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Informal legal school for Roma people to be arranged in Homel

2012 2012-11-20T19:53:21+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Homel human rights activists announced yesterday the opening of a legal school for Roma. The decision was made based on the results of a roundtable discussion on Roma-related discrimination. The event was organized by local activists of the organizing committee of the party "Belarusian Christian Democracy". The round table was attended by human rights defenders, representatives of the Roma people, pastor of the "Living Faith" church, who has been helping Roma children.

"We agreed that Roma will gather their people and bring them in for a legal school. Many of them do not have any sort of legal knowledge. We will analyze different situations in the classroom, explaining what their responsibilities to the state are, and what the state owes them. Roma often get into trouble not out of malice, but out of ignorance of the laws", stresses BHC’s human rights activist Ales Yauseyenka.

He said there were instances when the police stormed into a house at night and took Roma people to the station to be fingerprinted. All night proceedings are illegal. "If Roma knew it, they would have at least written a complaint. Or their children were taken to the asylum just because their parents had no papers. Instead of these radical measures the state should help them make the papers. Some of the Roma do not even know where to get a passport," said the human rights activist.

According to him, the two months of workshops for the Roma ethnic group will feature sessions in Law – from the Housing Code and the Family Code, to the constitutional and international law.

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