Ben Slay, Director of the UN Development Program's (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS, has described their recent Report on the Living Conditions of Roma in Slovakia as providing "ground-breaking data on the debilitating cycle of poverty which traps so many Roma in Slovakia."
Released on June 12 in Brussels, the report is part of the efforts being made by the UNDP to acquire reliable information on poverty in Central and Eastern Europe.
The study was based on data from the Roma Household Survey 2005, which was carried out by the UNDP and the World Bank.
The selection of locations in which data was collected was based on the Sociographic Mapping of Roma Communities in Slovakia, which was carried out by the Office of the Plenipotentiary of Roma Communities in Slovakia.
Representing the most comprehensive survey of Roma households carried out in Slovakia to date, the report covers the following areas: living status and condition, health, income, expenditure, employment, education and social benefits.
The research showed that within the Roma population, there is a high rate of dependency on social assistance, with nearly three-quarters of households receiving some social benefits related to material need.
Nonetheless, Roma households continue to make less than full use of the benefits that the system offers. There is a very low rate of engagement in the labour market among the Roma population of productive age (11 percent for men and 5 percent for women). Eighty-six percent of members of the Roma population of productive age who do not work are registered at a labour office. Most unemployment is long-term, which leads to the loss of working skills.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Jun 2007 at 11:42