Young Roma children and their families

Young Roma children and their families

Young Roma children have an equal right to thrive. The fulfilment of this right calls for urgent and comprehensive measures and coordinated public investment. However, there is general concern about how effective Roma inclusion policy measures are at the European level.

Developed by the First Years, First Priority Campaign, this Thematic Paper includes:

. Key findings from the REYN Early Childhood Research Study and key recommendations at the EU and country level

. Snapshot of mainstream and targeted EU policies related to young Roma children

. Examples of national policies and programmes in Bulgaria, France,  Hungary, Serbia and Spain

. Key priorities for unlocking young Roma children’s potential


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Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care 2019

Only one third of children aged 0-3 has access to center-based early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings.

The report provides indicators on the key quality areas of governance, access, staff, educational guidelines as well as evaluation and monitoring. Cross-cutting these key areas, it presents a child-centered approach, with special attention being paid to the inter-relatedness of policies in different areas. The importance of inclusiveness in education is also stressed as high quality ECEC is considered to be one of the best ways to increase equity and equality in society.

Part one provides policymakers, researchers and parents with comparative information on the current ECEC policies across Europe. Part two gives an overview of the key features of national ECEC systems accompanied by a diagram of their structure.

The scope of the report is wide, covering center-based and regulated home-based provision in both the public and private sectors in the 38 European countries (43 education systems) participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme. It includes the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.

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Mapping of research on Roma children in the European Union

This report addresses the acknowledged scarcity of quality, disaggregated, child focused data on Roma children which is widely seen to impede the development of positive policies and programmes promoting full realisation of their rights.

The countries that were selected for mapping on the basis of their estimated Roma population and their capacity to benefit from Roma related research included Albania; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; the Czech Republic; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Kosovo; Netherlands; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia and Spain. Seventy-four research areas were identified, divided into nine thematic areas – child protection; civil registration; discrimination; education; employment; health; housing; migration; and social protection.

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Closing the life expectancy gap of Roma in Europe

A report by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) focuses on how socioeconomic preconditions affect the health of Roma in Europe. Infant mortality is reported to be between two to three times higher than majority population.

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Midterm review of the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies

This midterm review takes stock of the progress since the launch of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) in 2011. The EU Framework aims to close the gap between Roma and non-Roma in four key areas: education, employment, healthcare and housing. This review is based on data on how the situation of Roma has changed, and inputs from national authorities, civil society and other partners. The midterm review claims that education is the main area in which the situation of Roma improved and it is also the most prominent area in EU Member States’ policy mix for Roma inclusion. The participation rates of Romani children in early childhood education and care have increased. Early school-leaving, segregation in education and poverty risk among Roma remain high, the report states.

For a quicker look download the factsheet of the European Commission.

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An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies

The EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies is calling on EU Member States to prepare or revise National Roma Integration Strategies in order to address more effectively the challenges of Roma inclusion and to tangibly improve the situation by the end of 2020. The endorsement of the Framework by EU heads of states and governments indicated that Roma inclusion is becoming an important priority for all Member States, despite the economic and financial crisis. The aim of the EU Framework is to help the Member States to make a tangible difference to Roma people’s lives by bringing change in the approach to their inclusion. Member States need to develop and implement an integrated and sustainable approach that combines efforts across different areas, including education, employment, health, and housing.

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Council Conclusions on an EU Framework for the National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020

The Council of the European Union calls the Member States and the Commission to continue the commitment for Roma inclusion and invites them both to ensure the effective use of EU funds for the social and economic inclusion of Roma. It stresses the fact that despite efforts many Roma still face deep poverty, profound social exclusion, barriers in exercising fundamental rights, and discrimination. Furthermore, it underlines that active involvement and participation of Roma themselves is essential for improving the situation of Roma community. The Commission is requested to continue the work on Roma Taskforce and to address EU funds in efforts to advance Roma inclusion. The EU Member States are requested to appropriately monitor and evaluate the impact of the Roma inclusion strategies, to develop their national Roma inclusion strategies within broader social inclusion policies (social and economic measures) and to promote the active involvement of Roma civil society. The Council invites to a synergic cooperation among Commission, the Member States and relevant stakeholders.

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