[Slovakia] Life in Slovakia's Roma slums: Poverty and segregation

10 May 2017

Aljazeera presents an idea of life in a Roma slum in Slovakia through a most recent article. In the centre of Jarovnice, Slovakia, rests a penurious village situated in the area of Sabinov, along the country's east. The news article characterizes the village as being shanty and poorly built. 

Considering the Roma unemployment rate is recorded at a high of 97%, the majority of the inhabitants rely on social assistance. It is approximated that the village is home to 6,548 residents, where 5,600 are Roma. Many homes are over capacitated owing to few electrical, water, and gas resources, therefore many homes lack sanitary drinking water and heat. According to this article, the village is plagued with systematic discrimination and low education levels, which coincide with its high unemployment rate. In general, Roma people in Slovakia are subjected to higher levels of arbitrary unfairness by law enforcement, as well as in the job and housing market, while experiencing high levels of racism, according to the article's reference to the European Roma Rights Centre. Furthermore, the article indicates that since 2008, segregation and violent acts toward Roma peoples has become even more prevalent. Moreover, the Slovakian government has continued to neglect the needs of its significantly sized Roma population. 

The article further looks at another Roma shantytown known as Lunik IX, which is located approximately 10 minutes away from Kosice, Slovakia's second largest city, and has approximately 4,500 to 6,000 residence while sharing much of the same characteristics with the former Roma slum. 

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