Rumyan Russinov

Rumyan Russinov

Rumyan Russinov is a leading advocate for equal participation of Roma in Europe. He has degrees in Economics from the University of National and World Economy (Sofia) and International Political Relations and Security from the Kliment Okhridski University of Sofia.

In 1993-1999, Rumyan worked in The Human Rights Project, a Sofia-based Roma rights organization. In 1998, as its Programme Director, he initiated a successful campaign to adopt an official policy, the Framework Programme for Equal Participation of Roma in Bulgarian Society (adopted in April 1999). The campaign enjoyed widespread support among the Roma community and served as the basis for Roma policies of several subsequent Bulgarian governments.

In 2000-2005, as Director of the Roma Participation Program at the Open Society Institute based in Budapest, Rumyan has initiated and supported activities of Roma organizations from Central and Eastern Europe aimed at school desegregation of Roma children. In Bulgaria alone, more than 20,000 Roma children from 11 regional cities have been successfully integrated into Bulgarian schools. In 2005-2009, as Deputy Director of the Budapest-based Roma Education Fund, Rumyan worked to create an institutional framework to expand educational integration activities launched by Roma organizations and turn them into national policies. Among his achievements in Bulgaria was the adoption by the Ministry of Education and Science of a Strategy for Educational Integration, as well as the establishment of a Centre for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities. Rumyan is also the initiator and creator of the Roma Memorial Scholarship Programme based in Budapest. In Bulgaria alone, more than 3000 Roma students have been supported by the programme.

Rumyan has published extensively on the Roma situation in a number of Bulgarian and European journals, and has been a regular commentator on national and world media.

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