REYN Italy

Roma Population

The presence of Roma and Sinti in Italy is estimated by the Council of Europe at between 120 000 and 180 000 people, that is around 0,25% of the Italian population. Around 50% of them have Italian citizenship and, according to the recent estimates, 60% are younger than 18.

Main Goal

Becoming a cohesive, competent and participated community of professionals, para-professionals and practitioners who work to guarantee quality and non-discriminatory early childhood development to all Roma children (from birth to 8 years old), their families and communities in Italy.

Main Challenges

  • About 35 000 – 40 000 Roma live in inadequate housing. The living conditions of around 20 000 underage Roma living in poverty in formal settlements (designed and managed by the authorities) or informal settlements (established spontaneously), mark deeply their present and compromise their future irreparably.
  • Roma communities are characterised by high levels of illiteracy and lack of any political representation. These elements contribute to snagging them in an inactive condition where they are passive subjects at the mercy of others’ decisions and have no control over their lives.  In addition, there is a deep anti-Roma sentiment in Italy, that is increased dramatically and legitimized after the establishment of the new government in June 2018.

Activities Carried Out

– Training for teachers was delivered to give practical tools to work with children, families and communities to contrast prejudices and stereotypes.

– Two trainings to young Roma practitioners were delivered and eight participants carried out study visits in Tuscany, Lazio and Sicily to gather new and good practices from different cities.

– As a consequence of the Anti-Roma rhetoric raised and reinforced by the current government, REYN Italy is constantly detecting and denouncing cases of discrimination in order to urge a prompt intervention of the competent authorities.

Ongoing Activities

  • The training for teachers presented to preschools and primary schools in Rome, Turin, Cosenza, Mazara del Vallo and Pisa with a high presence of Roma children. The training delivered by the young Roma practitioners, who attended a training of trainers delivered by REYN Italy, with the support of Associazione 21 luglio.
  • The refunding of the network, which involves a select group of associations and individuals working in the field of early childhood care, and the strengthening of monitoring of discriminatory declarations and actions regarding possible violations of human rights.

Main Outcomes

– Civil society is now more aware of the rights of Roma communities.

– Policy makers are more aware of the importance of overcoming Roma camps and some cities are implementing inclusive policies for the inhabitants of the camps.

– Thanks to the training courses aimed at young Roma, several of them on the national territory have acquired skills, awareness and motivation in seeking change for themselves and their communities.


The Dream to Grow campaign shares 12 multipurpose advocacy stories, highlighting  the successes of Roma ECD professionals who are supporting Roma children and families in their countries – celebrating the example they are setting for future generations.

Read Enzo’s story in English and Italian

REYN Early Childhood Research

REYN Early Childhood Research is a study that sheds light on young Roma children and their parents throughout Europe. The study brings together unprecedented Roma-related early childhood data from 11 countries. It catalyzes solid evidence for urgent and effective policies and programs enabling each young Roma to reach their full potential – to grow and thrive! 

Read research in English