A strategic approach for the social inclusion of the roma
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A strategic approach for the social inclusion of the roma



A strategic approach for the social inclusion of the roma

What is CASPIS

  • Anti-Poverty and Social Inclusion Commission (CASPIS) is the inter-departmental organization headed by the Prime-minister, coordinated by the Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity and having as the executive coordinator the Prime-minister Counselor on Social Problems

  • CASPIS is an extensive institutional network including representatives of the ministries, governmental departments and agencies local authorities organizations (-high level officials),, strade unions, employers’ associations, NGOs,international organizations and other relevant organizations.

  • The current activities are handled by a Technical Secretariat placed within the Prime-Minister Chancellery

Caspis role in the framework of the romanian strategy for social inclusion promotion
CASPIS role in the framework of the Romanian strategy for social inclusion promotion

  • Coordination of the anti-poverty and social inclusion strategy in Romania, through:

    • the development of a public institutional structure for the promotion of social inclusion (CASPIS and CJASPIS)

    • leading the process of collectively elaborating the main strategies in social inclusion fields, PNAinc (similar to NAPincl of the EU countries), MDGR, JIM and technical support for the elaboration of PJAinc

    • in more general terms, mainstreaming the anti-poverty and social inclusion approach and building a pro-inclusive culture

  • Informing political decisions and evaluating results

  • Monitoring: a. Poverty and social exclusion dynamic; b. Social policies and programs towards a cohesive and an inclusive Romanian society: PNAinc and County Plans objectives – annual monitoring reports

  • Assessing performances and results: MIG and, in near future, social impact of the mine restructuring sector strategy

  • Using scientific research for policy papers elaboration for the Government

Concerns what is the best approach
Concerns - social inclusion - what is the best approach

  • The efforts to address the social problems of the Roma are intensifying in the last years (short review of most important points later)

  • Within CASPIS activity, the diagnose of the social situation of the Roma social category and support for policies towards improvement have a prominent part to play, as reflected in the documents that CASPIS produces or contributes to.

  • The JIM approach of the policies addressing the vulnerabilities of the Roma population reflects a particular instance: the social protection and inclusion efforts can be delivered explicitly to the at-risk Roma segment or to the whole population affected by the same social problem, with a complementary focus on the Roma and the particularity of their situation; many analysts recommend the later perspective (not a minor dilemma)

Concerns data shortages and limitations
Concerns - data shortages and limitations social inclusion

There are very few recent solid data on the most important aspects of the roma:

  • First of all, the NSI surveys are not statistically representative at the level of the roma population - this will affect the official Romanian social inclusion monitoring system.

  • Secondly, if the data is not gathered using the hetero-identification method, the size of the roma population will be underestimated and the problems will probably be over-estimated: the census reports a 2,5% share of the roma population while the last special survey reports 6,7%.

  • Thirdly, the public administrative institutions are not supposed to systematically collect data about the ethnic characteristics of their beneficiaries – could be interpreted as affecting the principle of equal treatment

  • Finally, the qualitative data are useful but in controversial issues they will be equally contested (and usually the controversial issues are precisely the ones harder to quantify).

    Conclusion: the need for updated estimates

Short overview of the social situation of the roma
Short overview of the social situation of the Roma social inclusion

  • The Roma segment is challenged with multiple deficits aggravating each other: poverty, exclusion and isolation, no housing, very poor living environments, low educational background, under-skilling and lack of experience on the labour market. (JIM statement)

  • The social problems that a high contingent of the roma encounter are in part poor people problems (although only 1 of 5 poor people is a roma), in part the problems of the rural residents (aprox. 3/4 of roma leave in the rural area but they are a small number of the rural deprived/excluded), in part uneducated people’s problem, in part the problems of large households and so on.

  • Social exclusion traps - examples:

    Lack of education - unemployment – poverty

    Poverty –social polarization – lack of access to family planning means – social assistance dependence – chronic unemployment

  • Does discrimination aggravate this cumulus of deficits and how should we tackle these problems?

Social exclusion of the roma vicious circle health employment and education
Social Exclusion of the Roma vicious circle social inclusion – Health,Employment and Education

Employment and education: becauseof the low life expectancy, the vast majority of the Roma are of school or active age (only 4.3% are over 65). Yet including them in the education and employment cycles is a very challenging task.

1. Employment

  • The Roma social segment experiences an accentuateddisconnection with the labour market, not only with employment (47% compared to 62% in 1998) but also with the official and unofficial forms of active searching for a job

  • The problem that occurs with a higher incidence among the employed Roma than for the overall employee, partly because of the lack of skills, is that they mostly deal with temporary jobs, economic activities within their own households or day work in other individual households - low paid jobs usually within the economic sectors with low return rates (mostly in agriculture).

Social exclusion vicious circle health employment and education
Social Exclusion vicious circle social inclusion –Health, Employment and Education

2. Education

  • Educational participation of Roma children aged 7-16 has improved from 50.6% in 1992 to 61.4% in 1998). However, the situation remains critical: 17.3% of the Roma in the same category of age have never attended any form of education. While almost 18.9% of the Roma population aged over 16 has completed no form of education, 40.1% of the Roma completed maximally 4 grades; only 18.3% completed high school or vocational forms of education, and only 0.9% went for forms of higher education.

  • Some consequences of poor education are unemployment, passivity and poor awareness about health care needs and services

9 social exclusion vicious circle employment education and health
9. social inclusion Social exclusion vicious circle –Employment, Education and Health

3. Health

  • As for the labour market exclusion, which is strongly correlated with the low educational attainment levels of the roma, health exclusion is a function of exclusion from other formal systems.

  • The lack of access of the roma to health services illustrates the inter-dependent nature of exclusion: lack of I.D. papers, residence within deprived isolated (with no medical facilities and personal) rural communities, unemployment and sometimes exclusion errors from the social benefits the vulnerable romas are eligible for (yet the MIG assessment did not reveal such a problem) lead to lack of access to health insurance.

Social exclusion vicious circle poverty housing lack of papers
Social exclusion vicious circle social inclusion – Poverty, Housing, Lack of Papers

4. Housing

The Roma experience unstable housing arrangements – high percentages of renting as opposed to the national average, risk of eviction, overcrowding, poor quality of the dwellings

5. Poverty

Romapopulation was more than 3 times poorer than the average value in year 2003, with a 76% risk and a 80% risk for the Roma children using an absolute threshold.

6. Other problems

  • An unacceptably high number of people, almost the majority of whom are Roma have no ID papers, the effect of this being exclusion from fulfillment of their social rights: social assistance, social insurance, legal employment.

  • A significant portion of the Roma population is vitally dependent on social aid – consequences: unemployment, social disorganization.

Short overview social protection for the roma segment of population
Short overview – social inclusion Social Protection for the Roma Segment of Population

  • Defining the strategic approach: “The Strategy aimed at Improving the Roma Situation” (SIPS)

  • Institutional set-up (but still in a transient stage): The Office for Roma Problems within the Department for Interethnic Relations and the National Council for Fighting Discrimination

  • Special attention has been given to employment of Roma in the public system.

  • Programs and measures: job fairs, special places for Roma persons in school, several programs for access to school and reintegration of drop-outs, optional school programmes for the Roma to better integrate their culture, a network of social assistance to work within the community

Priorities social inclusion

  • To implement a national programme that would identify and rectify the situation of the Roma persons with no identification papers

  • To ensure extended school participation of Roma children

  • To boost employment in the Roma category by promoting active employment measures

  • To develop a system of social security and healthcare services focused on the access of Roma to primary healthcare services

  • To develop inclusion structures in all respects and in all the areas of the social life (school, work place, mass-media); to promote the support of the Roma in their effort to integrate in a modern society; to increase the awareness related to the rehabilitation of the self and public image of the Roma population,

  • To set up a coherent public system of social assistance services to communities, targeting the Roma population

  • To strengthen the partnership between public institutions and Roma representative groups;

Police reform and inclusive developments for the roma population
Police reform and inclusive developments for the Roma population

  • The large police reform is now close to completion; key lines of action in the process were: police bodies to acquire specialized functions; subordinating the police to local public authorities; a programme to develop community police structures is currently under implementation.

  • A lot remains to be done to increase police competence and develop a progressive participation of police forces to the social inclusion process.

  • Objective: Development of trust and co-operative relations between police and the community as a whole, with particular focus on the relationship with marginalized segments – Roma

Reform of the police and inclusive developments for the roma population 2
Reform of the police and inclusive developments for the Roma population (2)

  • The Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs (MAI) had 4 programmes funded from international sources that converge with Objective 2.14. in PNAinc: Provide support to Roma population and more opportunities for access to modern amenities and well-being

  • These programmes (co-funded by EU organisms) deal with action strategies to resolve conflicts in the Roma communities; prevent conflicts in multi-cultural communities; develop local support in cases of ethnic conflicts and, in broader terms, ensure adequate management of multi-cultural communities.