Health promotion,
the Roma Community
and European policy
in favour of inclusion
  Madrid, 8-10 May 2002. Palacio de Congresos
y Exposiciones (Madrid Convention Centre)


















































The Roma people are an ethnic and cultural minority that have been residing throughout practically the whole of Europe ever since the XIVth century; their numbers in Europe today stand at an estimated eight million people. A proportion of them live in Community countries (mostly in the Mediterranean region), and a considerable number also reside in Eastern and Central European countries. We are therefore speaking of a heterogeneous ethnic group comprised of sub-groups whose social and personal realities are very different.

This European Conference, one more in a series of yearly conferences organised by the Sastipen Network every since 1995, intends to deal with the issue of health promotion in the Roma community from the framework of European inclusion policies, promote trans-national cooperation and the transfer of know-how and experience and it also intends to mobilise the different agents involved and foster debate on those issues that are vital to improving the quality of life and health of Europe's Roma community.

When we address the issue of health, we are referring to something that affects the lives of individuals, groups and whole communities and that is one of the most important indicators of inequality, quality of life and the degree of active participation as members of society with full citizenship. In this sense, the poor socio-economic conditions, educational deficits, difficulties encountered in gaining access to the labour market, sub-standard housing conditions and, more specifically, inadequacies with respect to health care and quality of life, are all aspects that contribute to making the Roma one of the most underprivileged groups, one that is most subject to exclusion or discriminatory processes and also one that has some of the most pronounced problems in all of Europe.

European policies aimed at inclusion identify basic work objectives such as stimulating an inclusive health policy for everyone, developing policies to deal with dependencies and guaranteeing access to health care for the most vulnerable groups and promoting partnership and collaboration among public and private entities for the development of health programs. The Gypsy population should also benefit from these action lines.

In light of the above it is our view that, to the degree to which we are capable of tackling the variety of problems facing this community (health being one of them), we will be contributing to the social and cultural advancement of the Roma people and will be fostering social cohesion throughout the different European countries.

This Conference is fundamentally aimed at:

  • Experts working in the fields of social services and health, in social organisations and Roma associations.
  • Those responsible for public social and health services, social organisations and Roma associations.


Wednesday 8 May

9.30: Participant registration and distribution of documentation.
10.00: Official inauguration:
· European Commission (Directorate-General - Health and Consumer Protection).
· Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs.
· National Drug Plan.
· National AIDS Plan.
· Secretariado General Gitano Foundation.
11.00: Opening presentation: Inequalities in health and social exclusion.
12.00: Coffee-break.
12.30: Presentation: Health and the Roma community: diagnosis, needs and action priorities.
13.30: Lunch.
15.30: Topic area: Health and ethnic minorities in European Union National Inclusion Plans.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
17.00-18.00: Debate.

Thursday 9 May

9.30: Topic area: The Roma community's access to both general and specific health resources.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
11.00: Debate.
11.30: Coffee break.
12.00: Topic area: Prevention and health promotion initiatives in the Roma community.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
13.30: Debate.
14.00: Lunch.
15.30: Topic area: Local services for the Roma population: social / health services.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
17.00-17.30: Debate.

Friday 10 May

9.30: Topic area: Run-down environments and health: shanty towns, mobile housing and sub-standard housing and their impact on the Roma population's quality of life.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
11.00: Debate.
11.30: Coffee break.
12.00: Topic area: Health and ethnic minorities in EU enlargement candidate countries.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
13.30: Debate.
14.00: Lunch.
15.30: Topic area: The role of European social organisations in the promotion of health in the Roma community.
· Introductory paper.
· Round table discussion on experiences.
16.30: Debate.
17.00: Reading of conclusions.
17.30: Closing ceremony.


· Registration fee
Up to 18 April 2002: 50 euros per participant.
After that date: 60 euros per participant.

The registration fee includes admittance into the Conference, documentation and lunch during the three days of the meeting.

Please deposit or transfer the registration fee to the following bank account and send us your proof of deposit:
C/ Añastro, 25
28033 Madrid
Account number: 2038-1187-28-6000377540
Payment should be made to: Fundación Secretariado General Gitano-VII Jornadas

For further information:
C/ Antolina Merino, 10
Madrid 28025
Tel: + 34 91 4220960
Fax: + 34 91 4220961



Financed by:



Sastipen Network

SPAIN. Fundación Secretariado General Gitano
PORTUGAL. Rede Europeia Anti-Pobreza/Portugal
ITALY. Coordinamento Nazionale Comunitá di Accoglienza
FRANCE. Union Nationale des Institutions Sociales d'Action sur les Tsiganes-Etudes Tsiganes
GREECE. Information and Support Centre for Gypsies