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Roma in Europe: How to fight social exclusion through education

Year/Date: 13/04/2011

Roma in Europe: How to fight social exclusion through education


Many of the estimated 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe face prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in their daily lives. The ETF participated in the fifth meeting of the Integrated European Platform for Roma Inclusion in Budapest on 7-8 April 2011. The event was organised in the framework of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU.

The participants discussed actions in marginalized rural communities, desegregation measures to ensuring equal access to resources and services.

‘The research the ETF conducted in the Western Balkans points to a particularly complex situation for the Roma as an ethnic minority,' said Lida Kita, an ETF expert who specializes in the questions of social inclusion.

‘The upholding of ethnic and linguistic minority rights e.g., the right to a linguistically and culturally sensitive curriculum and environment, and the right to education in the mother tongue, has sometimes inadvertently led to educational and social segregation with the highest influence among Roma.’

Ms Kita, who took part in the conference, said that Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian ‘face long-standing multifaceted disadvantages: stigmatisation of groups and individuals such as Roma are accepted by too many people in societies and, as some sociologists assert, also in schools, where harmful social norms are inevitably replicated in the education system.’

The meeting, attended by the representatives from the EU Member States and the candidate countries, EU institutions, international organizations, Roma civil society and academia, provided an opportunity to present recent EU initiatives of the EU: the resolution of the European Parliament on EU Roma strategy and the European Commission's communication on EU framework for national Roma integration strategies.

The Commission’s communication covers also the Western Balkans and Turkey. Due to the wars in the Balkan region, many Roma families had to move as displaced persons to other countries in the region or to Western Europe. In Turkey, Roma groups are diverse, but a large proportion suffers from multidimensional social exclusion.

The ETF provides information and analysis on access to education and training by marginalised groups, including Roma, in the EU enlargement region. The ETF explore how education and training impact on social exclusion in culturally diverse societies and how to develop and implement long-term, sustainable policies in this field.

Find out more

Documents of the Fifth Meeting of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion
Read about ETF conference on challenges to social inclusion in the Western Balkans and Turkey (4 April 2011)

Photo: Romani flag



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