UNICEF: Prioritize children to speed up Roma inclusion in Europe
BRUSSELS/GENEVA, 3 April 2014 - On the eve of the third Roma summit in Brussels today, UNICEF calls on European governments to firmly place children at the centre of Roma inclusion policies.
Across Europe, progress has been made to realize the rights of Roma children. Yet many Roma girls and boys still face extreme poverty, social exclusion and discrimination, according to a new UNICEF summary report released today.
“Now is the time for European governments to transform their commitments into reality for all Roma boys and girls,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. She also highlighted this year’s 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as an opportunity to assess what has been achieved and the challenges that lie ahead.
“These commitments need to be translated into policies and funding that directly reach Roma children so that they reach their full potential. A first priority should be collecting disaggregated data on children. Better data enables better policies and monitoring at local and central levels,” Ms. Poirier said.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia are among the first countries to collect and make publicly available disaggregated data on Roma children, the summary report noted.
“We applaud these bold initiatives and we urge other governments and partners to follow these valuable examples,” she added.
UNICEF analyzed data collected in the three countries covered in the summary report, Realizing the rights of Roma Children and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. The key areas highlighted for immediate policy action are:
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work please visit www.unicef.org/ceecis
For further information, please contact:
UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Communication Chief
Tel: +41 22 909 5429
Mobile: +41 79 431 1537
UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Communication Specialist
Tel: +41 22 909 5433
Mobile: +41 792 044482
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Insights: Realizing the rights of Roma children and women
Download the report "Insights: Realizing the rights of Roma children and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia" (in PDF format)