Romanian Roma in the UK: What Next?

Besides of the work restrictions against the Romanian citizens in the UK, the group of Roma men in Seven Sisters Road are facing further difficulties due to the negative and media perception of Romanian Roma. The paradox, in my view, needs to be addressed because Roma people in the UK are seen as nomads, and therefore considered as a threat to the sedentary way of life in Europe. For more details on the Seven Sisters Road case study please see the following blogs that:

1. Half-in, Half-out: Romania’s Limited Rights in the EU
2. Main Challenges facing of Romanian migrants in the UK
3. Four profiles of Romanian Roma in Seven Sisters Road
4. What Would You Choose? The Practical Choices Faced by Romanians

The lives of Romanian Roma migrants could be improved if an integrated approach carried out by the Romanian Institutions (in the home and host countries), the EU institutions and the UK authorities would be implemented and carried out according to the following strategy:

[h3]1. Awareness raising campaign on the rights of Roma in the UK[/h3]

-Targeting both employers and employees
-Outreach teams with Roma mediators to interact on the streets, in churches and schools with Roma workers and their families
-Offering English classes to accelerate integration

[h3]2. Demand transparency from the UKBA [/h3]

The UKBA must answer questions about why increased waiting times for issuing work permits and be clear on steps to resolve this issue

[h3]3. Investigate refusal to issue national insurance numbers[/h3]

We need to know why so many Romanians are being refused national insurance numbers which  Romanian citizens need to apply for the self-employed status (the first step to legal employment).

[h3]4. Organise peer support through community organisations[/h3]

Currently, there is a lack of support and connection to local communities for Romanian Roma. Such organisation would provide a focal point for the community and an institutional way for Roma to interact with the community.

[h3]5. Make returning to Romania a viable option [/h3]

It may be possible to adopt a similar program to Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP). Other innovative programs such as supporting migrants entrepreneurship offer examples of return migration policies in action to support the case of Romanian migrants.

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