[Press release from AGE Platform Europe, Brussels, 8 April 2014] On the occasion of the International Roma Day, AGE and ERIO join efforts and publish a common statement aimed to guide Roma integration policies so that the issue of older Roma is not left out of the equation.
Remarkable progress has been made in recent years towards a greater inclusion of both Roma and older people within European societies. These developments are best exemplified on the one hand by the EU Council recommendation on enhancing effective Roma integration measures in the Member States and on the other hand by the Council of Europe recommendation on the promotion of human rights of older persons. Still, an integrated life-course approach towards older Roma continues to be largely absent in those policy developments.
“Roma integration policies should take into account the vulnerable situation of older Roma persons, who are often subject to multiple discrimination and are one of the most excluded groups of society. A life-course approach is necessary for the effective integration and improvement of the living conditions of older Roma”, says Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General.
Although acknowledging the importance of the existing European instruments, AGE and ERIO joint statement underlines the lack of a mainstreamed ageing dimension focused on older Roma within European and national-level policies and proposes specific recommendations in key areas of discrimination and exclusion of older Roma, including health, employment, education, housing, poverty reduction, participation and empowerment. Only a true life-course approach in designing, implementing and monitoring inclusion policies can result in an effective integration and improvement of the living conditions of older Roma.