52. Enhancing the social integration of Roma in Slovak Republic
Roma account for almost one-tenth of the population in the Slovak Republic. They live mostly excluded from the general population in concentrated settlements, separated neighbourhoods or ghettos. The majority live in poverty and face social exclusion in almost all aspects of everyday life. Only a small share of Roma work, and a majority suffer from long spells of unemployment, their educational attainment is low, and a large number are illiterate. Social exclusion is further exacerbated by rising general animosity and mistrust between Roma and non-Roma groups. This calls for immediate policy action. The government should ensure easy access to all public services and provide additional support for the disadvantaged Roma communities. Individual policies should be effectively coordinated, because the problems that the Roma are facing are interconnected. A necessary precondition for successful Roma integration is the support of the general population. Policy interventions towards Roma integration should be accompanied by measures to eliminate the prejudices among parts of the majority population against their fellow citizens.