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Travelling Travellers. An overview of the living conditions of travelling Travellers and existing supporting initiatives

ENG: Travelling Travellers. An overview of the living conditions of travelling Travellers and existing supporting initiatives

NL: Rondtrekkende woonwagenbewoners. Een overzicht van de leefomstandigheden van rondtrekkende woonwagenbewoners en bestaande initiatieven ter ondersteuning

Travellers travel around for different reasons. While for some it is part of their specific way of life, in recent years an increasing number of Travellers in Flanders, Belgium have been forced to travel around due to a lack of encampment sites. This situation makes them vulnerable. Because this problem is relatively recent, however, the group of travelling Travellers has largely remained under the research radar until now. The aim of the present study, commissioned by the Flemish Agency for Home Affairs and conducted by the research institute HIVA, was therefore to gain more insight into the living and housing situation of travelling Travellers in Flanders, Belgium.

The research is focused on:

1) the living conditions and social participation of travelling Travellers,

2) the existing support, guidance and assistance for travelling Travellers.

Subsequently, policy recommendations based on the results of these two focus areas were made. Subject of the study were both Belgian and foreign travelling Travellers. Data was collected by various qualitative research methods, among which interviews with Travellers about their current and desired living situation and interviews with key figures such as practitioners and policy officers.

The resource is in Dutch language. 

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Blighted Lives: Romani Children in State Care

This five-country wide round of research into the situation of Roma children in state care marks the latest in a decade-long series of interventions by the European Roma Rights Centre. The research covers four EU Member States: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia, as well as neighbouring Moldova. As was mentioned in the introduction, the plight of these most vulnerable children, and the issue of their fundamental rights and wellbeing, did not register as a priority when the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies was launched in 2011.

The publication of this research followed the launch of the European Commission’s EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation for 2020–2030. It also coincided with the finding by the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) in November 2020, that holds the Czech Republic responsible for large-scale and discriminatory placement of children with disabilities and Romani children in early childhood care institutions.

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Impact evaluation and policy recommendations final report and executive summary

TOY to Share, Play to Care was a two-year project, which built on the work of the TOY for Inclusion project.

The initial TOY for Inclusion project developed and piloted Play Hubs, i.e., low-threshold, community-based, and informal early childhood settings open to young children, their families, and members of local Roma communities. Play Hubs offer toys for borrowing, stimulating activities for young children, opportunities for inter-generational encounters, and generally safe and welcoming spaces for everybody.

The follow-up project TOY to Share, Play to Care took the existing Play Hubs as its starting point and built on their experiences in order to scale up the model.

Between 2017 and 2020, 16 Play Hubs opened in eight EU countries (Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey). Through the Play Hubs’ activities, over 10.000 children, 5.000 adults (parents and grandparents), and 1.000 practitioners were reached.

This report focuses on three research questions:

  1. What does impact/making a difference mean to your locality in relation to inclusive early years community initiatives i.e., this project? How do you know? For whom?
  2. What do you envisage will help you make a difference to your locality in relation to inclusive early years community initiatives?
  3. What do you envisage will make it difficult to make a difference in relation to inclusive early years community initiatives?

The research questions were explored using a qualitative methodology for data collection and analysis.

Download the Executive Summary here.
Download the full report here.

Roma and Travellers in Six Countries

Roma and Travellers living in western EU countries are less often in the limelight than those living in central, eastern and southern EU countries. While they represent a smaller proportion of the population in the west, they also face problems with social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination.

This report presents findings from the survey conducted by FRA in 2019 covering Roma and Travellers populations in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey included interviews with almost 4,700 Roma and Travellers, collecting information on more than 8,200 individuals living in their households. The findings present a bleak, but familiar, picture of discrimination and deprivation fuelled by anti-Gypsyism. Almost half of the Roma and Travellers surveyed felt discriminated against and experienced hate-motivated harassment, in the year before the survey.

The survey results presented here show the urgent need for the post-2020 Strategic EU Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Participation to accelerate Roma inclusion efforts that can break the vicious cycle of social exclusion, discrimination and poverty that contributes to such disturbing results.

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Roma Early Childhood Inclusion + Bulgaria Report (2020)

The Republic of Bulgaria has endeavoured, over the last three decades, to address the stark injustices evident in the socioeconomic situation of the majority of its Roma citizens and as evidenced in the country’s National Roma Integration Strategy 2012–2020. These efforts have accelerated since 2007, when Bulgaria became a full member of the European Union (EU). At present, Bulgaria is making important steps towards creating a national framework for early childhood development, a goal that remains high on the national agenda, and towards developing a more integrated approach to support parents and children in the early years. This RECI+ Report carries the explicit intention of providing Bulgarian authorities and civil society with a timely and informed account of the situation of Bulgarian Roma children during early childhood, and, in so doing, supporting government and other relevant actors to ensure equal and unhindered access to inclusive and integrated quality education, health, and social care for young Roma children and their families.

Read the policy brief in English here.

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Roma Early Childhood Inclusion+ Czech Republic Report (2015)

This report on the early childhood education and care (ECEC) of young Roma children in the Czech Republic departs somewhat in its approach from previous Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI+) Studies and Reports. The preparation of this report was led by the Open Society Foundations. The RECI initiative, which is ongoing, is a joint venture of three Sponsoring Agencies, namely: the Open Society Foundations Early Childhood Program, the Roma Education Fund, and UNICEF.

The principle reasons for a Special Report on Roma Inclusion in Early Childhood Education and Care at this stage of events, and not a full RECI+ Research Study and Report, include: the critical importance of ECEC for all children, particularly those
from marginalized and economically disadvantaged backgrounds;1 the pressing need for a timely contribution to the ongoing legislative actions and important national debates surrounding Roma education and inclusion in the Czech Republic; and to assist and support the government and public authorities, and educational decision makers and practitioners tasked with fulfilling their responsibilities in a context of critical international scrutiny.

Read the report in Czech here.

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