“Further into the Margins” report is already available

There has been published a report on the Roma community that has been forced to resettle or leave their country of residence as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The analysis prepared by Oxfam in cooperation with Foundation Towards Dialogue, Aresel and the Tenth of April covers Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The report includes description of situation of Roma refugees and a list of recommendations addressed among others to public authorities.

As a leading organization working on behalf of Roma community in Poland, the Foundation Towards Dialogue took part in creating the report “Futher into the Margins. A regional report on Roma communities displaced by the Ukraine crisis”. The document is based on individual and group interviews conducted among representatives of international and national social organizations and authorities in Poland, Romania and Ukraine. In addition to describing the situation of displaced and refugee Roma, this report includes a list of recommendations addressed to EU and national authorities, social organizations and volunteers providing assistance to war victims.

Discrimination and exclusion

Roma community in Ukraine faced many challenges even before the war – they lived in horrible conditions, struggled with poverty and lacked access to basic services such as health care and education. The war significantly worsened such critical situation of Roma, for whom discrimination, inequality and exclusion are daily realities. The lack of identity documents, such as birth certificates and passports, makes it difficult for Roma community to access life-saving humanitarian aid and housing. Roma women face problems in the area of employment due to lack of formal work experience, low level of education and unfamiliarity with the official language. Professional integration is also hampered by the lack of childcare support. Roma refugee women in Poland and Romania face discrimination not only from authorities and offices, but also from people in voluntary services and other refugees.

List of recommendations

Improving the situation of Roma community requires a transnational, flexible and coherent approach that takes into account its history, experience and needs. According to the organizations engaged in the report creation, including the Foundation Towards Dialogue, there is an urgent need to create an institutionalized, international network that will guarantee Roma refugees assistance and support. The authorities of Ukraine and host countries should take measures to support Roma in the areas of law, administration and social benefits. On the other hand, the role of social organizations should be the creation of legal aid program addressed to refugees. Moreover, access to assistance benefits should not be restricted due to the lack of an identity document. Social organizations, including Roma organizations, as well as activists, need financial support from international NGOs and donors in order to be effective. They also need support in building coalitions and partnerships and in negotiating with authorities. The list of recommendations also included a recommendation addressed to authorities, community organizations and volunteers to include Roma community in the decision-making process.

Report is available HERE.

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