“Ending discrimination of Roma in housing and health: the role of Equality Bodies”

14 November 2018, Brussels
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO), in close cooperation with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) organised their annual workshop with Equality Bodies, anti-discrimination experts and Roma representatives on “Ending discrimination of Roma in housing and health: the Role of Equality Bodies”. The workshop was hosted by the Belgian Equality Body UNIA. 
Despite EU efforts to guarantee the inclusion and equal treatment of Roma, this community still faces high levels of discrimination and exclusion in numerous fields such as in housing and health.
Even though the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees the right to social and housing assistance to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources (Article 34) and the right to health care and health protection (Article 35), many Roma face poorer housing conditions and poorer levels of health than non-Roma populations in the EU. A third of the Roma live in housing without tap water; 38% do not have a toilet, shower or bathroom inside their home[1] in contrast to the general population average[2]. This has inevitable consequences on Roma’s health. For example, Roma suffer greater exposure to wider risks of ill health; they live less healthy lifestyles; have poorer access to and lower uptake of primary care and preventative health services and have shorter life expectancy[3].
Within the framework of the Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 and national laws on equal treatment, this workshop aimed to:
  • Assist the work of Equality Bodies and anti-discrimination experts to end discrimination of Roma in housing and health
  • Discuss the main challenges faced by Equality Bodies in eliminating housing and healthcare discrimination and any possible solutions/good practices they use to address them
  • Improve cooperation between Equality Bodies, Roma and civil society to end housing and healthcare discrimination of Roma
  • Contribute to the 2018 European Platform on Roma Inclusion debate by adding a legal perspective based on the  discussion with Equality Bodies and legal experts
[1] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2018) A persisting concern: anti-Gypsyism as a barrier to Roma inclusion
[3] European Commission (2014) Roma Health Report: Health status of the Roma population. Data collection in the Member States of the European Union


Presentations and useful links: 
Anne Gaspard, Equinet
Sheena Keller, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
Roma Inclusion in the Croatian Society: a Baseline Data Study (click here for the survey)
Fundación Secretariado Gitano 2017 annual report
Housing and health, Fundación Secretariado Gitano (Spain)
ERIO paper "Implementing National Roma Integration Strategies and the Racial Equality Directive: Challenges and solutions for Equality Bodies" (Romanes version available here)
Press release from ELPIDA, Greece
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