European Child Guarantee: A unique opportunity for the social inclusion of Roma children
Exchange Platform for Child Guarantee National Coordinators
21 February 2022, 10.00-12.00 CET
An estimated 10 to 12 million Roma live in Europe, including about six million in the European Union. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Roma are often among the most deprived populations, and remain at risk of discrimination and social exclusion.
In the EU, 85% of Roma children are at risk of poverty compared to 20% of children in the general population2. Roma children still face specific disadvantages that make them more vulnerable to the risk of social exclusion. Indeed, the share of Roma children enrolled in early childhood education and care in many EU countries remains lower than in the general population. These inequalities from an early age are replicated in access to education, as these children are often enrolled in segregated schools or classes and are more likely to leave the school system prematurely. Roma communities in most Member States are at greater risk of housing deprivation, and economic and cultural barriers may affect Roma children's effective access to health care.
On October 7, 2020, the Commission published an EU strategic framework for Roma equality, inclusion and participation. This framework, which includes a Council Recommendation on equality, inclusion and participation of Roma in all Member States, adopted on 12 March 2021, aims to achieve a Europe of equality for Roma populations. The Commission has set various minimum targets for 2030, for the reduction of the poverty gap between Roma and the general population, of the participation gap in early childhood education, of the proportion of Roma children attending segregated elementary school, and the housing deprivation gap.
Roma children are also highlighted in the Council Recommendation establishing the European Child Guarantee, adopted by the Council on 14 June 2021. This recommendation, which aims to ensure access to essential services for all children in need in the EU, identifies Roma children as one of the groups of children facing particular disadvantages, and who require special attention in the context of national measures to implement the recommendation.
The conference “European Child Guarantee: A Unique Opportunity for the Social Inclusion of Roma Children” is organised by UNICEF in cooperation with the European Commission (DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion) under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the aim of informing the development and implementation of the ECG national action plans, by sharing lessons and experiences from the pilot ECG countries and other Member States.
It will showcase examples of innovative policies, programmes, services and approaches for the inclusion of children from highly disadvantaged groups, with a particular focus on Roma and other ethnic minorities, starting from birth through transition to school and adulthood.
The conference will pay particular attention to:
Integrated strategies, which aim to improve community outreach, family engagement, quality and inclusiveness of mainstream services and targeting of social services that address the specific rights and needs of highly disadvantaged groups, with a particular focus on Roma and other ethnic minorities.
Preventive approaches through proactive reach of disadvantaged children, families and communities, identification of potential issues and early detection of risks, and provision of direct support and/or linking these children and families to universal, targeted or specialised services.
Flexible, coordinated and sustainable services to enhance access and tailor service delivery to the rights and needs of disadvantaged with particular focus on Roma and other ethnic minority children, families and communities.
An Exchange Platform for National Coordinators
This conference is part of a series of events that will foster the development of an Exchange Platform for ECG National Coordinators for exchanging knowledge, experience, and expertise on the ECG. This platform will serve as a key pathway for knowledge-sharing among ECG National Coordinators to build on the wealth of knowledge and experience of the pilot countries as well as other Member States and support the continued implementation of national action plans across the EU-27. It provides a sustainable and effective space for technical exchange and support to National Coordinators and for bringing together different stakeholders to interact on the development of ECG national action plans and thus ensures that the full diversity of relevant stakeholders’ perspectives, concerns, needs and country experiences is captured and shared to support decision making and inform the development and implementation of the European Child Guarantee (ECG) national action plans.
|10:00 – 10:05||Opening of the conference|
|10:05 – 10:40||
Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
Ms. Virginie Lasserre, Director General of Social Cohesion, Ministry of Solidarity and Health
Mr. Philippe Cori, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia
Ms. Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Member of the European Parliament
|Experiences in improving outcomes for Roma children|
|10:40 – 11:50||
National Strategy for the integration of Roma. Mr. Jean-Paul Bachelot, Education and Children’s rights adviser, Inter-ministerial Delegation for Housing, France
Integrated outreach services for the inclusion of Roma children in Bulgaria. Mr. Ivan Krastev, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, National coordinator for the ECG, Bulgaria
Roma children, multidimensional poverty and the Greek national strategy for Roma Inclusion. Mr. Giorgos Stamatis, Secretary General for Social Solidarity and Fight against Poverty, National Contact Point for Roma Social Inclusion, Greece
Roma children and families at the heart of integrated services in Croatia - challenges and successes. Ms. Tatjana Katkić Stanić, Director General of the Institute for Social Work, Ministry of Labour, Pensions System, Family and Social Policy, National Coordinator for the ECG, Croatia
National programme for the inclusion and integration of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti children. Mr. Paolo Onelli, Director General for the Fight Against Poverty and Social Planning, Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, Italy
From early childhood to a successful life - Good practices in inclusive education in Slovakia. Mr. Ján Hero, Plenipotentiary of the Government on Roma Community, Slovakia
Family-oriented approach - a tool for Roma inclusion and Roma children's opportunities in Gothenburg. Ms. Nina Miskovsky, Deputy Mayor and responsible Municipal Councillor for National Minorities and Chair for the Political Committee for Social Affairs and Welfare, The City of Gothenburg, Sweden
|11:50 – 12:00||