News 2024

Help at the meeting of the Coordinating Body for Monitoring the Poznan Declaration

15.01. 2024.

Dijana Anđelić, the director of Help in Montenegro, attended a meeting with representatives of the coordination body for monitoring the Poznan Declaration and representatives of the Employment Agency of Montenegro (ZZZCG). The goal of the meeting was to improve the socio-economic and legal position of Roma and Egyptians – assistant /mediators in the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians (RE) in the field of employment.

As stated by ZZZCG, the group et meeting, expressed interest in finding and adopting a better model for the long-term employment of members of the RE population, who have been working as assistants in employment in four Employment Bureaus (Podgorica, Nikšić, Bijelo Polje, and Bar) for an extended period.

“The importance of Assistant in social inclusion for Roma and Egyptians in the field of employment can be seen through providing assistance to individuals from the Roma and Egyptian population in exercising the right to employment. In cases of language barriers, they act as intermediaries between the community and the Employment Agency. RE Mediators in Employment Bureaus are also involved in performing tasks in bureau service areas and archives, in the mediation process when integrating Roma and Egyptian members into active employment policy measures. The Assistants also provide legal guidance for the Roma and Egyptian community, specifically for individuals who have been victims of discrimination or whose employment rights have been jeopardized,” it was stated.

In addition to Anđelić, the meeting was attended by the host, Acting Director of the Employment Agency, Gzim Hajdinaga, Sokolj Beganaj – Head of the Department for the Improvement and Protection of the Rights of Roma and Egyptians at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Budimirka Đukanović – Head of the Directorate for the Protection of At-Risk Groups at the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Nerma Dobardžić Kurti – Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights, Acting Assistant Director of ZZZCG Aleksandar Rakočević, and the head of the employment preparation department, Alisa Dizdarević.

The Employment Agency emphasizes that RE mediators are highly motivated to engage in all available training organized by numerous non-governmental and other organizations to promote the rights of Roma and Egyptians, “which is all the more reason for the ideas from this meeting to become a positive reality.”

From 2021 to the end of 2022, RE Mediators/ Assistants were engaged by Help through a project financed by the EU with the support of the budget of the Government of Montenegro. In addition to mediators for employment, the project included assistants in healthcare and social care. The project’s beneficiary was the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, and all mentioned mediators received training and certificates for performing collaborator tasks according to the established program by the relevant authorities.

To prevent interruptions in the work of collaborators, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights approved funds through the Law on the Budget for 2023, and funds were secured for 2024 as well.

The role of Assistants/Mediators is recognized in European Union countries as a positive and successful example of the inclusion of citizens from the Roma and Egyptian communities. The involvement of assistants/mediators is also a recommendation of the European Commission in the process of Montenegro’s accession to the EU, which is significant for fulfilling chapters 23 and 19.

The photo: Courtesy by ZZZCG

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