Marginalized Roma community still most excluded in Albania

May 17, 2018

Adi-a 8 year old Roma living in Tirana

Albania has made progress in meeting targets outlined in the National Action Plan for the Integration of Roma and Egyptians for 2016-2020. The compulsory education enrolment rate of marginalized Roma children significantly increased in Albania from 2011 to 2017. Notable progress among marginalized Roma resulted in a decrease in the gap with respect to non-Roma neighbours from 42 percentage points in 2011 to 30 percentage points in 2017. Completion rates in compulsory and upper secondary have been increasing as well. Some progress has been made also on personal documentation: nearly all marginalized Roma as well as non- Roma living in their vicinity have birth certificates, and coverage of ID cards has been increasing.  Access to personal documents has improved for both groups.

Marginalised Roma continue to face limited access to opportunities in virtually every aspect of human development such as basic rights, health, education, housing, employment and standard of living, argues the Regional Roma Survey 2017 launched today in Tirana.The Survey is the second major collection of data on marginalized Roma carried out in Albania, after the first round of the survey collected in 2011. Albania data was presented at a workshop that gathered representatives of the EU Delegation to Albania the World Bank, UNDP in Albania the Istanbul Regional Hub, and local development partners.

Main data of the survey show that there is a wide gap between marginalised Roma and neighbouring non-Roma in terms of human capabilities and material well-being. While pre-primary education enrolment rate of marginalised Roma children in Albania, at 35 percent, is the highest in the region, it still lags behind that of their non-Roma neighbours, and gaps in education are especially wide for compulsory education and beyond, with less than half of young marginalised Roma aged 18-21 having completed compulsory education. Roma women continue to wed young, early marriage incidence is persistent and high. Housing and living conditions continue to be a great concern. Though there has been significant progress since 2011, marginalised Roma are still more likely to live in overcrowded dwellings. They are also less likely to have access to piped water and electricity or to be connected to public sewerage or a waste water tank.

Participants at the workshop discussed the implications of the survey results for policy making and programming and brainstormed on how to use the data for monitoring, evaluation and reporting purposes.

The survey was supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. The data gathered through this survey will form the basis for an upcoming analytical work on Roma Inclusion in the Western Balkans that will be released later this year.

As part of the event, a Virtual Reality documentary entitled ``I am Fatmira`` was premiered for the first time in Albania, showcasing Roma reality seen from the perspective of a determined Roma women residing in Fushe Kruja, Albania.

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