Roma are a subgroup of the Romani people (also known as Gypsies), who live primarily in Central and Eastern
Europe, as well as in the Balkans and
A Romani woman from the Czech
As most of Western European countries, many former Eastern bloc
countries have substantial
populations of Roma. The level of integration
of Roma into society remains
limited. They usually remain on the margins of society, living in
-like settlements (see e.g.
). Only a small fraction of Romani
children graduate from secondary schools, although under Communism,
at least some of these countries (i.e. Romania) imposed by
law all children to attend school, and provided them, like other
citizens, with all required basics such as textbooks and the
Many Roma have faced Antiziganism
from both private groups and some
The Roma suffer the worst health conditions in the industrialized
world together with some of the worst health problems associated
with the third world. Rates of both infectious and non-communicable
diseases are high. The proportion of Roma living in poverty exceeds
75% in countries throughout the region.
in some cases, notably that of the Kalderash
(Căldăraşi or Căldărari) group in Romania, who work as
traditional goldsmiths and coppersmiths, they have prospered.
Decade of Roma Inclusion
a ten year program whose aim is to improve the socio-economic
status and social inclusion of Roma in the local societies.
In 2004, Lívia Járóka
and Viktória Mohácsi
Hungary became the two current Roma Members of the European
(MEP). The first Romani MEP was Juan de Dios Ramírez
Heredia of Spain.
- Hancock, Ian, 2001, Ame sam e rromane džene / We are the Romani
People, The Open Society Institute, New York, page 2
- Matras, Yaron, Romani: A linguistic introduction, Cambridge
University Press, 2002, page 5
- Guy, Will. Between Past and Future: The Roma of Central and
Eastern Europe. Univ of Hertfordshire Press, 2001.