National strategy for Roma integration
Among the main goals of Spain’s strategy are reducing absenteeism of Roma children from school and eradicating slums.
Council of Europe estimates: approximately 725,000 Roma live in Spain (1.57% of the population).
National Roma Integration Strategy
Spain’s National Roma Integration Strategy defines the roadmap for public policies in the area of the social inclusion of Roma. In laying down policies focused on the gradual elimination of poverty and social exclusion among marginalised Roma communities, in particular in the areas of education, employment, health and housing, the strategy recognises the importance of developing local action plans reflecting the needs of individual communities.
The strategy relies on consultation and co-operation with all stakeholders, including NGOs, the media, academia, and the Roma themselves. The lives of the Roma in Spain have improved over the last 40 years, and Spain’s strategy was conceived to strengthen the work done so far in national plans and policies handling education, employment, housing and healthcare. The strategy’s main goals include reducing school absenteeism and early dropouts, reducing job precariousness by improving professional qualifications, and eradicating of slums. The National Reform Programme (NRP) proposes a series of measures that directly contribute to the social inclusion of Roma.
National Roma contact point
Each Member State was invited to appoint a National Contact Point for the National Roma Integration Strategy with the authority to coordinate its development and implementation. In Spain it is the Ministry of Health, Social Services, General Directorate of Services for Family and Childhood.
Spain’s strategy implementation
In Spring 2014, the Commission adopted its assessment on the progress made in the implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies in the four key areas of education, employment, healthcare and housing, as well as in the fight against discrimination and the use of funding.
- The European Union and the Roma – Factsheet Spain
Integrating Roma into the labour market - ACCEDER Employment Programme
The ACCEDER Employment Programme implemented by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano supports the access of the Roma to training and employment via targeted measures. These measures include the combination of guidance, counselling and training activities, with the search for employment in private companies and a follow-up process of labour insertion after the beneficiary has started the job.
Since it was launched in 2000, it has had 74,600 beneficiaries, facilitated the inclusion in the labour market of more than 20 000 people, and concluded more than 50,800 job contracts. The programme received additional financial resources of €10 million in 2012 and €2.1 million in 2013. The total budget (ES, excluding co-funding) of the programme for the period 2007-2013 increased from €41 million to €53.1 million. In addition and in the framework of ACCEDER, a specific programme has been developed in 17 cities aiming at the labour integration of Roma aged 18-30. It combines theoretical and practical training in a real work environment with a training schedule that allows participants to go through various job positions within the same sector.
'When I grow up I want to be…'
The project 'When I grow up I want to be…' is co-financed by the European Social Fund and is aimed at getting more young Roma (aged 7-10) to attend school. A workshop bus with a photographic studio travelled through 38 Spanish cities visiting Roma neighbourhoods, allowing the children to create photomontages reflecting their dream jobs. They then brought this art home with the message, “Whatever your dream may be, finish secondary school”. The project has thus far reached 2,800 children and their families.