Data show that Roma and persons with disabilities face deprivation and social exclusion

May 13, 2015

Children with disability in Tirana

Findings of two studies namely: “Roma and Egyptians in Albania: a socio- demographic and economic profile based on the 2011 census” and “Social and Economic Profile of People with Disabilities based on Census 2011 analysis” released today, show that Roma and Egyptians and persons with disabilities face high levels of deprivation and social exclusion. The release of those two reports represents the first attempt to quantify and profile the population of persons with disability and Roma in Albania and provide the baseline on their socio-economic situation.

The Census 2011 analysis on Roma and Egyptians in Albania revealed that they the most excluded segments of society. Roma appear to be systematically excluded from social housing schemes, economic benefits and most other social services.  The demographic profiles of these two communities are in contrast with the rest of Albanian population. The age structure reflects high level of fertility rates and high mortality rate. The median age of Roma is 26 years old, 29 years old for the Egyptians compared to 35, 5 years for the rest of Albanians.  The study indicates that the early marriage and thus early parenthood are frequent: at 20 years old, 60% of Roma women are already married (two times more than the rest of the Albanian Women) and 43% of women aged 18 years old have already given birth to a child.

Lower school attendance and early drop out result in low level of education and widespread illiteracy among the two communities.  A very significant indicator is the proportion of children who are not attending compulsory school.  According to the census data, most of the Albanian children (97%) and Egyptian (93%) children aged 6 to 9 years old attend primary schools while only 55% of Roma children. Drop out of enrolled Roma pupils between 10 and 16 years old reach 30% for the boys and 44, 6% for the girls.
According to data the gross employment and unemployment rates highlight the very low level of economic activity of the Roma and the Egyptians.
Thus less than a quarter of each group is employed. Moreover, only 15% of the Roma women and 13% of the Egyptian women are employed.
Unemployment rate for Roma women is 58% and 73% for Egyptian women.  Almost all Roma are employed in the informal sector thus not being able to participate in the mainstream economy.

The analysis of Census 2011 on Persons with Disabilities in Albania revealed that 6.2 % of the adult population in Albania suffers from some sort of disability.

96 percent of children aged 6 to 14 in the non-disabled population are attending school, compared to only 75 percent of children with some disabilities. The numbers are slightly higher for girls compared to boys – respectively 7 and 4 percent.

Children living in households led by a disabled household head are less likely to attend school. In Albania, disabled adults are much less likely to be participating in the labor market than their non-disabled peers. Thus, 8 in 10 disabled working-age adults are out of the labor force, i.e. neither working nor looking for work. Consequently, disabled adults are 5 times less likely to be working than the non-disabled population.

“Action is needed to improve the social standing of groups such as the disabled persons, Roma and Egyptian communities. But action requires good knowledge, accurate information and evidence-based advice.  Support can only be successful if the related analysis is based on solid data and such data is easy accessible.” – said Mr. Christoph Graf, Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in Albania

“The report provides evidence to inform policy makers in the design of policies and programs that respond to the specific needs of such communities. These call for coordinated efforts to combat poverty, inequality and social exclusion”- said the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun

These two studies are developed by UNDP in the framework of “United Nations Support to Social Inclusion Programme in Albania” funded by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Albania and implemented  in partnership with the Government and United Nations Agencies in Albania.

Contact information

Nora Kushti
Communication Manager

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