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Alliance supports political participation of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Political participation as key pillar for effective Roma inclusion

CoE

Participation of Roma in decision-making processes is crucial to advance the Inclusion of Roma. Policies, projects and  strategies will be more succesful if Roma are included in the decision making process in order to ensure that the needs of the Roma communities are well adressed.

Collaborative workshops in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Since this summer the Alliance has focused its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the political inclusion and political participation of Roma communities. On the one hand, the Alliance aims to increase Roma election participation and on the other hand potential candidates are being prepared to take positions at local and regional levels. Together with the “Division of Electoral Participation and Census” at the Council of Europe and the Roma Support Center “ROMALEN” in Kakanj, the Alliance supported four workshops prior to the local elections took place at the 2nd of October 2016.

The workshops took place in Kakanj, Prnjavor and Tuzla. Three of the four workshops focused on using the right to vote. Participants were taught how to gather information about candidates, how to determine a preferred candidate, and how the voting process technically works. In total, these workshops were attended by 74 participants from the respective Roma communities. The fourth workshop addressed Roma who were actually running for office as local councillors.

That workshop was attended by 20 participants and was held in the municipality of Kakanj. It aimed specifically at preparing the participants for their candidacy.  Techniques for building a recognizable image were presented. Furthermore, skills such as public speaking and the use of campaigning material were trained.

Outcomes

The workshops about using the right to vote were evaluated as very informative and helpful in making a decision on who to vote. The workshop for the candidates had a huge impact, 10 of the 20 participants were elected into councillor positions belonging to a wide range of political fractions.

 

Follow-Up workshop for elected councillors and potential future candidates

Last weekend, a follow-up workshop for the elected councillors was organised, again together with ROMALEN. This workshop was meant to build capacities for the longer term and to help the councillors in using the term of office as efficiently as possible. Councillors exchanged their experiences made on their jobs so far. What exactly the councillors said you will be able to follow in a recording that will be broadcasted here in January 2017 – so stay tuned!