Our Roma projects

Roma people have faced significant challenges in England and Wales, including discrimination, social exclusion, and inadequate access to basic services. These challenges are compounded by a lack of awareness and understanding of Roma culture and history. Despite some progress in recent years, such as the recognition of Roma as a distinct ethnic group under the Equality Act 2010, many Roma people continue to face significant barriers to their full participation in society. Advocates for Roma rights are working to address these issues by promoting education, awareness, and policy changes that recognise and support the unique needs and contributions of Roma people in England and Wales.

Improving experiences of Roma families with Children’s Services

We are excited to start our new research project in collaboration with Roma NGOs, Anglia Ruskin University and Lancaster University - Centre for Child and Family Justice Research. Our main aim is to identify challenges and barriers that Roma families face when interacting with Children’s Services and identify good practice models and possible solutions. We will do this by engaging multiple stakeholders, analysing data, and conducting focus group meetings. We will produce two publications and a launch event to highlight the findings and recommendations for policy/practice change. The report will be publicly available on Law for Life’s website, Lancaster University’s website, and Anglia Ruskin’s website.

We started this research in January 2023 and expect to publish the report in early 2024.

Using the law to reduce disadvantage in the child protection process for Roma families and other marginalised groups

Law for Life is working on a two-year project to reduce disadvantages in the child protection process for Roma families and other marginalised groups. We will update Roma champions on procedural and legal changes in the child protection process that happened as a result of the pandemic and empower Roma parents to engage positively with safeguarding professionals. We will also adapt the successful training model for Roma champions to meet the needs of two more groups. We will also work with Roma NGOs and initiatives across England, as well as key safeguarding agencies, to improve awareness of legal and non-legal mechanisms to tackle disadvantage and improve the experiences of Roma parents.

Multimedia toolkit for Roma parents

This project aimed to address the need for knowledge and understanding of the legal framework of child protection among Roma parents in the UK. We developed a multimedia toolkit which included an information guide, a short film narrated by Roma community members in Romanes, and three community training sessions delivered in London, Rotherham, and Derby. The project was motivated by a substantial increase in the number of Roma children in the UK care system in the last five years. The toolkit is intended to help Roma families understand their legal rights and responsibilities, make the legal frameworks more accessible, and to support Children’s Services to engage more effectively with Roma families.

This project started in September 2017 and was completed in September 2018. The guide and film continue to be available on Advicenow.

Thank you to the Tudor Trust for funding this work.