Information on the Roma in the case of Italy

In Italy there are no accurate figures on the current number of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti (RSC), even if the estimation provided by the EC indicates the number of 110,000 to 180,000 individuals, which represents around 0.23 to 0.25 per cent of the total population. The lack of knowledge about RSC Communities, accompanied by a high level of prejudice and discrimination, has exacerbated the idea that this population would be nomadic, hostile to sedentary life and, therefore in need of specific and temporary housing solutions. Still today, even if Opera Nomadi (the historical Italian association helping Roma and Sinti) estimates that around 60-80 per cent of the RSC in Italy live in houses, these camps continue to be designed and built by local authorities. Around 30,000 to 40,000 of RSC live in “nomad camps”, in a condition of severe housing precariousness and social marginalization.

Key problems

The human rights of thousands of Roma continue to be violated, particularly in the area of housing, as segregated camps, discrimination in access to social housing and forced evictions remain a daily reality for the Roma living in camps in Italy. As underlined in this report, the living conditions in camps are often inadequate, failing to meet international human rights standards and even the national regulations on housing.

Italy continues to evict Roma from informal camps, without the necessary safeguards such as consultation, adequate notice and others, in violation of the country’s ternational and regional human rights obligations and in contrast to other forms of evictions carried out in Italy. When evicted, Roma families are often not provided
with adequate housing alternatives, and they are instead often made homeless or placed into ethnically segregated camps or temporary accommodation. Roma are also sometimes forcibly evicted from authorized camps, when authorities decide to close them down, even if authorities do not offer inhabitants adequate alternatives.

The persistence of poor housing and financial situation of those RSC who live in camps or informal settlements, keeps on influencing their access to health and education. The RSC who live in informal settlements still register a high level of illiteracy and school drop-out rate, while school attendance for many RSC minors living in regular camps is made difficult by the location of the settlements, which are very often situated far from city centres and services.

Roma Civil Monitor Coordinators:

NGO coalition members:

RCM 1 (2017-2020) Italy Reports:

Roma Civil Monitor (2017) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in Italy: Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategyENGLISH – ITALIAN

Roma Civil Monitor (2018) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Italy: Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy ENGLISH – ITALIAN

Roma Civil Monitor (2020) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Italy: Identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy  ENGLISH – ITALIAN

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in Italy – ENGLISH

Roma Civil Monitor 2017-2020 country fiche: Italy