Parallel Lives


Parallel Lives Project
 Identifying the Roma Community across the East of England

(Please see below for information regarding the Migrant Workers Statistical Data Project)

Roma people have been identified as the most vulnerable in Europe; “disproportionately affected by poverty and discriminated against in employment, education, health care, and other services, they face obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. With the collapse of socialism in Central and Eastern Europe, Roma in the former Eastern Bloc lost what employment they had along with housing and social programmes. Facing racism and discrimination they fled as asylum seekers and later, after May 2004 (A8) and January 2007 (A2), became citizens of the European Union. However, subsequently, they faced anti-Roma attitudes in Western Europe, fuelled by negative media reports.

The Roma are not an homogenous ethnic group. They originate from various European Member States with different languages and cultures. In the UK Roma live in poor quality housing and in their countries of origin are subject to migration policies which may cause them to conceal their heritage in the UK. So it can be difficult for service providers to identify their Roma families.

Research into Roma communities has come mainly from a small number of projects in the Midlands, North and London. East of England information is limited, making it challenging to establish the precise impact of Roma on existing resident communities. The 2011 Census included Gypsies and Irish Travellers for the first time, but the Roma were not defined as a specific ethnic category. The possibility of including Roma as a specific ethnic category is being considered for future censuses. 

Regional Information

The results of our initial scoping exercise:

Parallel Lives Roma Project - Scoping Phase Results.pdf

Parallel Lives Roma Learning Event 2018