Five Roma appointed to the government institutions

The appointment of five Roma Coordinators (four regional coordinators and one coordinator for Roma at the BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees) was announced at a press conference held on 16 August 2011 at the EU Delegation in Sarajevo. These appointments are part of the project to support the implementation of National Action Plans for Roma Inclusion, which is financed by the EU with a grant of 500,000 Euros under the IPA 2008 programme. The project will last until December 2012 and it is implemented by CARE International in cooperation with the BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees and partner organization EURO-ROM from Tuzla.

Under this project, Hedina Tahirović Sijerčić has been engaged at the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees as national coordinator and regional coordinators+ team leader, Alen Gavranović has been appointed as coordinator for Sarajevo and Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Adnan Šubert for the Banja Luka area, Admir Pindžić for the Tuzla region, and Mujo Fafulić for Zenica and Central Bosnia Canton.

„This is one of the visible achievements which have been made in recent years to promote the social inclusion of Roma Community in BiH.“ said Lara Scarpitta, Political Advisor at the EU Delegation to BiH. She congratulated the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees for its devotion and for the significant results achieved since BiH has become member of the Roma Decade. „Joint cooperation between the EU and the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees has resulted, amongst other, in the enactment of Action Plans and the signing of the Roma Decade.” Scarpitta stressed that all responsible institutions at all other levels of the Government should make stronger efforts to promote the social inclusion of Roma and provide support  to the Ministry for Human Rights  to make their efforts sustainable. „It is necessary that all institutions allocate sufficient budgets for the implementation of Roma Action Plans together with monitoring system that will follow the efficient use of these funds.“ said Scarpitta and added that the social inclusion of Roma will remain a key priority for the EU.

Around 30 applicants responded to an announcement seeking qualified young Roma for these positions. This modest response has been attributed to a widespread feeling in the Roma community that their members are excluded from public positions. The five highly qualified young Roma who have been appointed will represent a major example of, and support for the implementation of National Action Plans for Roma.

Care International Director Sumka Bučan, pointed out that members of the Roma community tend not to participate in relevant programmes because they are often unaware of these programmes. Bučan said local authorities, local communities, Roma associations and the newly appointed coordinators must change this in order to promote greater inclusion of Roma in society and to improve the position of the Roma community overall.

„My motivation to apply for this position was to show that Roma can be and want to be educated and successful if they are given a chance,“ said Tuzla Region Coordinator Admir Pindžić.