OSCE/ODIHR Best Practices for Roma Integration regional report recommends good practices for improving Roma housing
by Aleksandar Dimishkovski
The OSCE/ODIHR Best Practices for Roma Integration (BPRI) project presented examples of good practices in improving the housing situation for Roma in the Western Balkans at a two-day regional roundtable event that ended today in Tirana, Albania.
More than 100 representatives of municipal authorities and NGOs from the region were familiarized with good practices on housing legalization, settlement upgrading and social housing for Roma, as well as with recommendations on their implementation contained in the report.
“Roma and Egyptians, like all citizens, have the right to access social housing and enjoy decent living conditions,” said Ambassador Florian Raunig, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania. “Improved living conditions for Roma should not be seen merely as a financial burden for the state budget, but as a crucial investment for the country and the wellbeing of its citizens.”
“The Regional Report can help stimulate both local authorities and Roma representatives to fulfil their obligations to provide proper housing conditions for Roma communities throughout the region”, said Judith Kiers, Project Manager for BPRI. “It is also an essential tool offering practices that have been proven to work.”
“This kind of exchange of good practices is what our project is all about,” she added.
Along with examples of specific good learning principles for improving the housing condition of the Roma in the region, the report contains an analysis of the international and the local legal frameworks aimed at securing adequate housing for all.
“There is definitely not a standard, ‘one size fits all’ solution to addressing the housing challenges facing Roma communities across the Western Balkans”, said Paul Rabé, one of the authors of the report. “This report identifies policy and technical interventions at several different levels, but political will on the part of authorities at central and local government levels is crucial to improving housing conditions for the Roma,”.
BPRI is a regional project funded by the European Union, supported by OSCE participating States and implemented by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The project supports innovative programmes to promote greater Roma participation in political and public life and decision-making, help to combat discrimination and contribute to better living conditions.
The report is available in the folowing languages: