THE COMPLETE 2013 Atlas of Roma Communities is set to appear in the first half of March. The document examines the geographic locations of municipalities and cities containing Roma communities, as well as the concentrations and numbers of the Roma community.

“The Atlas brings the findings about the life conditions of Roma from the point of view of infrastructure, connection to plumbing and sewage, power, accessibility of services, schools and education possibilities,” Daniel Škobla of the Regional Centre of the UN Development Programme for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (UNDP), told the TASR newswire.

The study also looks into the legal ownership of land on which Roma communities live, as well as the access of those communities to hygiene and community and pastoral centres. The Atlas also examines the interest of Roma communities towards cultural and sports activities, as well as their civic and political participation.

The first findings were published in September 2013. According to the Atlas, more than 400,000 Roma live in Slovakia, making up 7.45 percent of the country’s total population, with three quarters of them living in Banská Bystrica, Košice and Prešov Regions.

Almost half of the Roma population (46.5 percent) lives dispersed among the majority, and only up to 13 percent live in municipalities and 17 percent live in segregated settlements. The average distance of a segregated community from the nearest municipality is 900 metres, while the furthest is seven kilometres, TASR reported, quoting the document.

The goal of monitoring Roma communities is to identify the most disadvantaged municipalities with Roma communities, which can then be eligible for development aid. In addition to the UNDP and the Office of the Slovak Government Proxy for Roma Communities, the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Ministry, the Union of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS) and Prešov University also participated in the project.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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