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A Romani woman from the Czech Republic
The 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 Western Anatoliamarker.

Social status

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 isolated ghetto-like settlements (see e.g. Chánov). Only a small fraction of Romani children graduate from secondary schools, although under Communism, at least some of these countries (i.e. Romaniamarker) imposed by law all children to attend school, and provided them, like other citizens, with all required basics such as textbooks and the compulsory uniform. Many Roma have faced Antiziganism from both private groups and some national governments.

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.

However, in some cases, notably that of the Kalderash (Căldăraşi or Căldărari) group in Romaniamarker, who work as traditional goldsmiths and coppersmiths, they have prospered. The Decade of Roma Inclusion is 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 of Hungary became the two current Roma Members of the European Parliament (MEP). The first Romani MEP was Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia of Spainmarker.


  1. Hancock, Ian, 2001, Ame sam e rromane džene / We are the Romani People, The Open Society Institute, New York, page 2
  2. Matras, Yaron, Romani: A linguistic introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2002, page 5

External links

Further reading

  • Guy, Will. Between Past and Future: The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe. Univ of Hertfordshire Press, 2001.

See also

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