A wealth of literature gives evidence that various Roma communities have been living in Italy for centuries. In spite of that, there is still very little data availa- ble on the Roma population in Italy and their distribution across the regions. The dearth of information on the Roma people in Italy is due to several reasons such as: the lack of ethnic disaggregated data in the Italian national census; the gen- eral issue of the collection and retention of sensitive data; the prejudice of many Italian politicians who regard(ed) Roma as nomads and not permanently estab- lished in Italy, even if most of them have been living in the country for decades, at times being labelled by applying the persuasive oxymoron “settled nomads” (Dell’ Agnese & Vitale, 2007). These circumstances and the construction of the Roma as a public order problem or as foreigners (ibid.) in many national, regional, and local documents have prevented the social inclusion of many Roma particularly in the school system and in the housing sector (Simoni, 2009). Recently though, pub- lic interest has grown for best practices developed by cooperating local authorities and NGOs so as to multiply them under the lead of structural funds provided by the European Union (EU) and of the EU Framework for National Roma Integra- tion Strategies promoted by the same institution. This article focuses on the educational situation of Roma in Italy, while, at the same time, seeking to contextualize it in the broader Italian scenario. Starting with a description of the historical background of Roma infl uxes to Italy across the centuries, the article will then provide an overall view on the social situation of Roma, highlighting issues related to their legal status and the lack of recognition of Roma as either a national or linguistic minority in Italy. Finally, the paper will analyze the current situation of Sinti and Roma in the formal educational system, giving account of one best practice developed by non-formal education initiatives and accomplished on the local level.

The Education of Sinti und Roma in Italy – Facing Old and New Challenges / B.G. Bello, G. Halilovic - In: Die Bildungssituation von Sinti und Roma in Europa (Eng. Tr.: “The Educational Situation of Sinti und Roma in Europe”) / [a cura di] S. Hornberg, C. Brüggemann. - Münster : Waxman Verlag, 2013. - ISBN 978-3-8309-2841-6. - pp. 215-234

The Education of Sinti und Roma in Italy – Facing Old and New Challenges

B.G. Bello;
2013

Abstract

A wealth of literature gives evidence that various Roma communities have been living in Italy for centuries. In spite of that, there is still very little data availa- ble on the Roma population in Italy and their distribution across the regions. The dearth of information on the Roma people in Italy is due to several reasons such as: the lack of ethnic disaggregated data in the Italian national census; the gen- eral issue of the collection and retention of sensitive data; the prejudice of many Italian politicians who regard(ed) Roma as nomads and not permanently estab- lished in Italy, even if most of them have been living in the country for decades, at times being labelled by applying the persuasive oxymoron “settled nomads” (Dell’ Agnese & Vitale, 2007). These circumstances and the construction of the Roma as a public order problem or as foreigners (ibid.) in many national, regional, and local documents have prevented the social inclusion of many Roma particularly in the school system and in the housing sector (Simoni, 2009). Recently though, pub- lic interest has grown for best practices developed by cooperating local authorities and NGOs so as to multiply them under the lead of structural funds provided by the European Union (EU) and of the EU Framework for National Roma Integra- tion Strategies promoted by the same institution. This article focuses on the educational situation of Roma in Italy, while, at the same time, seeking to contextualize it in the broader Italian scenario. Starting with a description of the historical background of Roma infl uxes to Italy across the centuries, the article will then provide an overall view on the social situation of Roma, highlighting issues related to their legal status and the lack of recognition of Roma as either a national or linguistic minority in Italy. Finally, the paper will analyze the current situation of Sinti and Roma in the formal educational system, giving account of one best practice developed by non-formal education initiatives and accomplished on the local level.
Roma people in Italy
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Book Part (author)
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