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Мeetings in Brussels

10 DEC 2018

Мs. Donka Panayotova, chairperson of NGO Organization Drom, travelled to Brussels in early December 2018 to meet with representatives of the European Commission. The meetings she held shed light on the living conditions of Roma in Vidin in the context of the report of NGO Organization Drom on Conditions for Access to Housing in the Roma Ghetto of Vidin.

During the meetings, Ms. Panayotova highlighted that half of the Roma in the Vidin Ghetto lives in extreme poverty, earning less than 1.9 USD per day. This percentage is higher than what is reported by national data about Roma living standards. This situation is unacceptable, as Ms. Panayotova noted, for a large population of one Roma Ghetto in Vidin, in a country that is a member of the European Union. She also discussed that one out of five Roma in the Vidin Ghetto has migrated abroad due to poor economic and social conditions. The process of migration has accelerated in the past decade, and it is no surprise that Roma who want to escape from poverty traps leave the Ghetto and go abroad. She also noted that long-termunemployment of Roma is very high. Limited number of Roma work (39%) but only 15% out of this group works under a contract. Discrimination in the labor market leads to this situation, in addition to poor qualification of Roma adults, and low levels of education. She also discussed access to housing conditions where over 40% of the buildings in the Roma Ghetto are still not legal, which raises issues of potential eviction. Finally, she commented that a new report Baseline study of Baseline Study of the Roma Community in Vidin is currently under preparation in partnership with the Helsinki Deaconess institute from Finland.