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In connection with celebration of the International Romani Day on April 8, 2012, the Roma Women Fund “Chirikli”, the union of Roma public organization “Roma Council of Ukraine” and the representative office of the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine address to Roma of Ukraine with the holiday greetings.
The number of Gipsy community in Ukraine, according to the data of the census, is about 48 thousand persons, however, according to the information of Roma non-governmental organizations, there are from 200 to 400 of them. The largest places of compact living of Roma in Ukraine are situated in Zakarpattia and in Odessa oblast. Social and economic condition of Roma in Ukraine is considerably worse in comparison with other citizens of the country. The problems of Roma in Ukraine are caused by the complex of social and economic reasons: their educational level remains the lowest, which causes the high level of unemployment (more than 54% of Roma have no job), only 3.5% of Roma obtain pensions. There is currently no state programme in Ukraine directed at improvement of lives of Roma, and at the same time, separate bodies of local authorities try to pay attention to Roma range of problems.
Roma public organization, bothered with the problems of the community, with international assistance and in co-operation with authorities try to promote initiatives as for support and improvement of social and economic and cultural integration of Roma into social life. The basis of such activity is, in particular, the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine for 2011-2014.
The Roma community is convinced of the obvious need in optimization of work of the state and local authorities. The unity of Roma in wish to constructively solve the problems of their everyday life is the powerful potential, which the authorities can rely on. Let’s unite our efforts!
Manfred Profazi, the Head of the representative office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ukraine:“As in many other countries, the Roma community in Ukraine encounters many challenges: restricted access to education, housing and medical services. Together with intolerance this leads to social isolation. On the International Romani Day, the IOM again emphasizes its readiness to support the efforts of the Ukrainian Government and the civil society on the way to complete integration of Roma community in Ukraine”.
Yurii Ivanenko, the head of the union of Roma public organization “Roma Council of Ukraine” notes that the current situation of the Roma community in Ukraine is the critical one, and it requires the serious governmental and public attention.
Yuliia Kondur, the president of the International Charitable Organization “Roma Women Fund “Chirikli” notes that during the time of Ukrainian independence, there were certain positive changes in the living standards of the Roma community, but the most part of its problems remains as much sharp as earlier. “We ask all the interested parts to create the political, legal, economic and social and cultural climate in our country, where the rights and the culture of Roma and other national minorities are respected and develop”.
In connection with celebration of the International Romani Day we call on the state and local authorities, as well as international organizations, to take into consideration the interests and needs of Roma, in particular, Roma women, and to get them involved in the development and realization of strategical state and international initiatives.