5. Is it OK to call Roma “gypsies”?
In most languages, “gypsy” is considered insulting and is rejected by Roma organizations. “Roma” is the right word to use for all related groups, regardless of their country of origin. It became the accepted global term in 1971, when representatives of Roma communities adopted a flag, anthem and international day (8 April).
6. How many Roma are there?
There is no official or reliable count of Romani populations worldwide. In Europe, there are between 10 and 12 million Roma. Most of them – around two thirds – live in central and eastern European countries, where they make up between 5 and 10 per cent of the population. Romania has the largest Roma population in Europe. There are also sizeable Romani minorities in western Europe, especially in Italy, Spain, France and the UK.
7. What’s the situation for Roma in Europe today?
Millions of Roma live in isolated slums, often without electricity or running water, and struggle to get the health care they need. Many live with the daily threat of forced evictions, police harassment and violent attacks. Romani children also often suffer segregation in schools and receive a lower standard of education.
8. What impact does this have?
Roma have more health problems, worse housing and lower literacy levels than non-Roma people. On average, they earn less and are more likely to be unemployed. Without good jobs, they can’t afford proper housing, good health care, or a quality education for their children.
9. Why is this happening?
This situation is not the inevitable result of poverty. It is because of centuries of prejudice and discrimination from governments, institutions and individuals.