New housing projects aimed at integrating Roma into their communities have not followed the standards set up for the project. Daniel Škobla, Poverty and Social Inclusion Officer of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) told TASR on July 24 that the projects are being constructed too far from village and town limits, and tend to perpetuate segregation rather than eliminate it. The projects have been funded by the European Social Fund.
Škobla also stated that he thinks the recent Public Health Service survey on Roma life did not have a representative sampling. The survey found that nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of Roma are not concerned about whether or not they have jobs. Škobla doubts the accuracy of these findings. He believes the best way to deal with Roma unemployment is with so-called 'affirmative action', which obliges companies who receive public funds to employ a certain percentage of Roma on a full-time basis. Škobla does feel, however, that the survey provided a useful picture of Roma health, food habits, hygienic conditions, birthrate and other matters, and highlighting problems that need to be dealt with, especially the issue of segregation of Roma in schools.
25. Jul 2008 at 13:00