JUSTROM1 and 2: a brief explanation

1.      Context

JUSTROM is a EC/CoE Joint Programme on Access to Justice for Roma and Traveller Women. Pilot phase was implemented from Oct 2016 to March 2018. JUSTROM2 started in April 2018 and will continue until March 2019.

This project is integrated in the CoE Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers 2016-2019 – specific objective 1.2. Improving access of R&T to justice; and specific objective 1.3 on developing skills and knowledge of legal professionals and administrators

Also falls within the scope of broader CoE work, such as Strategic objective number 3 of the Gender Equality Strategy (2014-17 and 2018-23) on guaranteeing equal access to justice.

2.      Objectives

As its name indicates, JUSTROM aims at enhancing Roma and Traveller’s Women’s Access to Justice in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania (in its pilot face, it also included Ireland but the work was taken up by the Ministry of Justice through a local grant).

Roma and Traveller women are often victims of different forms of discrimination, which renders them particularly vulnerable. JUSTROM is meant as affirmative action: specific measures for a specific group in order to try to compensate for great inequalities.

In order to do so, several layers are covered:

·        Direct work with beneficiaries (Roma women): strong empowerment component: several activities are aimed at raising awareness among Roma women and disseminate information on their rights and the services available (such as free legal aid, existing complaint mechanisms, etc.).

·        Additionally, an outreach component through Roma mediators operating in often isolated and highly marginalised communities has been used in order to build trust;

·        Establishment of legal clinics (fixed or mobile) to offer legal advice and information on access to services;

·        Co-operation with governments and their agencies/institutions: Enhancing the capacities of the judiciary and law enforcement; under JUSTROM2, further training an co-operation of Equality bodies and Human Rights institutions are envisaged;

·        Increasing the number of cases of discrimination admitted by HR institutions – as a consequence of better awareness of discrimination and how to report it.

3.      Results under JUSTROM1

·        11 legal clinics were set up in 5 countries (9 are operating under JUSTROM2)

·        Information on rights and services were provided to 10,700 beneficiaries (among which 6,382 were women – almost 60%)

·        5,120 people received legal consultations (4, 716 women - 92%)

·        389 cases related to discrimination were identified; 285 cases on gender violence; other cases related to

·        Increased knowledge on antidiscrimination and human rights’ protection mechanisms;

·        2,611 applications were launched to judicial, non-judicial and quasi-judicial institutions, including free legal aid, ombudsperson, equality bodies, etc.

·        Partnership agreements with ministries, bar associations, municipalities, etc. to ensure sustainability of the project.



Needs assessment took place in order to identify the main barriers and needs for Roma and Traveller women’s access to justice.


·        Selection of teams: ensuring gender balance and since we are working with highly marginalised communities, we give relevance to ‘role models’;

·        Attention was also paid to gender balance in panels (launch events, trainings developed for police officers, legal professionals, etc.);

·        Often the topics to be discussed, i.e. domestic violence, human trafficking or sexual abuse are topics that might be very difficult for women to discuss with men. These special needs are also taken into account for recruiting (people’s background).  Men also work as mediators, but we need to ensure the team as a whole in a location will ensure every beneficiary feels comfortable to come to us.


·        Reporting from our national teams includes a section on how the gender mainstreaming perspective on Roma women has been ensured – we have monthly (brief) analysis of this.

·        We request data disaggregated by gender – we collect statistics taking gender into account

·        Activity reports: we request the number of attendees, also disaggregated by gender to ensure we reach the desired target.

These are some of the very practical ways in which we have mainstreamed gender in all phases of the JUSTROM project, I hope they are of help. Thank you very much for your attention