The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has published its “Roma and Travellers Survey” report which provides, for the first time, comparable data on Roma and Travellers’ experiences of fundamental rights in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey involved face-to-face interviews from December 2018 until July 2019 with over 4,500 Roma or Travellers. It highlights widespread inequalities that perpetuate cycles of poverty and exclusion:
- Living conditions: Over 90% of Travellers in Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands say that there are not enough places for them to live. Every fourth Roma and Traveller child surveyed lives in a household that cannot afford basic items, such as healthy food or heating, or has trouble paying the rent. Many face hunger. And their life expectancy is 10 years lower than among the general population.
- Work: Fewer Roma and Travellers are in paid work compared to the general population. This ranges from 15% in Ireland to 50% in Belgium. For women and the young, the employment situation is particularly hard.
- Schooling: Almost a third of parents said that their children have been verbally harassed at school because they are Roma or Travellers. Two thirds of young Roma and Travellers completed only lower secondary education.
The report comes in the eve of the release of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation which is expected to outline the Commission’s future plans and policies for the integration and social protection of Romani people.
To learn more about the results of the survey, please read the full report.