Under the auspices of the Serbian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe “Conference on Durable Solutions for Roma Refugees, IDPs and Returnees in the Balkans” will be held in the Serbian Parliament, Belgrade, on 29-30 October 2007. The Conference is organized by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Government, its State Agency for Human and Minority Rights, and the Roma and Travellers Division, DG3 Social Cohesion of the Council of Europe, under the auspices of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, in joint co-operation with the UNHCR and the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade. Other international bodies, including the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), are invited to take part in the organisation of this event.The conference will focus on the return of refugees and IDPS (obstacles and solutions for the return in the region), civil status and statelessness (access and regulation of: legal residence, registration, civil documents, avoidance of statelessness), integration and access to the socio-economic rights (access to health, housing, education and employment) and returnees on the basis of readmission.

The aim of the conference is to discuss the needs of Roma refugees, IDPs and returnees, the conditions for their return in the context of readmission agreements and the future of Roma in Kosovo and prospects for their return to the province.

The participants and speakers of the Conference are members of parliament from the Balkans, including Roma MPs from the region and from the European Parliament, members of the Sub-Committee on Refugees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, governmental and non-governmental representatives from Serbia and neighbouring states, members of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers, embassies of countries hosting Roma refugees, representatives of international organisations, as well as delegates of the European Roma and Travellers Forum.

The opening speech of the CoE Director General for Social Cohesion, Alexander Vladychenko is available at:

http://www.coe.org.yu/uploads/news/eng/council-of-europe/conference-on-durable-solutions-for-roma-refugees-idps-and-returnees-in-the-balkans-belgrade-october-29-30/Speech-by-Director-General-of-Social-Cohesion–Council-of-Europe-Alexander-Vladychenko_1.doc

Source: CoE

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