Ljubljana, 12 April (STA) - The first congress of the Roma civil society was held at the National Council on Thursday discussing the situation of the Roma community and ways to give it a greater say in public affairs. Participants signed a declaration to establish a new movement for a better future for the Roma.
Civil society representative Bogdan Miklič pointed to continuing prejudice against the Roma population and to discrimination, especially in education, employment and housing.
Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Čebašek Travnik focused as the honorary speaker on changes to to act on the Roma community, called for harmony between the majority population and the Roma, and highlighted inadequate housing conditions, mostly blaming municipalities for the situation.
The importance of minorities as significant components of Slovenian society was emphasises in addresses by National Council president Blaž Kavčič and Franc Hočevar from the office of President Danilo Türk, who is the honorary sponsor of the congress.
The head of the Office for National Communities Stanko Baluh expects that the congress will become a tradition, saying it was the best possible platform for Roma initiatives. On the other hand, he also called for more unity among the Roma.