Ensuring the Social Inclusion of the Roma in Latvia
Society attitude, intolerance and discrimination against the Roma community.
Latvian majority of the population does not have direct, intense contact with the Roma in education or employment. The lack of everyday experience and contacts is the basis for the creation of prejudice against the Roma. Latvian people interacting with the Roma have emerged on the market or on the street (75.5%).
According to research carried out in 2003 ''The Roma position in Latvia'' only 12.8% of all respondents think that Gypsies are well integrated in Latvian society. 71% respondents say, that in Latvia the Roma create their own closed communities, which means, that there is segregation of Roma.
In society there are fear and stigma of contact with the Roma. For example, survey data show, that 43% of Latvian inhabitants don't want to be Gypsy neighbors. Another survey shows that if people had Gypsy neighbor, their behavior would be much more cautious - 52.4%.
Despite the numerous marginalisation features of the Roma community, to ensure effective community inclusion in society, integration process should be double-sided, including both community interests representatives and all Latvian society participation.