Change Agents 1/7/21: Human Rights Abuses Toward Roma People

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

-Roma people are subject to violence from Romanian police
-Roma students are discriminated against in their education
-Roma advocates have won significant gains both in the European Court of Human Rights and in the Romanian Legislature

Marion Mandache directed a Roma human right organization (Romani Chriss) in Bucharest, Romania. He now lives in Massachusetts and soon will be a lawyer in the USA

Magna Matache also directed Romani Chriss. She now works at the Harvard University Roma Project

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.