Vilnius starts a new phase in Roma integration
The city’s 2020-2023 integration programme takes into account suggestions by representatives of the Roma community, NGOs and involved institutions
- August 27, 2020 13:00
Vilnius City Municipality is taking another important step towards the integration of the Roma into Lithuanian society with the new 2020–2023 Vilnius Roma Integration Programme which the City Council approved yesterday.
Combating social exclusion and labour discrimination
"We are starting a new phase in Roma integration. The concerted efforts of the municipality over the past few years have yielded excellent results - there is no more a Roma camp in Vilnius. Now in the near future we will pay even more attention to various integration programmes and especially to education,” said Deputy Mayor Vytautas Mitalas, quoted by the municipal website.
Part of the programme's measures in areas like education, health care, culture, housing and employment are ongoing, but there are also innovative additions. Taking into account the remarks of the representatives of the Roma community, NGOs and institutions working with the Roma, the new programme incorporates measures to reduce stereotypes about Roma people, organize self-help groups for Roma women, train employees of various institutions on the peculiarities of working with the Roma, and promote Roma integration into the labour market.
It is planned to offer individual and group consultations of a psychologist, social pedagogue and social worker to Roma families with young children. It is also planned to commission a study on the enrolment of Roma children in Vilnius schools, which would analyze the availability of pre-school, primary and secondary education services for Roma children, as well as the effectiveness of cooperation between institutions responsible for the children's right to education.
Incentives for families
The programme also aims to promote Roma adult literacy, improve professional and social skills, increase vaccination coverage of Roma children, commission an independent study on Roma discrimination in the health sector as a basis for future action and reduce the number of Roma without health insurance. An additional service of an intermediary to accompany Roma children to medical institutions will also be provided. A system of incentives for families such as tickets to cinemas, swimming pools, events, etc, will be introduced.
During the implementation of the programme, the Vilnius city municipal institutions and organizations will be encouraged to employ Roma. Financial support will be provided for Roma members facing acute accommodation problems.
In order for the Vilnius Roma Integration Programme to be efficient, monitoring and supervision measures have been put in place. Annual reports on its implementation will be prepared and presented to the Vilnius City Municipal Council and published on the municipal website.
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