One of the priorities of the International Renaissance Foundation is to ensure community security, in particular, safety for Roma communities. Along with the development of the community policing (police activities in communities), the Foundation also supports initiatives to create algorithms for police and local government bodies to harmonize public safety requirements with the rights and legitimate interests of the Roma communities.
Recently, the human rights activists – experts of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, have joined efforts to tackle these complex challenges, within the framework of the Project “Promoting the Social Inclusion of Roma and Protection of Roma Rights”.
The above mentioned algorithms (or Standard Operating Procedures) concern primarily the policing of spontaneous settlements, established by groups of the Roma travelling in search of seasonal earnings. Last year, eight instances of attacks on spontaneous Roma settlements recorded during spring and summer season, have shown that the task of ensuring the community safety and preventing anti-Roma hate crimes should become a priority issue for the authorities and, respectively, the main focus of the standard operating procedures.
It is worth noting that the task of adopting and implementing algorithms and standard operating procedures remains extremely urgent. In spite of everything, recently, after a nearly six month calm period, instances of group attacks on Roma settlements have reoccurred again. The last incident took place on March 25 in Ivano-Frankivsk.