This program was held virtually on Zoom and YouTube Live.
Please join the Harriman Institute, the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University, and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College, CUNY for a conference on the state of Roma human rights in the Balkans.
The aim of this conference is to review the contemporary state of human rights and the challenges that confront Roma people in the six Western Balkan countries seeking European Union membership. Following centuries of persecution, Roma exclusion continues to exist in social, legal, and political spheres throughout Europe. Though frequently overlooked, Roma are considered the largest minority ethnic group in Europe with an estimated 12 to 15 million living on the continent, the vast majority in Central and Eastern Europe. Many Roma, including those who may have lived in a country for decades, are numbered among the stateless in Europe—living in Europe yet denied personal identity documents from birth to adulthood, effectively blocking their access to critical social services, health care, and education and participation in the political decision-making of their communities.
This conference brings together top Roma scholars in the academy, advocates, and practitioners who are working to advance the human rights and dignity of Roma people throughout the Balkans.
Note: All times in EST. Each panel requires individual registration.
9:00-9:25 AM—Opening Remarks
Welcome by Professor Tanya Domi, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Faculty Affiliate of the Harriman Institute
Remarks by Cristiana Grigore, founder of the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University
An International Roma Day video message from Dunja Mijatovic, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe
9:25-10:30 AM—A Conversation about Roma Human Rights in Europe
Ethel Brooks, Associate Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University
Moderator: Tanya Domi
11:00 AM-12:15 PM—Panel Discussion: A Roma Educational Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Miloš Bogičević, Head of Human Rights, OSCE Mission to BiH
Mirko Pincelli, photographer and filmmaker documenting the lives of Roma communities in BiH
Velma Saric, President of the Post Conflict Research Center, BiH
Dalibor Tanić, Roma activist and Editor-in-Chief of UDAR, a regional Roma multimedia portal
Moderator: Dr. Laura Cohen, Executive Director of The Kupferberg Holocaust Center
12:45-1:30 PM—Panel Discussion: What is Going on in Europe and the Balkans?
Ðorđe Jovanović, President of the European Roma Rights Centre
Goran Miletic, Europe Director, Civil Rights Defenders
Anikó Orsós, Women’s Rights Officer at the European Roma Rights Centre
Deniz Selmani, Co-Founder and Program Director of Romalitico Skopje; Obama Foundation Leader, Europe Program
Moderator: Tanya Domi