Third meeting of the “Local Platform for Roma”

On 29th June 2016 in Sisak, the Civil Rights Project Sisak organized the third meeting of the “Local Platform for Roma”. The coordination body that has been created as an activity of the project “The Importance of Being Roma”, the project that has been implemented from 1st November 2015 – 31st October 2016, financed by the European Union, with the co-financing by the Croatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, has been working continuously for already six months and has achieved very good results.

After the two meetings, where the themes were status issues and education of Roma, the theme of the third meeting were living conditions in Roma settlements and housing of the members of Roma national minority.

The meeting was opened with the presentation of work of the Platform in the first six months of work, and concretely results of the Platform were presented to those members of Platform, who did not, because of the specific themes, attended the previous two meetings.

After more than two hours of discussion, all members of the Platform concluded that the living conditions in the Roma settlements in Sisak-Moslavina County were unsatisfactory. Although some of settlements can be, because of their nicer exterior, presented as positive example, even in those settlements there is a lack of infrastructure, which is usual in the rest of the County. Unsolved ownership is the main obstacle for investments in the settlements. Because of that, it is necessary to organize a coordinated action of all stakeholders to continue the procedure of legalization of houses and parcelling of land in the Roma settlements.

The main problem for housing care of Roma that are in need for housing is the fact that the City of Sisak does not have enough capacity to provide housing for related Roma. Also, the Priority List, that has already been formed during the last Call for Applications of the City of Sisak in which majority of needed Roma did not participate, prevents Roma from achieving their right to housing care. The representatives of City of Sisak promised that they would send a notice to the Civil Rights Project about the beginning of new Call for Applications.

As well as the meetings that had been organized before, this one also brought concrete conclusions and recommendations for future work, and showed that intersectoral cooperation was the best way of cooperation for achieving good results.

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