Project to support Roma Voice forges ahead

23 Jun 2015

University of Manchester project has made significant contribution to City Council engagement with the Roma community.

MigRom - the University of Manchester project to promote understanding of the city’s Roma community - is entering its next phase.

The project aims to help the Roma use council services by providing a strategy for the city’s engagement with the emerging Roma community. This week (24 June) project coordinator Professor Yaron Matras will speak to the City Council’s communities scrutiny committee to coincide with the release of a new council report that flags up The University’s contribution to its Roma engagement strategy.

The report entitled ‘Roma Engagement and Reporting Opportunities’ outlines The University’s contribution to developing an understanding of the local Romani community and its needs as well as drafting and piloting an engagement strategy.

Professor Matras said: “Several thousand Roma of Eastern European background live in Manchester. In the past, Manchester City Council has struggled to engage directly with this community because the community lacked leadership and representation structures. It has also had to confront negative perception and prejudices against Romani culture among some groups of residents and sometimes even among practitioners.
“We hope this project will contribute towards raising public awareness of Roma migrants and providing more accurate information about their culture.”

The University’s MigRom project, in partnership with the City Council, has set up structures to provide advice to members of the Romani community and to assess needs. Through training and networking events, the project is supporting the building of leadership capacity within the Romani community. The MigRom project has also advised the City Council to provide more accurate information that they receive about the Romani community.

Professor Matras continued: “The City Council has now acknowledged our contribution and stated that only substantiated information on Roma will be included in its reports.
“The Council also recognises the new Roma Community Group - Roma Voices of Manchester - which the MigRom project helped set up as one of the principal channels of communication with the Roma community.”

Notes for editors

For further information contact:
Deborah Linton
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8257, 07789 948783