On 20 January 2016 in Sisak, the Civil Rights Project Sisak organized the first meeting of the “Local Platform for Roma”, coordination body that has been created as an activitiy of the project “The Importance of Being Roma”. The implementation period of the project is from 1st November 2015 – 31st October 2016, and it is financed by the European Union, with the co-financing by the Croatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.
As the main goal of the project is to encourage the members of Roma national minority, the theme of the first coordination meeting were the status rights of Roma. Beside the representatives of the CRP Sisak and partner NGOs, the representatives of the City of Sisak, Sisak-Moslavina County, UNHCR, UNDP, Centre for Social Welfare, Ministry of the Interior and Roma NGOs attended the meeting and participated in the work of the Platform.
During the meeting, the power point slideshow explained the method of working and cooperation and also presented the statistics about the number of declared members of Roma national minority that live in Sisak-Moslavina County. Also, a big problem that prevents Roma from self declaration is the fact that the nationality that is once entered in the register cannot be changed. It has been concluded also that a huge problem for Roma parents is that they often, mostly because of the discriminatory attitude of the majority population, register their kids as members of majority population or some other national minority.
In the end of the meeting, all stakeholders of the Platform have concluded that real number of Roma that live in the Sisak-Moslavina County was much bigger than it has been shown in the statistic. Also it has been concluded that the current legislation, which regulates registering and changing of the nationality in the registry books, which is discriminatory and it is necessary to start the initiative for change of the legislation.