Day 2 of 5th International Roma Congress in Prague

The 5th International Roma Congress, meeting in Prague continued with the second day of its 5-day program on Wednesday. Olga Szantova talked to some of the participants and asked them about the proceedings and how they saw the significance of the congress.

Of course, it's too early to evaluate. After the official opening on Tuesday morning, the participants have been meeting in six committees, dealing with such problems as Roma education, including the future of the Roma languages, compensation for Roma victims of the Holocaust, migration and other problems.

One of the participants, Orhan Galjus, program manager at the Roma Media Fund, which is a part of the Open Society Institute in Budapest, sees these discussions as probably the most important part of the whole congress. One of the main issues on the agenda of the 5th International Roma Congress is the plight of the Roma population in Kosovo. Petra Safarova, who left the Czech Republic some 7 years ago with her family and now lives and works in Sebastopol, California is sitting in that committee. Some 280 delegates from 39 countries, including the United States and Australia arrived for the first day of the congress, and during the time I spent there on Wednesday morning, I saw more delegates arriving and signing in. Very lively discussions were going on and it was obvious that the participants were eager to discuss their problems and their experience, as Orhan Galjus confirmed. When the participants meet for the Congress plenary meeting on Thursday and Friday, they will discuss the recommendations reached in the committees, and elect the new governing body of their international organization.

Author: Olga Szantová
run audio