The housing situation of Roma communities

Roma are more likely to live in poverty than non-Roma citizens. They have a higher risk of unemployment, stay in school for fewer years, and many live without access to drinking water, sanitation and electricity. Roma are more likely to suffer from chronic illness and have less access to health services.

UNDP works with national partners to promote inclusion of Roma into economic, social, political and community life. We work with Roma communities and local partners to make sure that Roma can access quality social services. We also support community projects that can improve the quality of everyday life, and increase education and job opportunities. To learn more about this work, click here.

Regarding this, the UNDP and their partners released many publications on Roma communities and human rights. One of them is “The Housing Situation of Roma Communities“.

After outlining the relationship between housing, development and human rights for Roma, the report summarizes the existing legal framework addressing legislation relevant to housing and anti-discrimination at international, European and national levels. Additionally, the document provides a brief account of key strategic documents adopted by international and regional intergovernmental organizations, supplemented by a review of specific policies related to Roma housing, created within the context of the Decade of Roma Inclusion.

The implementation of these policies, however, is hampered on most levels. The substandard conditions of many Roma settlements, as well as obstacles to other aspects of adequate housing for Roma, are described in the key findings of the UNDP/WB/ECsurvey from 2011. Roma survey respondents have less access to water, sanitation and electricity, compared to non-Roma living in their vicinity. They use lower quality sources of energy for cooking and heating, more often than their non-Roma neighbours. The frequency of waste collection in predominantly Roma settlements is lower than that forthe non-Roma settlements, and most Roma perceive less infrastructure improvements in their settlements. Roma housing is considerably less secure, less habitable and more overcrowded, compared to non-Roma housing.

To read more on the findings of the report and its conclusion, click on the green button below.

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