European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network: The impact of Covid-19 on Roma communities in the European Union and the Western Balkans
Together with partners from seven EU Member States, five Western Balkan countries and Turkey, the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network has prepared an in-depth study about the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had and continue to has on Roma and Travellers across Europe.
The data collected in this survey confirms that marginalized Roma and Travellers are amongst the most affected and impacted by Covid-19, mainly due to their devastating living conditions and exclusion, triggered by widespread antigypsyism. As this study suggests, during the pandemic many Roma and Travellers living in poverty found it very hard to protect themselves from getting the virus because of lack of access to water and sanitation. This was even harder for those living in segregated and informal settlements and/or improvised shelters.
Despite some positive responses regarding immediate measures taken by some governments and local authorities to assist vulnerable groups, including Roma and Travellers, increasing concerns from ERGO’s members called for more consolidated data in order to better understand the situation of Roma and Travellers in the EU and Western Balkans and Turkey. The data is necessary to advocate for better institutional and political coordination and a focus on minimising the impact of the pandemic in its second and/ or third wave on vulnerable communities including Roma and Travellers.
As a result, ERGO Network together with its members and partner organisations prepared national surveys in seven EU countries and six Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The results of this survey constitute the basis of this report. Besides data on key areas of access to education, employment, basic needs, health and housing, migration, discrimination and gender aspects, it also includes recommendations from the respondents themselves as well as from ERGO Network.
ERGO Network carried out this work in the framework of the project “Roma Included in Social Europe”, funded by the EaSI Programme (all parts concerning EU Member States) and in the framework of the project “Romani Women Power of Change “ (all parts concerning Western Balkans and Turkey) carried out as a partner of Roma Active Albania and funded by the European Union.