Ukraine: The Ternipe Roma Youth Centre in Lviv (Ternipe): funding, structure and membership; areas of operation, including whether Ternipe operates outside of Lviv; activities, including any political activities; other NGOs that provide support services to Roma [UKR105308.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

According to sources, "ternipe" means "youth" in the Romani language (Orkestar Ternipe n.d.; Kovalcsik 6 Oct. 2010, 64). Sources describe the Roma youth NGO in Lviv as follows:

  • Lviv “non-governmental organization society of Roma ‘Ternipe’,” a "youth, historical, cultural, educational community organization" (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015);
  • Lviv city public organization “Youth Historical Cultural and Educational Organization ‘Ternipe’” (IRF n.d.) or “Ternipe Youth, Historical, and Cultural Roma Society” (ibid. 2012, 117), a “partner NGO” of the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) [1] (ibid. 29 Sept. 2015);
  • Lviv “youth public organization ‘Ternipe’” (Legal Space 3 July 2015); and
  • local Lviv “Roma NGO ‘Ternipe’” (Chiricli Sept. 2014, 30).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Head of Ternipe stated that the organization was registered in 1998 and operates on a non-profit basis (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015).

1.1 Funding, Structure and Membership Numbers

According to the Head of Ternipe, in 2015, the organization received funding from the IRF, and the Roma Education Fund (REF) [2] (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015). According to the IRF’s Annual Report 2012, the IRF provided 30,000 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) [C$1,853] to the organization (IRF 2012, 117).

The Head of Ternipe stated that the board of the organization is "comprised of the chairman, deputy, secretary, and a 7 member coordination council," with elections held every three years at a general meeting (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015). The same source further stated that as of 1 October 2015, they have 326 permanent members listed with the organization, but that the number varies and may increase depending on the project that is being undertaken (ibid.).

1.2 Areas of Operation and Activities, Including Political Activities

A September 2014 monitoring report produced by Roma Women's Fund "Chiricli", an international charitable organization (Chiricli n.d.), describes Ternipe in Lviv as a "regional NGO" (ibid. Sept. 2014, 11). According to the Head of Ternipe, the organization “supervises regional projects pertaining to the support of youth activities and education" and "works on all-Ukrainian Roma projects as representatives of our region” (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015).

The Head of Ternipe notes that the organization has worked on the following projects:

  • Assisted in the founding of the "all-Ukrainian national Roma organization Romane Congress Ukrainy," the "first Roma Ukrainian legal consulting centre 'Chachipe'," and the Council of Roma in Ukraine (ibid.);
  • Partnered with Chiriklia [Chiricli] on the "Facilitation of Access to Medical Help for the Roma for TB Prevention with the Participation of Roma Meditators" project (ibid.);
  • Participated in the "Genocide Remembrance" project (ibid.);
  • Partnered with the IRF on the "Employment Opportunities for Young Roma Professionals" project (ibid.);
  • Provide and manage 35 scholarships for Roma students across Ukraine with support from the Roma Education Fund (ibid.); and
  • Participated in the collection of funds for purchasing military uniforms from Germany for "Ukrainian soldiers fighting in [the] ATO zone" (ibid.).

According to the Head of Ternipe, in partnership with the "international fund 'Karitas Ukrainy'" and UNICEF, Ternipe has assisted internally displaced Roma in Lviv for the past two years, helping them find "a place to live, jobs and social assistance" (ibid.). The Chiricli monitoring report similarly indicates that Ternipe has assisted internally displaced Roma that moved to Lviv, through cooperation with "the local Department on Social Issues, UNHCR and UNICEF, and charity organization Caritas'' (Sept. 2014, 30).

According to sources, Ternipe, with the support of the IRF, provided internships in local government for 18 Roma youth through a project on increasing the participation of Roma in “social and economic life” (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015; Legal Space 3 July 2015); the internships began in June 2015 and lasted 3 months (ibid.).

According to the Head of Ternipe, the organization "does not partake in any kind of political activity or religious propaganda" (Ternipe 5 Oct. 2015). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Other Roma NGOs in Ukraine
2.1 Overview

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the "No Borders" Project Coordinator at the Social Action Centre in Kyiv, a non-profit NGO that focuses on anti-discrimination and provides legal assistance to victims of hate crimes (Social Action Centre 2011, 4-5), stated that to her knowledge, there are Roma NGOs "in all major places where Roma … have permanent settlement" and in areas, such as Western Ukraine, where the Roma population is higher, there are "several Roma NGOs in big and small cities" (ibid. 29 Sept. 2015). In areas with fewer Roma, "small groups of activists or mainstream NGOs … help Roma on an ad hoc or regular basis" (ibid.). The same source further states that NGOs range in size from 3 to 10 people, depending on community needs (ibid.). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Roma Program Initiative Director from the IRF in Kyiv indicated that the IRF has 40-45 "grantees (NGOs)" every year, though the overall number of Roma-led NGOs in Ukraine is larger (IRF 6 Oct. 2015). The same source further stated that there are typically at least two Roma NGOs in each region of Ukraine, and that in areas where there are no NGOs, Roma activists will “cooperate with NGOs in other regions” (ibid.).

According to the Social Action Centre Project Coordinator, funding for Roma NGOs is typically provided by the IRF, the Global Fund for Women, some German organizations such as the EVZ Foundation [3], and/or the European Commission (29 Sep. 2015.). The IRF Roma Program Director similarly stated that Roma-led NGOs are "mostly" funded by the IRF, and some projects are funded by the Council of Europe, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Swedish government through the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the US Embassy, and the EVZ Foundation in Germany (IRF 6 Oct. 2015).

According to the Project Coordinator, state funding is not available for human rights NGOs (Social Action Centre 29 Sept. 2015). According to an August 2014 report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the impact of the crisis in Ukraine on Roma, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has impacted the ability of regions to implement their action plans towards the Strategy on the Protection and Integration of the Roma National Minority into Ukrainian Society up to 2020, as all government resources have been allocated to addressing the conflict, according to a representative of the Ministry of Culture (OSCE Aug. 2014, 14).

According to a 2009 report submitted by Ukraine to the Council of Europe on The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, as of 1 January 2009 there were 88 Roma organizations registered in Ukraine, two of which operate at the national level, "the Union of organizations 'Congress of Roma of Ukraine' … and Ukrainian organization 'Centre of Consolidation and Protection of Roma Rights'," with the remainder operating at a local or regional level (Ukraine 7 May 2009, 62). The same source further states that most Roma organizations focus on the “revival and promotion of Roma language, culture, traditions and customs," though “some” focus on Roma rights (ibid). According to the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014, there are "more than 100" Romani NGOs in Ukraine, however, "most lacked capacity to act as effective advocates or service providers for the Romani community" (US 25 June 2015, 44). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2.2 Specific Roma NGOs

According to the Social Action Centre Project Coordinator, Chiricli is based in Kyiv with some local branches and regional activities, including a Roma mediator programme (29 Sep. 2015). The Chiricli website states that the NGO was established in 2004, has representatives in "15 regions of Ukraine," with seven fulltime staff at the Kyiv main office (Chiricli n.d.). The same source further states that their projects focus on developing Roma communities, encouraging Roma to take part in solving local problems, building cooperation between NGOs and state bodies, accessing education for Romani children, gender issues, access to health care and medical rights, and defending Roma rights (ibid.). According to the IRF Roma Program Director, Chiricli is funded by the IRF, the Council of Europe and the Embassy of the Netherlands (IRF 6 Oct. 2015). According to the EVZ Foundation, Chiricli is "well integrated in local communities" and their work includes access to “specially trained Roma-mentors” who provide Roma communities with information and support, encouraging hate-crime victims to seek legal counselling, and training local lawyers so that they can represent Roma victims (EVZ n.d.b).

According to the IRF Program Director, Chiricli manages a Ukrainian-wide network of Roma health mediators (ibid.). Open Society Foundations reports that Chiricli provides "health and social mediators" that assist Roma in accessing health and social benefits, by liaising between them and "various social institutions" as well as assisting in completing forms and acquiring documentation (Open Society Foundations 13 Mar. 2015).

According to the Social Action Centre Program Coordinator, the organization "Rozvitok," located in Zakarpattia and funded by the IRF, is one of the "major" NGOs in Ukraine and provides legal and social counselling (Social Action Centre 29 Sep. 2015). The 2014 OSCE’s ODIHR report describes Rozvitok as a "charity foundation" (OSCE Aug. 2014, 20).

Sources describe ‘Ketane’ as an international Roma NGO (Ukraine 7 May 2009, 62; Chiricli Sept. 2014, 11; Legal Space 14 Nov. 2014) that is located in Kherson (ibid.; Chiricli Sept. 2014, 11). According to Legal Space, a Ukrainian website that provides “legal knowledge, develop[s] legal practices” and assists organizations that “provide legal aid to people who belong to poor and vulnerable groups” (Legal Space n.d.), Ketane primarily assists "internally displaced persons of Roma origin" and provides Roma with free legal consultations, assistance in obtaining identification papers, and facilitates relationships with "law enforcement authorities and state institutions" (ibid. 14 Nov. 2014).

Without providing further detail, the September 2014 monitoring report by Chiricli states that in addition to Ternipe and Ketane, the organization consulted with the following “Roma NGOs” in the production of their report: “'Roma Legal Centre' in Odessa, Roma women NGO 'Miriclya' in Donetsk, … and the regional Roma NGO 'Chachimo' in Kharkiv” (Chiricli Sept. 2014, 11). Further information on these organizations could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Further and corroborating information on the names, numbers, types and capacity of Roma NGOs in Ukraine could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] The IRF is a Kyiv-based organization that works with “leading” Ukrainian non-governmental groups and provides support to "projects and groups that advance the rights of vulnerable populations" (IRF n.d.). The IRF is part of the Open Society Foundations network (ibid.), a civil society organization which seeks to "build vibrant and tolerant democracies," and that works in local communities in 70 countries to "support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education" (OSF Oct. 2011, 80).

[2] The Roma Education Fund (REF) was created in 2005 within "the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion" in order to "close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma" by promoting the inclusion of Roma in all national education systems of the participating states (REF n.d.).

[3] Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft (EVZ) is a foundation that supports international projects that promote human rights (EVZ n.d.a).

References

Chiricli. September 2014. Monitoring the Human Rights Situation of Roma in Ukraine: Country Report September 2014. [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]

_____. N.d. "International Charitable Organization 'Roma Women Fund Chiricli'." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]

International Renaissance Foundation (IRF). 6 October 2015. Correspondence from the Director to the Research Directorate.

_____. 29 September 2015. Correspondence from the Director to the Research Directorate.

_____. 2012. Annual Report 2012. [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015]

_____. N.d. "International Renaissance Foundation." [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]

Kovalcsik, Katalin. 6 October 2010. "The Romani Musicians on the Stage of Pluri-Culturalism: the Case of the Kalyi Jag Group in Hungary." In Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Romany Studies: Selected Papers from Participants of Central European University's Summer Courses 2007-2009. Edited by Michael Stewart and Marton Rovid. Central European University Press: Budapest. [Accessed 28 Sept. 2015]

Legal Space. 3 July 2015. Olena Orlova. "Rom[a] Students-Interns are Trained to Cooperate with the Authorities." [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015]

_____. 14 November 2014. Olena Orlova. "Community Law Center Helps Roma in Kherson." [Accessed 1 Oct. 2015]

_____. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015]

Open Society Foundations (OSF). 13 March 2015. Zola Kondur. "From Medicine to Passports, Mediators Help Ukraine's Roma Get What They Need." [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015]

_____. October 2011. Roma Health Mediators: Successes and Challenges.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). August 2014. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Situation Assessment Report on Roma in Ukraine and the Impact of the Current Crisis. [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]

Orkestar Ternipe. N.d. "Orkestar Ternipe." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]

Roma Education Fund (REF). N.d. "REF in One Page." [Accessed 8 Oct. 2015]

Social Action Centre. 29 September 2015. Correspondence from the No Borders Project Program Coordinator to the Research Directorate.

_____. 2011. Annual Report. [Accessed 2 Oct. 2015]

Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung and Zukunft (EVZ). N.d.a. "The Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future." [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015]

_____. N.d.b. "Projects in Ukraine." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2015]

Ternipe. 5 October 2015. Correspondence from the Head of the organization to the Research Directorate.

Ukraine. 7 May 2009. Third Report Submitted by Ukraine Pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 2 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. (ACFC/SR/III(2009)006) [Accessed 28 Sept. 2015]

United States (US). 25 June 2015. Department of State. "Ukraine." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014. [Accessed 30 Sept. 2015]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Ketane International Public Roma Organization; lawyer, European Roma Rights Centre; PhD Student, Charles University, who has conducted field research with Romani communities in Lviv; Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Council of Europe – European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI); European Roma Rights Centre; ecoi.net; European Union – Eastern Partnership Regional Youth Unit; Factiva; Green Cross Society; Human Rights Watch; International Crisis Group; Roma Education Fund; Minorities Network-Eastern Partnership; Minority Rights Group International; Ukraine Crisis Media Center; Ukraine – Lviv Regional Administration; United Nations – Refworld.