Countering Anti-Gypsyism and Discrimination Affecting Roma

Over the last decade, there has been a rise in experiences and perceptions of discrimination and xenophobia in Western Europe in which attitudes, behaviors, and policies have reinforced one another. Xenophobic actors have taken advantage of the economic crisis and used minorities, in particular Muslims, immigrants, and Roma, as scapegoats.

Contemporary anti-Gypsyism stems from historical discrimination against Roma which often takes a form of dehumanization and of institutional racism. This call takes the term anti-Gypsyism as a type of racist ideology of racial or cultural superiority implying negative stereotypes, prejudices, fears, and myths about the Roma, as well as violence, hate speech, exploitation, direct, and indirect discrimination against them. Thus, anti-Gypsyism includes all those attitudes, behaviors, and policies that reject, exclude or deny equal and fair treatment to persons based on real or perceived Roma background, or national origins which are associated with that.

The call aims to support innovative approaches addressing the problems arising in one of the following areas:

  • Discrimination in housing, including indirect discrimination linked to the lack of recognition of a certain type of housing, ghettoization, or the establishment of segregated camps;
  • The full access to civil and political rights including issue linked to intra-EU mobility, the repeal of laws indirectly targeting Roma (e.g. the 1969 law in France), the lack of official documents, and a non-discriminatory access to citizenship for statelessness persons (or a proper legal status for asylum seekers);
  • Monitoring, reportingm, and advocacy on hate speech and hate crimes designed to raise awareness on the reality of anti-Gypsyism;
  • The spread of anti-Gypsyism through traditional and new media and the role that they play in confirming or propagating stereotypes;
  • Multiple discriminations: efforts to promote joint projects, synergies, and solidarity in common anti-racism and discrimination agendas across the various equality grounds (not only in terms of origin or religion but also across other grounds such as gender or sexual orientation) will be positively regarded. Similarly, initiatives supporting active participation of youth are welcomed. This can contribute to provide different images of Roma recognizing their diversity.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Applicants must be legally constituted nongovernmental organizations. This includes associations of professionals, trade unions, university clinics, etc.;
  • The applicant must be nonprofit-oriented;
  • Organizations with a proven track record in previous related work are particularly welcome;
  • Applicant must be legally established in a priority or eligible country. Priority countries are: France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. Eligible countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Transnational or pan-European partnerships are welcome.
Ineligibility Criteria
  • Individual research and scholarships;
  • Stand-alone training, conferences, or general public awareness raising activities without an advocacy strategy and a concrete goal;
  • Party political affiliated activities;
  • Open Society works to guarantee freedom of expression. It will refrain from supporting projects that call for removal of content from the public sphere without a court order (or without the intervention of an independent authority).

The total amount of funds dedicated to this call is $500,000 for projects of up to one year. The minimum amount is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000. Please consider that Open Society can fund up to a maximum of one-third of the overall budget of the organization last closed fiscal year. Projects should start between October and December 2014.

Submit a concept note of no more than five pages no later than July 28, 2014, via the Open Society Foundations Grant Portal. For any issues related to the portal application please contact the portal support at: For further information on the content of this call please contact Izabella Bojko at: