Marginalized Roma community still most excluded in Albania
Albanian Daily News
Published May 17, 2018
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 withrespect to non-Roma neighbors from 42 percentage points in 2011 to 30 percentage points in2017. Completion rates in compulsory and upper secondary have been increasing as well. Someprogress has been made also on personal documentation: nearly all marginalized Roma as well asnon- Roma living in their vicinity have birth certificates, and coverage of ID cards has beenincreasing. Access to personal documents has improved for both groups. Marginalised Roma continue to face limited access to opportunities in virtually every aspect ofhuman development such as basic rights, health, education, housing, employment and standardof living, argues the Regional Roma Survey 2017 launched 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 workshopthat gathered representatives of the EU office in Albania, the World Bank, UNDP in Albania theIstanbul 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 thehighest in the region, it still lags behind that of their non-Roma neighbours, and gaps ineducation are especially wide for compulsory education and beyond, with less than half of youngmarginalised Roma aged 18-21 having completed compulsory education. Roma women continueto wed young, early marriage incidence is persistent and high.Housing and living conditionscontinue 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 lesslikely to have access to piped water and electricity or to be connected to public sewerage or awaste water tank.1
Participants at the workshop discussed the implications of the survey results for policy makingand programming and brainstormed on how to use the data for monitoring, evaluation andreporting purposes.The survey was supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Neighbourhoodand Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. The data gathered through this surveywill form the basis for an upcoming analytical work on Roma Inclusion in the Western Balkansthat will be released later this year.As part of the event, a Virtual Reality documentary entitled `I am Fatmira` was premiered forthe first time in Albania, showcasing Roma reality seen from the perspective of a determined Roma women residing in Fushe Kruja, Albania.