Social Inclusion Through Social Services: The Case of Roma and Travellers

03 March 2007

Social Inclusion Through Social Services: The Case of Roma and Travellers

This report contains the results of an impact assessment conducted by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the Portuguese social research centre Númena Centro de Investigação em Ciências Sociais e Humanas in 2006 on government policy in the area of social services and the social inclusion of Romani and Traveller people in the Czech Republic, France, and Portugal. The research was aimed at exploring, highlighting and evaluating the impact of National Action Plans for Social Inclusion (NAPs) in the aforementioned countries as well as providing a gauge of the effectiveness of the NAPs. The report provides a compelling case for action by all actors in the field of social services in the target countries as well as useful quantitative and qualitative data for the reader's digestion.

The main findings of the report provide insights into the severe deficit between the NAPs avowed goals and their actual implementation and achievements, showing that more efforts need to be made in order to achieve the desired goals of the NAPs. The report stresses that whilst the NAPs continue to provide the guiding principle for state policy in the area of social inclusion, they will remain hollow promises without the requisite governmental investment in terms of funds and manpower. This report is a provocative testimony of well-intentioned acts being rendered redundant by the lack of commensurate governmental commitments and is a study that is indispensable in the ongoing analysis of the plight of Europe's various Romani and Traveller communities.

Research toward, and publication of, "Social Inclusion Through Social Services: The Case of Roma and Travellers" was supported by the European Commission, with co-financing from ERRC core donors Open Society Institute and the Sigrid Rausing Trust.

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