A quarter of Romanian Roma are illiterate. This percentage - an immediate result of the school dropout and of the low level of school participation - is raising concerns as only 12% of Bulgarian Roma, also a new EU country, declared they cannot read and write. In Spain, only 9 percent of Roma are illiterate. In Italy the percentage is 16.
This information can be found in the report “Roma in Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain, between Social Inclusion and Migration. Comparative Study”, coordinated by Soros Foundation Romania, within the project “EU INCLUSIVE. Data transfer and exchange of good practices regarding the inclusion of Roma population between Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain”. The research offers information on the situation of Roma people in the four analyzed countries in general, and in particular on the situation of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma who migrated in Italy and Spain.
„The integration of Roma population should not be perceived as a threat, but as an opportunity for growth”, said His Excellency Mario Cospito, the ambassador of Italy in Romania, at the conference where the study was launched. His Excellency mentioned that the access to education, to labor and the empowerment of women and children have a great impact on the role that this very young population can play in the future. „We cannot let these communities to live at the periphery of the society, as they belong to it”, concluded the Italian ambassador.
The access to education for the Roma people living in Spain is one of the main factors of the successful integration process in this country. His Excellency Estanislao de Grandes Pascual, the ambassador of Spain in Bucharest, mentioned that Spain has one of the largest Roma populations in Europe and that the changes that took place in his country in the last 30 years in terms of social integration were remarkable. „It is very important to cooperate and to transfer best practices from one country to the other”, said His Excellency during the conference.
The Migration of Roma Population
85.6% of the Bulgarian Roma and 67.6% of the Romanian Roma who are migrated in Italy said that finding a job was their main purpose of leaving their home country. More than half of the Roma migrants in Spain said the same thing. In order to help them, the Spanish authorities offered counseling for finding a job to 60 percent of Bulgarian and Romanian Roma.
The destinations for migration are different for the Bulgarian and Romanian Roma. 35% of Romanian Roma who intent to travel want to migrate in Spain and 21 percent of them in France. Greece is the favorite destination for 22% of the Bulgarian Roma, followed by Spain and Germany.
Linked with their major cause of migration, the survey highlights other important difference between these countries concerning the unemployment rate. The lowest unemployment rate is in Spain with 36,4%, followed by Italy with 37,3%, Romania with 48,6% and Bulgaria with 58,7%.
The study is part of the project “EU INCLUSIVE. Data transfer and exchange of good practices regarding the inclusion of Roma population between Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain”, project co-financed from European Social Fund through Sectoria Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007-2013. The project is conducted by Soros Foundation Romania in partnership with Open Society Foundation Sofia, Bulgaria, Fondazione Casa della Carita “Angelo Abriani”, Milano, Italy, Fundacion Secretariado Gitano, Spain.
Roma in Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain, between Social Inclusion and Migration. Comparative Study” was realized by a team of sociologists from Soros Foundation Romania, Fondazione Casa della Carità Angelo Abriani, Italy, Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Spain, Open Society Institute-Sofia, Bulgaria. The volume was coordinated by Daniela Tarnovschi, sociologist from Soros Foundation Romania.
The data were collected by using statistically representative samples for Roma populations from each of the four countries (Bulgaria, Italy, Romania and Spain) and exploratory samples for Roma migrants in Italy and Spain.
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