The Russian Federation’s government in 2013 intends to begin improving the image of Roma and their process to socio-economic integration. The cabinet has already approved a comprehensive plan that will incorporate the ethnic group in a number of cultural, educational and business projects. The newspaper “Известия" (Proceedings) writes on 20 February.
According to a government source, this is the only “comprehensive ethnic-oriented programme” in Russia. “There is not such a programme for other ethnicities. Roma, especially, are adrift and in need of care in the nation-state”, said the newspaper.
The document provides the establishment of television films and programmes, which will tell the history of the Russian Roma and the “problems of integrating into a modern society”. In addition, the government will organise a press conference with Roma leaders from the autonomies.
The ministry of regional development and the regional governors have mandated to help the Roma that would like to do business. Potential entrepreneurs will be trained and advised. In addition, Roma businessmen will receive benefits on the receipt of communication channels and the purchase of office equipment. Free legal advice centres will be open for them; however, for those without documents, there will be a simplified process organised to issue passports.
A separate unit of government will be designed to address the problem of neglect and lack of education of Roma children. A special alphabet-learning-book will be developed to help teach them the Russian language. Younger students will receive textbooks on the Romani language. In placed where Roma live, youth clubs will be opened, which will teach traditional crafts, such as the blacksmith business, horse breeding, sewing, embroidery and weaving.
The documentation notes that under the members of the Roma community, there will be tightened control to help stop the spread of drugs.
According to the national census of 2010, there are more than 200 thousand Roma living in Russia.
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