in Europe
English

Peer volunteers raise awareness in Roma communities about birth registration

2013-03-05

In the frame of the EU-EIDHR funded project “Improving access to justice and access to rights of children and marginalized families with a special emphasis on Roma community”, the Center for Integrated Legal Services and Practices (CILPS) cooperates with Terre des hommes Delegation in Albania and FBSH-DN to improve access to justice for vulnerable children from Roma communities. During the 1st year of implementation (2012), thanks to the intervention of Tdh and FBSH-DN, over 760 adults and children from marginalized Roma communities in 9 regions of Albania (Tirana, Elbasan, Pogradec, Korca, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Durres and rural areas in Fier and Vlora) have benefited from the 116 awareness-raising activities organized on issues such as access to Economic Aid and Social Services, Birth Registration procedures, measures against domestic violence or the rights of minors in criminal proceedings, supported by the distribution of 20,000 informative leaflets.
These sensitizing activities, delivered by groups of 90 adults and 117 children volunteers who have been specifically trained by the project, have enabled other children and community members to acquire the necessary information to know their rights and how to access them. Through the 432 group discussions organized with Roma marginalized communities and childre*n, a culture of sensitization on children’s rights and their respect was systematically promoted *laying the foundations for a more democratic society. In particular, the children empowered through the activities have demonstrated commitment to peer education and developed their own methods of sensitization through rap songs or role plays also organized within 16 schools. Furthermore, the project has successfully bridged marginalized communities with relevant public structures at local and central levels who are now better informed on how to access support. Through the 9 local forums, the most vulnerable community members could voice their concerns and openly discussed with local actors, thereby exercising their rights to participate and facilitating inter-sectoral coordination for more adequate responses.
CILPS on the other hand, has overseen the development of four Standard Protocols for police officers, judges, prosecutors and lawyers aiming at the realization of the fundamental rights of the child, notably ensuring that the best interest of the child is given a primary consideration from officials involved in justice system by using protocols and standards that guarantee a child-friendly and child-rights based treatment. In the second year of project implementation, awareness – raising and street laws activities will continue while trainings on the four protocols will be delivered by CILPS to target groups, also aiming at their institutionalization. (SC)
The project is co-financed by the European Union