Mr Rudko KAWCZYNSKI
Mr Rudko KAWCZYNSKI, who was also the first interim president of the European Roma and Travellers Forum has been elected unanimously by the ERTF's first Plenary Assembly in December 2005.
Mr Kawczynski was born in Krakow, Poland on 26 November 1954. His family in 1956 escaped to Austria and later to Germany, where he and his family applied for asylum.
After the first contact with the peace and civil rights movement in the early 1970s, Mr Kawczynski became a co-founder of the Rom & Cinti Union (RCU) which was created in Hamburg in 1975 and has been reelected as its president since. Since the early 1990s, Mr Kawczynski has been active in the International Romani rights movement. Organising and participating in several international protests fo the compensation of Romani Holocaust victimes and against the repatriation of Roma refugees from the Formen Yugoslavia, he together with other activists from different countries, co-founded the Roman National Congres (RNC), which soon became one o fthe main international Roma organisations.
As a programme director with the Open Society Institut (OSI), Mr Kawczynski initiated many activities and programmes among which the well known the Roma Participation Programme (RPP). He also initiated the creation of the European Roma Rights Center and of the Contact Point for Sinti and Roma Issues of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).He served as a boar member of the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) in Brussels.
Mr Kawczynski has been a founding member of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and pushed forward its developments. As a representative of ERTF, he has taken part in many national and international high level events including conferencies and parliament hearings.
Mr Kawczynski was reelected for his second term of office by the Fifth Plenary Assembly of the European Roma and Travellers Forum on 25th February 2010.