An Italy that I do not know. Roma and Sinti in Bologna: health, housing, culture. Roundtable in Bologna.

A roundtable on the living and health conditions of Roma communities in Italy entitled ‘An Italy that I do not know. Roma and Sinti in Bologna: health, housing, culture’ gathered professionals and other decision-makers on 20th June inBologna.

Organised by the municipality of Bologna, SRAP project coordinator, with the support of the University of Bologna – Department of  Public and Social Communication, the roundtable was opened and closed by Amelia Frascaroli, Councillor for Social Services at Bologna’s City Hall. It was attended by managers of local institutions.

The results of the action-research were discussed and the prevention method that is currently being designed and tested was presented.

Among the alarming trends identified by the research in the patterns of consumption among Roma teenagers are the early onset of tobacco consumption (11-12 years old), exposure to consumption of alcohol by adults (either binge drinking or alcoholism), underestimation of the effects of many drugs (e.g. cannabis is largely used and considered harmless, and there is also an alarming use of cocaïne and amphetamines), and the fact that some young Roma use heroin by injection in specific contexts. The recreational use of drugs and binge drinking over the weekend bring young Roma closer to the general youth “drug culture”. In some cases, the use of drugs even means the inclusion in gadji groups.

These results confirm the need to design interventions specifically aimed at young Roma and their communities, in order to raise awareness, and facilitate access to health and social services. Our research also indicates the need to use specific instruments to attract young Romas, and put them in contact with adequate services (outreach teams, mediation).

Participants also discussed various strategies of inclusion and health improvement. Prof. Pina Lalli, of the University of Bologna, explained that any strategy of inclusion must include a strong advocacy process in order to influence public policies and public decisions on resource allocation. Councillor Amelia Frascaroli pointed out that it is impossible to develop actions on health without working also on improving general living conditions of Roma communities.


Abstracts from the conferece available here.