New data on Roma in Moldova will help address existing gaps
Chisinau, 24 October 2013 — Launched on the UN Day, the Report presents new data on Roma in communities with high concentration of Roma population in Moldova in fields such as education, health, migration, employment and living standards.
The Report was developed in the framework of the joint UN Programme “Strengthening the national statistical system”, with the assistance of UNDP, UN Women, UNICEF and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the financial support of the Government of Sweden. It provides a deep analysis of the data collected during a survey on Roma in 12 countries from the region, including the Republic of Moldova, in 2011 by the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava in partnership with the World Bank and the European Commission.
According to the Report, Roma are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in Moldova. Significant segments of the Romani community in Moldova are not yet succeeding in education, and are regularly excluded from the world of formal employment. Roma are twice as likely as non-Roma not to have health insurance. Inadequately addressed child and early marriage issues thwart the ability of Romani women and girls to advance. Stigma and stereotypes prevail among the wider society, driving discrimination.
There have been a number of key developments in this area in recent years. In 2011, the Government adopted an amended Action Plan on Roma inclusion, for the first time framing its priorities around key social inclusion vectors of education, employment, access to health care and other social services. The plan explicitly defines action to strengthen the rights of Romani women and girls as a priority. In 2012, the Government adopted Law 121 on Ensuring Equality, significantly elaborating the domestic law ban on discrimination in a range of areas of key concern to Roma.
Throughout this year, the Government has acted to formally enact the system of Roma community mediators – a milestone in the Government’s policy on Roma inclusion. With the support of the UN Agencies and other development partners, Roma Community Mediators are now active in 8 communities. They have been trained in a number of domains, including facilitative communication skills, non-discrimination principles and child rights. As a result of the Roma Community Mediators’ efforts, in the 2011 school year, 192 first-grade-aged Roma children in these communities were enrolled in school and the access of families with children to social aid as well as to health services increased significantly.
The data of the Report will be used for the elaboration, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes which aim at improving the situation of Roma population, integration and inclusion of this ethnic group, elimination of existing discrimination, and also for reporting on the commitments of the Government of the Republic of Moldova in the field of human rights.
“Data can help national counterparts and development partners to better identify needs, understand more deeply the nature of problems faced by Roma people, and to undertake actions that address their needs and foster their full inclusion in the society”, said Nicola Harrington-Buhay, UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova.
The Report also advocates for public policies and tools to attract children to schools and awareness campaigns for Roma, including their participation in debates around importance of education and the role of Roma community mediators.
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