This project is continuation of the previous project “Latvian Roma platform III”.
The Ministry of Culture as the National Roma contact point provides effective coordination at the national, regional and local level. Latvian municipalities, which are responsible for social inclusion of their population, including Roma families at the local level, still have organized insufficient number of activities to facilitate integration of Roma into society effectively. The Ministry provides support to municipalities in order to strengthen them to implement active policy towards Roma inclusion in accordance with the national set of policy measures on Roma integration, including developing dialogue between social disadvantage Roma families and municipalities.
Main objective of the project is to develop the Latvian Roma platform as a mechanism for coordination and implementation of the set of policy measures on Roma integration at the national, regional and local level by fostering mutual cooperation and exchange of experience between all stakeholders, and also supporting the involvement of Roma, especially Roma youth and women, in the development of civil society and intercultural dialogue.
- Promote cooperation and dialogue between Roma, representatives of local government, sectoral ministries and their institutions, as well as social partners, by improving Roma access to different services and providing opportunities.
- Support mutual learning and exchange of best practices in key areas of Roma integration at local and regional level, as well as sharing experience on the implementation of policies on Roma integration with other EU Member States.
- Promote the capacity building, participation and effective involvement of Roma civil society, including young people and women, in the implementation of Roma integration policy measures.
- Promote public awareness of Latvia's Roma culture, history and social situation by promoting the success stories of Roma people in the wider society.
- Mutual learning and exchange of best practices on Roma integration in key areas at the local and regional level has been supported. For example, Regional experts working meetings and good practice visits to the Ventspils municipality and Talsu municipality are organised.
- NRCP high level meetings with specialists from national co-responsible authorities (the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Education Science, the Ministry of Health and the Youth International Programs Agency were organized in order to discuss Roma support measures in the fields of education, employment, health and youth participation, as part of implementation relevant sectoral policies after 2021. The aim of interministerial meetings was to develop cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, which is the responsible authority for coordinating the implementation of the Roma integration policy, with co-responsible ministries and agencies to ensure a sustainable Roma integration policy, including calling for the inclusion of Roma among groups at risk of social exclusion in the sectoral policy guidelines of the ministries responsible.
- Roma mediation practice in the municipalities (Jelgava, Riga, Valmiera, Ventspils and Viļaka) and effective dialogue between Roma families and state/ municipal authorities (schools, social services, city councils) are developed. During the project four trained Roma mediators cooperated with 149 disadvantaged Roma families and provided assistance to more than 180 Roma persons. Local government’ representatives who cooperated with the Roma mediators stated that the mediator helped them to improve dialogue with Roma families and to find appropriate solutions for solving many problems, as well as to inform about the most urgent needs of the Roma and the characteristics of traditional Roma culture. Moreover, mediators facilitated Roma access to municipal services, European Social Fund support programs, as well as prevented drop-out rates of Roma pupils in schools. In order to facilitate support of Roma mediators, assessing Roma mediators’ work experience and achieved results, every year best practice exchange seminar on Roma mediators’ work in municipalities is held.
- The participation and involvement of the representatives of Roma community into the implementation of the set of Roma integration policy measures is facilitated; as well as the capacity and skills of representatives of Roma civil society has been strengthened. The workshops are organized in order to empower and facilitate participation of the Roma young people and Roma women in the development of civil society.
- Coordination of the implementation of the set of policy measures on Roma integration has been improved at the national, regional and local level. Significant number of new stakeholders, especially Roma activists are involved in the process of implementation the Latvian Roma Platform, especially at the local level.
- Expert meeting was held on the situation of the Roma and on measures to support Roma integration in the county of Valka and in the Valga City. The visit was attended by representatives from Latvian and Estonian Ministries of Culture, the authorities of Valka Municipality and the municipality of Valga City, operating in the fields of education, social issues and culture, as well as Roma experts and residents from Jelgava, Valmiera, Valga and Valka. As a result of the meeting, experts agreed on the development of mutual cooperation to promote Roma integration in order to improve the education and social situation of Roma in the city of Valga and the city of Valka.
- Visit of experts on the exchange of experience and good practice in Vilnius on the integration of Roma into the labour market was organized in order to discuss local Roma integration practices in the field of employment, particularly the content and results of the European Social Fund (hereinafter - ESF) project “Work together with Roma”. The results and recommendations of the good practice visit were presented at the meeting of the Social Inclusion Policy Coordination Committee at the Ministry of Welfare on 10 June 2020.
- The awareness of the society about Latvian Roma culture, history and social situation are raised, through the popularization of personal success stories of the Roma in the public media.
- Totally in the project activities have been involved 230 participants, including 117 state and municipal authorities, non-Roma NGOs, as well as 70 Roma representatives from 19 Latvian cities. Roma mediators provided support to 149 Roma families in 5 municipalities.
Here a Summary Report on the Annual Latvian Platform Coordination meeting is available, where the results of the implemented project’s activities, as well as challenges, initiatives and priorities for the next Latvian Roma platform and Roma integration policy are included.