Lack of employment, not having the right to reside and not being habitually resident was highlighted throughout the research as having major impact on the lives of Roma in Ireland.
A significant number of Roma are being left without ongoing financial support (including child benefit), social housing supports (including homeless supports) and employment training supports, such as community employment.
This creates a vicious cycle where those in most need of employment and other supports cannot access them. It can also impact access to medical cards whereby people cannot prove their means. It impacts on access to education where families struggle with the finances needed to support children in school.
Enhance humanitarian responses for Roma families living in extreme poverty to ensure that adults and children are not living without food and basic accommodation facilities.
Develop national Roma training and employment actions in the following areas:
Undertake targeted training to support labour market activation of Roma in key areas, for example Roma community workers and professional Roma translators.
Support training programmes for Roma who are not habitually resident.
Provide support to Roma in ensuring documentation for social protection applications.
Review the legislative and policy restrictions that impact on the provision of medical cards for Roma with no income.
Take effective measures to tackle anti-Roma discrimination and racism with a priority focus on Roma women.
Introduce a standardised ethnic identifier using the human rights framework in routine administrative systems and in the Census.
Background to the Research
The Roma Needs Assessment was a mixed-methods study, based on human rights and equality frameworks. Roma researchers were involved at every stage of the project, from the design to the dissemination of findings.
This is the first national participatory research project of its kind with Roma in Ireland. It is also the first time that such a large number of Roma participants have shared information about their experiences.
Roma peer researchers conducted quantitative interviews in over 100 Roma households across Ireland, and Roma also participated in focus groups with representatives from civil society and statutory agencies.
Additionally, 30 interviews were conducted with policy-makers, practitioners, services providers and civil society representatives working with Roma.