Conference to Promote a Cooperation Model for Employment of Roma Returnees

Feb 21, 2017

After piloting the “Cooperation Model” in three local self-government units in Serbia that supported employment of Roma returnees, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE) and Standing Conference of Roma Associations of Citizens – League of Roma  (SKRUG) are continuing to work on development and expansion of this successful model. This model was piloted in 2016 under the project “Supporting the Reintegration of Roma Returnees”, which was aimed at providing a better access to employment, education and housing of Roma population who were denied asylum in Germany and countries of the EU.

Seeking to present the achieved results, as well as to present the case for further support, UNDP and partners are organizing a conference “The Feasibility of Cooperation Model: Employment of Roma Returnees – Towards Responsibility and Development” at UN House in Belgrade, Bulevar Zorana Đinđića 64, Novi Beograd on Tuesday, March 7. Goal of the conference is to open a debate on ways for advancing and expanding the implementation of the model, focusing on inputs from private companies and enterprises, as well as on international organizations.

Serbian citizens continue to apply for asylum and the number of returnees continues to grow. An estimate is that over 80% of the returnees are Roma. This influx stretches the readmission and integration capacities of local self-governments, widening the issue these people face. However, our practice has shown that cooperation of local self-governments, private companies, multinational organizations, and local Roma associations can put an end to this stalemate. Returnees can indeed be a development potential for local communities both from an economic aspect, and the aspect of a democratic society.