Equinet accepted as Observer of Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM)

As of January 2016, Equinet – European Network of Equality Bodies will become an observer of CAHROM.

A High Level Meeting organised by the Council of Europe in 2011 brought together governments, the European Union and the Roma themselves. At this meeting, they took a joint pledge to cooperate on Roma issues and practical, easy to implement schemes which involve Roma communities in building a better future.

Following the High-Level meeting, intergovernmental work on Roma issues was upgraded: on 16 February 2011 the Ministers Deputies adopted terms of reference for a new Committee of Experts (CAHROM) to be answerable directly to the Committee of Ministers.

Terms of Reference for CAHROM

The terms of reference – which were renewed by the Ministers Deputies on 20 November 2013 for the years 2014-2015 – place emphasis on the analysis and evaluation of the implementation of national policies and thematic exchanges of experience and good practices.

Under the authority of the Committee of Ministers, the Committee is instructed to:

  1. study, analyse and evaluate the implementation of policies (national programmes and/or action plans) and identify good practices of member States concerning Roma, with a view to promoting implementation of relevant Council of Europe standards and contributing to the European database on policies/good practices for the integration of Roma set up by the Council of Europe;
  2. exchange information, views and experience on member States’ policies, good practices and measures relating to Roma at national, regional and local level, and in the context of relevant instruments of the Council of Europe, in order to assist member States in the development and implementation of effective policies for Roma integration, with due regard to the relevant standards and instruments of the Council of Europe and bearing in mind the specific situation in each member state;
  3. prepare recommendations, advice and opinions for the Committee of Ministers, including ad hoc opinions on emerging issues requiring urgent attention;
  4. draw up guidelines for the development and/or implementation of policies which promote the rights of the Roma, taking into account the findings of the relevant monitoring and other mechanisms of the Council of Europe;
  5. keep under review the situation of Roma in member States in the light of relevant legal instruments of the Council of Europe, without pursuing activities relating to monitoring;
  6. prepare, review and evaluate its programme of activities and working methods and report back to the Committee of Ministers; receive reports and opinions from the relevant Council of Europe bodies and structures on any matter falling within these terms of reference.

The Committee will seek synergies with the work of other international organisations active in this area, in particular with the European Union.

Observer Status

International organisations, the European Roma and Travellers Forum and other relevant (Roma) organisations are associated as observers to the CAHROM.

On 15 October 2015, the Rapporteur Group on Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) accepted that, as of January 2016, Equinet – European Network of Equality Bodies, and ENNHRI – European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, will become observers of CAHROM.

Further Information

The tenth plenary meeting will be hosted by Romanian authorities in Bucharest on 27-30 October 2015, while the eleventh plenary meeting will be hosted by Bulgarian authorities under the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe on 26-29 April 2016, pending approval by the Committee of Ministers of revised terms of reference for the years 2016-2017.

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