Rae study advocacy

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Rae study advocacy

  1. 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. 2. 1. BACKGROUND
  3. 3. Background: Why this study? <ul><li>Debates on recent readmission agreements between Western European countries and Kosovo </li></ul><ul><li>A significant number of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are obliged to leave Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Toleration/‘Duldung’: many since 1991/1992 in Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Children are the most affected: of 5,000 children obliged to leave in June 2009, estimated 3,000 born in Germany </li></ul>Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  4. 4. <ul><li>Rapid increase in minority returns </li></ul><ul><li>RAE constituted 33% of all repatriated persons from Germany in 2010, only one in five return voluntary </li></ul><ul><li>2010: 32% of deported were children, 54% born in Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Repatriation practices fail to </li></ul>Background: Why now? Copyright: Verena Knaus <ul><li>provide for a return in safety and dignity </li></ul><ul><li>Children are the most affected </li></ul>
  5. 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. 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. 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. 8. The situation in Kosovo Kosovo: Out of sight, out of mind <ul><li>‘ Every night I cry and I want to go back. All of us cry every </li></ul><ul><li>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’ </li></ul><ul><li>Fellona, 14 years </li></ul><ul><li>Born near Saarbruecken </li></ul><ul><li>Family left Gjakova in 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>4 children, 1 room house/no bathroom </li></ul><ul><li>€ 70/month social assistance </li></ul><ul><li>‘ My mother tongue is German and my home is Olsberg in Germany. I don’t know why they brought me here’ </li></ul><ul><li>Sanije, 15 years </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family left in 1992, born in Germany in 1995 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sick mother (2 heart attacks), live in uncle’s house </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not registered - no social assistance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Methodology <ul><li>Quantitative approach </li></ul><ul><li>Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS): </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline Survey 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>800 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>(49 returnee families, 162 families with diaspora ) </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative approach </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners, public institutions/officials identified (Kosovo/Germany) </li></ul><ul><li>40 portraits of returnee families in 19 municipalities (173 individuals, 116 children) </li></ul>
  10. 10. UNICEF Approach Bringing into the current debate on repatriations the argument of the ‘best interest of the child’ <ul><li>Convention on the Rights of the Child, Part I, Article 3 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 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 ’ </li></ul>
  11. 11. UNICEF Approach Bringing into the current debate on repatriations the argument of the ‘best interest of the child’ <ul><li>EU Directive (2008/115/EC) on ‘Standards and procedures for returning illegally staying third-country nationals’, </li></ul><ul><li>Article 22: </li></ul><ul><li>‘… the ‘best interests of the child’ should be a primary consideration of Member States when implementing this Directive’ </li></ul>Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  12. 12. Kosovo reality: Alarming findings <ul><li>173 family members: </li></ul><ul><li>116 children (67%) </li></ul><ul><li>69 born in Germany (59%) </li></ul><ul><li>48 not registered (41%) </li></ul><ul><li>17 attend school (26%) </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic illnesses/trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty </li></ul>Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo
  13. 13. Other reports on repatriation practices published in 2010 <ul><ul><li> Amnesty International – ‘Not welcome anywhere. Stop forced return of Roma to Kosovo’ , September 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> KFOS – ‘Repatriation without responsibility. The nature and implications of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians forced repatriation to Kosovo’ , October 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Human Rights Watch – ‘Rights displaced. Forced returns of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians from Western Europe to Kosovo’ , October 2010. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 2. KEY ADVOCACY EFFORTS
  15. 15. Key Partnerships <ul><li>Cooperation with the German NatCom </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation with the office of the Human Rights Commissioner for the COE, Thomas Hammarberg </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation with the German Ambassador in Kosovo </li></ul>
  16. 16. Main results achieved so far: <ul><ul><li>The German version of the report has been launched at the German Bundestag (lower house of Parliament) in Berlin in July 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of the report at the COE Task Force on Roma Education meeting in October 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Official launch in Kosovo, October 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of the report at the Fundamental Rights Conference in Brussels in December 2010. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of the report at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg in March 2011. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Lessons learned Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo <ul><ul><li>This experience shows how fundamental primary knowledge can support and reinforce our advocacy efforts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should not refrain from stepping into issues that might have some broader political implications – there have been no negative comments to the study. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of building partnerships and have concerted advocacy efforts with all key stakeholders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should think of ways to better document these kinds of experiences as lessons learned to be shared with other country offices. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. 3. NEXT STEPS
  19. 19. UNICEF Strategic Approach <ul><li>Support Kosovo government institutions to improve the implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan for the Integration of RAE communities 2009-2015. </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate for the integration of children who have been forcibly repatriated from Western European countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to collaborate with a broad spectrum of partners at central and decentralised levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilise resources from potential donors, international organisations and European institutions active in Kosovo. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>Copyright: Thomas Rommel
  20. 20. UNICEF Strategic Approach Copyright: Verena Knaus <ul><li>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). </li></ul><ul><li>The German NatCom is currently working on OneMinutesJr. made by children who are at risk of being forcefully repatriated to Kosovo. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Priorities for 2011 Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo <ul><li>UNICEF will continue to ensure that the issue of RAE forced repatriation remains high on the EU agenda. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring of current repatriation practices and their impact on returning RAE families and children. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a study on the psycho-social impacts of repatriations on children repatriated from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Kosovo. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Thank you! Copyright: UNICEF Kosovo

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