First meeting of International Task Force for the Education of Roma (28-29 October)
The International Task Force for the Education of Roma (ITFER), of which UNESCO is a member, will hold its first meeting on 28 and 29 October at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France).
The meeting will focus on the role of international organizations in improving the situation, very often discriminatory, faced by Roma in school and out of school. The main mission of the ITFER is to help achieve the educational goals for Roma more efficiently (including early childhood care and education, schooling, out-of-school education, vocational training and adult education).
With more than 10 million members, the Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Europe. Despite the efforts to expand and improve education for Roma children, as many as 50 per cent of those in Europe fail to complete primary education. According to a recent UNESCO regional report on early childhood care and education, “among all the European populations, the Roma are at greatest risk of being poor, uneducated and unemployed.”
The ITFER was established by the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), UNESCO, UNICEF, European Commission, Roma Education Fund and the International Step by Step Association to promote cooperation between these organizations, e.g. joint activities, action plans and guidelines.
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