Council of Mukachevo of lawyers of Mukachevo Human Rights Center and the representatives of the street committees in the Romani camp. At the meeting were also invited the lawyers from Mukachevo city council, the elder of Roma settlement and the representatives of the Roma NGOs.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues related to the participation of members of the Roma community in the work of general meeting (conference), namely those members of the Roma local community who have reached the age of eighteen years, who are not recognized by the court as incapable and are lawfully residing within the territory on which the Romani camp is accommodated.

There were also raised questions concerning the territory where the general meeting will be held, about the powers of the general meeting, the procedure for convening the general meeting, the legal status of the governing body and the members of community.

The participants paid particular attention to the involvement of Roma in decision-making and development of the self-government.

During the consideration of the main points of the project, participants made a number of proposals for improving the draft of the Regulation on the body of Roma self-government, which opens new opportunities to attract Roma to decision-making by local authorities.

The adoption and approval of the draft Regulation on the body of self-government by the City Council session will significantly improve the current situation in the development of local democracy and create conditions for the direct participation of members of the Roma community in the territorial issues of local importance. For the first time, the creation of the Roma self-government body will allow the representatives of the local communities to more actively participate in the work of the local self-government and increase their responsibility for the situation in the settlement.

All the participants of the working meeting agreed that the adoption of the Regulation will encourage the processes of democratic governance in the camp, as well as increase the level of confidence of Roma to the organs and officials of local government.

Final version of the Regulation will be presented to the mayor and to the deputies of the City Council for further discussion in parliamentary committees and decision at the session of the City Council.

PS: The centers of legal information and advice that provide free legal aid to Roma people working with the support of the “Roma of Ukraine“, International “Renaissance” Foundation. To learn more about the activities of a network of centers, foundations and principles of work visit the website under “Legal Empowerment of Roma communities.” The views in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the International “Renaissance” Foundation and other civil, religious and political organizations and individuals.