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Rae study advocacy Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Integration Subject to Conditions A report on the situation of Kosovan Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children in Germany and after their repatriation to Kosovo UNICEF Kosovo and the German Committee for UNICEF. Pristina, 2010. Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  • 2. 1. BACKGROUND
  • 3. Background: Why this study?
    • Debates on recent readmission agreements between Western European countries and Kosovo
    • A significant number of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are obliged to leave Germany
    • Toleration/‘Duldung’: many since 1991/1992 in Germany
    • Children are the most affected: of 5,000 children obliged to leave in June 2009, estimated 3,000 born in Germany
    Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  • 4.
    • Rapid increase in minority returns
    • RAE constituted 33% of all repatriated persons from Germany in 2010, only one in five return voluntary
    • 2010: 32% of deported were children, 54% born in Germany
    • Repatriation practices fail to
    Background: Why now? Copyright: Verena Knaus
    • provide for a return in safety and dignity
    • Children are the most affected
  • 5. The situation in Germany “ Imagine it – you live here for 20 years. You don’t know any other country any more. For us, Germany is our country.” A young Roma from Stuttgart Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  • 6. The situation in Kosovo “ Kosovo is under political pressure to accept these agreements, without having in place the budget or the capacity to receive these families in dignity and security.” Thomas Hammarberg Fact-finding visit to Kosovo, March 2009 Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo
  • 7. The situation in Kosovo Reality check ‘ Kosovo’s local authorities fall short of fulfilling their obligations to support the reintegration of persons repatriated to Kosovo from host countries’ ‘ Concrete measures to facilitate the reintegration of repatriated persons in the key areas of health, education, employment and housing are still lacking’ Reintegration Strategy & Action Plan: insufficient budget lines on central and municipal levels OSCE Mission in Kosovo, 2009
  • 8. The situation in Kosovo Kosovo: Out of sight, out of mind
    • ‘ Every night I cry and I want to go back. All of us cry every
    • night, believe me. The only thing I would like in my life is to go back to Germany and continue my normal life, my school and everything I left there’
    • Fellona, 14 years
    • Born near Saarbruecken
    • Family left Gjakova in 1992
    • 4 children, 1 room house/no bathroom
    • € 70/month social assistance
    • ‘ My mother tongue is German and my home is Olsberg in Germany. I don’t know why they brought me here’
    • Sanije, 15 years
            • Family left in 1992, born in Germany in 1995
            • Sick mother (2 heart attacks), live in uncle’s house
            • Not registered - no social assistance
  • 9. Methodology
    • Quantitative approach
    • Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS):
    • Baseline Survey 2009
    • 800 respondents
    • (49 returnee families, 162 families with diaspora )
    • Qualitative approach
    • Practitioners, public institutions/officials identified (Kosovo/Germany)
    • 40 portraits of returnee families in 19 municipalities (173 individuals, 116 children)
  • 10. UNICEF Approach Bringing into the current debate on repatriations the argument of the ‘best interest of the child’
    • Convention on the Rights of the Child, Part I, Article 3
    • ‘ In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration ’
  • 11. UNICEF Approach Bringing into the current debate on repatriations the argument of the ‘best interest of the child’
    • EU Directive (2008/115/EC) on ‘Standards and procedures for returning illegally staying third-country nationals’,
    • Article 22:
    • ‘… the ‘best interests of the child’ should be a primary consideration of Member States when implementing this Directive’
    Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  • 12. Kosovo reality: Alarming findings
    • 173 family members:
    • 116 children (67%)
    • 69 born in Germany (59%)
    • 48 not registered (41%)
    • 17 attend school (26%)
    • Chronic illnesses/trauma
    • Poverty
    Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo
  • 13. Other reports on repatriation practices published in 2010
      •  Amnesty International – ‘Not welcome anywhere. Stop forced return of Roma to Kosovo’ , September 2010.
      •  KFOS – ‘Repatriation without responsibility. The nature and implications of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians forced repatriation to Kosovo’ , October 2010.
      •  Human Rights Watch – ‘Rights displaced. Forced returns of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians from Western Europe to Kosovo’ , October 2010.
  • 15. Key Partnerships
    • Cooperation with the German NatCom
    • Cooperation with the office of the Human Rights Commissioner for the COE, Thomas Hammarberg
    • Cooperation with the German Ambassador in Kosovo
  • 16. Main results achieved so far:
      • The German version of the report has been launched at the German Bundestag (lower house of Parliament) in Berlin in July 2010.
      • In some of the federal entities in Germany, such as North Rhine-Westphalia, regulations governing the immigration status of RAE from Kosovo have since been changed taking into account the best interests of the children concerned.
      • Presentation of the report at the COE Task Force on Roma Education meeting in October 2010.
      • Official launch in Kosovo, October 2010.
      • Presentation of the report at the Fundamental Rights Conference in Brussels in December 2010.
      • Presentation of the report at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg in March 2011.
      • Meetings with delegations – Both a mission from the EU Parliament and that of the deputy of the Bundestag explicitly asked to have UNICEF on their agenda.
  • 17. Lessons learned Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo
      • This experience shows how fundamental primary knowledge can support and reinforce our advocacy efforts.
      • We should not refrain from stepping into issues that might have some broader political implications – there have been no negative comments to the study.
      • Importance of building partnerships and have concerted advocacy efforts with all key stakeholders.
      • We should think of ways to better document these kinds of experiences as lessons learned to be shared with other country offices.
  • 18. 3. NEXT STEPS
  • 19. UNICEF Strategic Approach
    • Support Kosovo government institutions to improve the implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan for the Integration of RAE communities 2009-2015.
    • Advocate for the integration of children who have been forcibly repatriated from Western European countries.
    • Continue to collaborate with a broad spectrum of partners at central and decentralised levels.
    • Mobilise resources from potential donors, international organisations and European institutions active in Kosovo.
    • Influencing the allocation of international and national resources towards areas of the Kosovo budget that have a positive impact on the fulfilment of child rights.
    Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  • 20. UNICEF Strategic Approach Copyright: Verena Knaus
    • Creation of an online multi-platform to raise awareness and create community mobilisation around the issue of RAE forced repatriation in Germany (still under discussion).
    • The German NatCom is currently working on OneMinutesJr. made by children who are at risk of being forcefully repatriated to Kosovo.
  • 21. Priorities for 2011 Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo
    • UNICEF will continue to ensure that the issue of RAE forced repatriation remains high on the EU agenda.
    • Monitoring of current repatriation practices and their impact on returning RAE families and children.
    • Conduct a study on the psycho-social impacts of repatriations on children repatriated from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Kosovo.
  • 22. Thank you! Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo