Countering Anti-Gypsyism and Discrimination Affecting Roma

Over the last decade, there has been a rise in experiences of discrimination and xenophobia in Western Europe. Attitudes, behaviors, and policies have reinforced one another. Some have taken advantage of the economic crisis and used migrants and religious and ethnic minorities, in particular Roma and Muslims, as scapegoats. While in much of Western Europe anti-Gypsyism is becoming the norm in public discourse, in some parts there is not even recognition that it is a form of racism.

The Open Society Initiative for Europe wants to tackle causes and manifestations of intolerance based on ethnic or religious bias. We aim to reduce discriminatory behaviors, to guarantee non-discriminatory policies, and to ensure a social and cultural consensus in which xenophobia is unacceptable. Thus the goal of this call for proposals is to counter structural discrimination affecting Roma and the effects that this has on society as a whole.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be legally constituted non-governmental organizations. This includes also associations of professionals, trade unions, university clinics, informal coalitions led by a member with legal entity, re-granting entities, etc. The applicant must be non-profit-oriented.

Organizations with a proven track record in previous related work and with previous experience working on Roma issues are particularly welcome. The applications from networks, coalitions or re-granters that could work with the small grassroots organizations directly are encouraged, particularly those who demonstrate how the grant will also support in-direct capacity building for the partners involved.

The applicant must be legally established in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. Proposals coming from other Western European countries will be considered; however they need to be follow-up actions on the activities already implemented in the countries or exhibit particularly innovative components. Pan-European or transnational partnerships covering the above mentioned countries are welcome.

Ineligibility Criteria

We will not fund the following:

  • individual research and scholarships
  • stand-alone training, conferences, or general public awareness raising activities without an advocacy strategy and a concrete goal
  • politically affiliated activities
  • projects that call for removal of content from the public sphere without a court order (or without the intervention of an independent authority)
Purpose and Priorities

In order to have a bigger impact, we recommend that organizations not only target policy changes through advocacy tools, but also challenge the negative and stereotypical representation of this minority in the media and public discourse.

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

  • discrimination in access to public services and in housing, including direct discrimination, like the refusal of Roma tenants, and indirect discrimination, for example linked to the lack of recognition of a certain type of housing, systematic evictions disregarding regulations, ghettoization, and the establishment of segregated camps
  • discrimination by state actors and public policies, including the lack of anti-discrimination laws and policies or the incorrect implementation thereof; the lack of collection of equality data disaggregated by ethnic, racial, or religious backgrounds; discrimination of Roma by law enforcement officials (such as ethnic profiling and discriminatory checks) and police abuse; and the criminalization of Roma, or of poverty when it is particularly affecting Roma
  • the full access to and enjoyment of civil and political rights including issues linked to the ability to move freely within the EU, the repeal of laws indirectly targeting Roma (e.g., the 1969 law in France), the lack of official documents, and nondiscriminatory access to citizenship for statelessness persons (or a proper legal status for asylum seekers)
  • victims-centered monitoring and reporting of hate crimes to raise awareness on the reality of anti-Gypsyism and push decision makers to deal with this problem effectively

The following four approaches are eligible for support if they form part of a strategy tackling one or more of the four focus areas mentioned above:

  • monitoring, reporting, and countering hate speech
  • challenging the spread of anti-Gypsyism, confirming or propagating stereotypes, through traditional and new media
  • participation and engagement in policy and decision making, constituency building, and community organizing
  • institutional strengthening, capacity building, organizational development, and collaboration among organizations working on the above stated focus areas
Guidelines

Projects should start in 2015 and their duration can vary between six months and two years. The minimum amount is $10,000 and the maximum is $200,000. Please consider that Open Society funding aims not to go beyond one-third of the overall expenditure of the applicant organization.

Please download and complete the template for short concept papers and submit it via the Open Society Foundations Grant Portal. Applications will be accepted until June 20, 2015, but priority will be given to proposals that arrive first.

See complete instructions in the full guidelines.

For any issues related to the portal application please contact the portal support at: [email protected].

For further information on the content of this call please contact Izabella Bojko at: [email protected].