Slovak Government says new data show quality of life for Roma is gradually improving
More and more Romani people in Slovakia are living in normal conditions and the growth rate of the Romani population is slowing down. Those findings are based on data from the recently updated "Atlas of Romani Communities" presented by Ábel Ravasz, the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Roma, earlier this month.
International organizations and NGOs are warning that some Romani people in Slovakia continue to live in inadequate hygienic conditions. "The Atlas includes information about where the Romani community in Slovakia lives and in what type of concentrations, as well as information about what the living conditions are like in those localities, whether they have access to potable water, gas or electricity, for example. Because we have managed to formally define and 'kick-start' this data collection system, I can claim that at this moment there are no localities in Slovakia where Romani people are living in a concentrated way without our knowing about it," Ravasz said.
According to estimates, there are currently 440 000 Romani people in the country of five million. The Atlas was begun in 2004 and was previously updated in 2013.
At that time the Romani population was estimated to be roughly 403 000 people. During the 2011 census, however, just 106 000 people described themselves as Roma.
"From the data we see that the growth of the Romani population in Slovakia is gradually slowing and that more and more Roma are living in normal conditions. One example of that is their access to potable water, 61 % of the residents in the 100 biggest Romani communities in Slovakia have plumbing. In 2013 that number was 48 %, and in 2004 it was just about 36 %. We also see significant progress in other areas," Ravasz explained.
"Larger Romani communities live in 804 towns and villages all over Slovakia," the Plenipotentiary reported. The authors of the study ascertained smaller groups of Romani people are living in another 373 municipalities.
The data collection took place in all regions from December 2018 to March 2019. The Office of the Plenipotentiary collaborated on it with the Institute for Labor and Family Research as part of a national project on Monitoring and Assessing Inclusive Policies.
"The data collection itself took place in several phases - during the first round all local authorities in Slovakia were asked whether they had registered the presence of Romani communities living in a concentrated way on their territories. Next, data were collected from the local administrations by questionnaire about the dwellings, the local infrastructure and the civic amenities in such municipalities. After that initial mapping, the field workers from the Institute for Labor and Family Research went to the communities to check the information on the spot and to supplement it with their own findings. Next, we cross-checked the information acquired with the data collected by the regional bureaus of the Office of the Plenipotentiary. Before publishing the Atlas, our office gave experts an opportunity to express their opinions of the data we have collected, and together we took care to augment it and to eliminate any possible imprecision," explained Ľuboš Kovács, an analyst with the national Monitoring and Assessing project.
"We want to use the Atlas to support projects in localities where it is necessary to improve the situation and to thereby equalize the differences in living standards in Slovakia. However, the data will also be used by scientists for their research, by nonprofit organizations, and by the communities themselves. Together we want to continue to work for the quality of life of Romani people in Slovakia to improve and for the differences between the majority and minority in that regard to be erased, and as a final consequence, for their coexistence to improve," Ravasz said.
According to an analysis done last year by the Slovak Government's Institute for Financial Policy, the state of health of the Romani minority in Slovakia is significantly worse than that of the majority population, as demonstrated by the lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rates among Roma. The reason is their poor living conditions and the insufficient use of health care in Romani communities.
- Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová has breakfast with Romani students
- Slovak MP insulted Romani people and spread xenophobia, loses his seat after being convicted of felony defamation
- Slovak Fascists want to change laws about online media to prevent libel
- European Roma Rights Centre gives legal aid to victims alleging Slovak police brutality
- Slovak Constitutional Court awards compensation to Roma for 13-year court case - but the discrimination sued over still has no final ruling
- Slovakia: Video of police intervention against Roma at gas station goes viral, sparks protests
- Slovak President: The Holocaust of the Roma cannot be forgotten, especially when hatred is becoming a political tool once more
- Infamous housing estate in Slovakia is finally turning around - continued
- Educator Martin Kaleja: From the Romani settlements in Slovakia to the Czech academic world
- Infamous housing estate in Slovakia is finally turning around
- Slovakia: Romani girl from settlement now champion runner in her region
- Slovak homeowner considers selling to Roma, so his neighbors graffiti his house and puncture his tires
- Slovakia: Dozens of children from orphanage ending up in psychiatric care - is it a business?
- Slovak Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities: We will focus on education and employment
- Czech film festival visited by seven Romani children from Slovak settlements to promote "Silent Days"
- Slovak Police arrest Czech citizen and two Slovak citizens on suspicion of extremism
- Slovak court grants early release to vigilante who murdered three Roma at their home, prosecutor complains
- Slovak survey of 450 settlements finds 80 % of households depend on borrowing money illegally
- Author Monika Duždová compares life for Romani people in England and Slovakia
- Commentary: Romani actors should boycott Czech cop show over antigypsyist content
- Slovak NGO reports that Romani children from excluded localities lack the online distance learning option
- Slovak trial of fascist party chair becoming protracted, he alleges the judge is biased
- Slovak Police refute disinformation alleging that rampaging murderer at school was Romani
- Slovakia: Two non-Romani assailants who invaded Romani home to personally deliver death threats given suspended sentences
- Slovak Prosecutor: Fascist pandemic is just as dangerous as COVID-19, trial of extreme politician begins tomorrow
- Slovak Education Ministry establishes expert team focused on solving problems with the education of members of national minorities
- Czech health official's ignorant claim about COVID-19 response in Romani settlements in Slovakia prompts pushback from MEP
- Željko Jovanović: Roma Resistance Day as a Moral Compass
- Slovakia: Six more inhabitants of Romani settlement test positive for COVID-19, are relocated to facility