Equal, but not in our yard: Closed thinking on Roma inclusion in Europe

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Equal access to quality education is a fundamental human right and yet it is beyond the reach of thousands of Roma children living in Europe today. Over 90% of European youths enroll in secondary education and over 60% enroll in tertiary education. By contrast, under 20% of Roma youths (pejoratively called “Gypsies”) enroll in secondary education and under 1% enroll in tertiary education. These achievement gaps are often blamed on a failure of Roma culture to place value on education. In reality, longstanding patterns of economic, social, and political discrimination dramatically limit the educational trajectories of young Roma. Governments and institutions throughout Europe use a range of direct and indirect measures to segregate, isolate, and exclude the Roma community from participating in mainstream society.