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The Fundación Secretariado Gitano presents a "Comparative study on the situation of the Roma population in Spain in relation to employment and poverty" [editar]

24/09/2019
FSG

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  • The strong inequality and lack of protection in the access to economic and social rights in relation to the population as a whole, among the main conclusions.
  • Poverty and exclusion affect more than 80% of the Roma population and 46% are extremely poor; the child poverty rate stands at 89%; the unemployment rate among the Roma population is 52%; Only 17% of the Roma population over 16 have completed ESO studies or higher.
  • This is the third specific study prepared by the FSG (the previous ones are from 2005 and 2011) following the EPA (Spanish Labour Force Survey) methodology, which allows comparison with the general population.
  • For the FSG it is necessary to ensure that active employment policies and equality policies provide adapted responses for the labour inclusion of the Roma population.

"The majority of the Roma population suffers from a strong inequality and lack of protection in the access to economic and social rights in relation to the population as a whole." This is one of the conclusions of the Comparative Study on the situation of the Roma population in Spain in relation to employment and poverty 2018 that the Fundación Secretariado Gitano has presented today in Madrid.

The presentation was held at a conference whose objective has been to unite the results and conclusions of the Study to a debate on the role of public policies in relation to employment and poverty of the most vulnerable groups, such as the case of Roma population. A debate that seeks to provide recommendations to end the conditions that contribute to chronify structural poverty and thus break the generational circle of poverty and social exclusion.

With this Study, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano wants to make visible the socio-labour reality of the Roma population in Spain, its comparison with the Spanish population as a whole following the EPA (Spanish Labour Force Survey) model and its temporal evolution. The lack of disaggregated data in the general employment or social situation indicators makes invisible the reality of Roma people and that implies that in many cases there is no adequate response from public policies. This is the reason that leads the FSG to promote studies like this, from the conviction that employment is the best tool for social inclusion. Not only for what it means to generate resources for families, but because it implies coexistence, knowledge and breakdown of many negative stereotypes regarding the Roma population.

In addition to the quantitative study of the main demographic and socio-labour characteristics of the Roma population, the research, commissioned by the Iseak Foundation team, led by Sara de la Rica (University of the Basque Country), offers detailed information on Roma households to conduct a thorough study of poverty, including a regional analysis.

The sample of the research has been 1,492 questionnaires that provide information on the social, labour and economic situation of these people, but also basic information regarding a total of 6,015 co-inhabiting Roma people interviewed.

Main conclusions

The conclusions of the Study speak of a very young population, with 66% of people are under thirty, where poverty and exclusion affect more than 80% of the total of the Roma population and 46% is extremely poor (something with great impact on minors). The child poverty rate stands at 89% compared to 30.7% in the general population.

Another of the conclusions, reveals the low presence of the Roma population in the labour market, marked by precariousness and weak protection, with an unemployment rate that reaches 52% (which is more than 3 times that of the population overall, 14.5%), and where Roma women suffer a clear disadvantage in all areas due to their double status, such as women and Roma, with an employment rate that only reaches 16%.

The educational level is, by far, the main determinant for employment and, therefore, of the socioeconomic inequality of the Roma population. Only 17% of the Roma population over 16 have completed secondary education studies or higher, compared to almost 80% of the general population. This is the factor responsible for most of the inequality gap that separates Roma men and women from the standards of the rest of the population.

 

Recommendations to combat inequality and structural poverty

The persistence of the levels of social vulnerability of the Roma population revealed by the Study shows a structural, chronic problem that deepens the inequality gap between Roma people and the population as a whole.

To reverse this trend, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano makes a series of recommendations and proposes first of all to address the low level of education that affects the Roma population by launching a Crash Plan against the school failure of Roma students to ensure that all young people Gypsies and gypsies finish at least compulsory education, and continue studying until they reach educational levels similar to the young population in Spain in the next decade. Along with this, develop specific measures to eradicate the high incidence of extreme poverty and child poverty in the Roma population.

In order to address the situation of inequality with respect to employment, in relation to the initial disqualification, the FSG believes it is necessary to ensure that active employment policies and equality policies provide adapted responses for the labour inclusion of the Roma population.

 

Discussion tables: Public policies in the face of inequalities

Isidro Rodríguez, general director of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano, opened the presentation of the Study. Next, Sara de la Rica, Coordinator of the Study, Professor of Economics at the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU) and director of the ISEAK Foundation, presented the main data and conclusions.

The response of public policies to inequalities and employment has been the Panel that has framed the debate in which José Moisés Martín, Economist, General Director of Red2red and co-founder of Economists against the crisis and Enrique Martín-Serrano participated, Attached to the Secretariat of Social Protection and Public Policies, of Workers' Commissions; Maru Menéndez, Deputy General Director of Active Employment Policies and Consuelo Vélaz, General Director of Territorial Evaluation and Cooperation, of the Ministry of Education.

The second Panel has focused on the response of public policies to the situation of poverty and chronic exclusion of the Roma population where Amparo González Ferrer, Deputy Director of the Office of the High Commissioner against Child Poverty participated; Miguel Laparra, Doctor in Sociology of the Public University of Navarra, and former Vice President of the Government of Navarra; Angel Parreño, General Director of Services for Families and Children, Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare; Milagros Paniagua of the Budget Analysis Division of the AIREF (Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility).

Isidro Rodríguez, General Director of the FSG, Ana Isabel Lima, Secretary of State for Social Services and Raúl Riesco, Undersecretary of Labour, Migration and Social Security have closed the Day.

This study has been possible thanks to the financing of the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, the “la Caixa” Foundation and the European Social Fund (through the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security).


In few days this study will be available in english version in our website.

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