The Roma and Saami are among the largest minority groups that have experienced an increased level of persecution and hardship across Europe. Both the Romani and Saami people face a myriad of challenges which hindered their economic and socio-cultural growth. Evidence indicates a significant spread of high poverty index, poor housing, and low educational standards among individuals of this ethnic populace (Morris, 2016). Equally, the population is inhibited from accessing labor markets compared to residents from different ethnic groups from East and Central Europe. For instance, the social marginalization of the Romani has enhanced pressure on the use of public services like the GPs. Reports have shown an increased tension between the community and the non-Romani across various parts of Europe over the past few years. The contentions are due to the accusations of anti-social traits, coercion, and theft exhibited on the Roma populace (Dobos, 2014). Additionally, assertions of xenophobia and stigmatization on the Roma and Saami inhabitants are some of the reasons for the disputes.
Comparison of the Problems Faced by the Romani and Saami Group
According to reports, most people in the Roma community are substantially barred from the mainstream labor market due to lack of knowledge, skills, and experience in the required profession. Studies indicate that the majority of the individuals work in the independent sectors of the economy as casual laborers for non-statutory employment organizations (Morris, 2016). Equally, despite a continued attempt by the UN to implement the indigenous people rights, the Saami are discriminated in employment sector due to their resistance to adopt the western culture (Shavrina, 2014). Additionally, most of the employed people from the Saami group are subjected to low salaries and poor job settings.
Most Roma individuals experience English language and literacy hurdles when seeking for employment. Recent studies extrapolate that there is a minimal level of attendance and educational achievement among the Romani and a significant degree of discrimination against Roma pupils (Morris, 2016). Equally, the Saami still feels that the schools facilitate discrimination on their children by not promoting identity and protection to juveniles facing harassment (Inga, 2016). As such, high illiteracy among the communities is the basis of the continued and historical segregation in the education system.
Compared to the Saami that is currently enjoying decent housing based on the implementation of equal rights, Roma communities face the challenge of acquiring a standard house (Morris, 2016). The Romani populace resides in poor accommodations found in private lands and disproportionately experience homelessness. Equally, the individuals are significantly oppressed by the landlords compared to the non-Romani residents. Due to the unsecured rental housings, there is a substantial turnover of the Romani group enhanced by the ease in which the owner of the houses can eject them.
According to reports, the Romani community experiences a high level of health challenges consisting of decreased life expectancy, increased child deaths, and incidences of chronic ailments. Some of the primary factors for poor health include language barrier, unawareness of the registration necessities, and missed infant immunization (Morris, 2016). Lack of trust between the Romani and nurses are some of the factors contributing to discrimination. Equally, the poor relationship between Romani patients and health professionals also play a role in the poor health of the group. However, the Saami populace is currently experiencing the provision of quality health after the implementation of indigenous people’s right (Zashikhina, 2014). The result of improved medication among the Saami include reduced cases of disease prevalence and mortalities.
Comparisons of how the Romani and Saami Responds to the Challenges
The Roma parties are among the strategies adopted by the community to respond to the challenges impacting their development. The parties recognize Roma as one of the national and ethnic minority groups in the country and agitate for the unity and integration of the Roma people in various political spheres (Dobos, 2014). Equally, the group involves the use of local NGOs to create awareness on the need for equal application of the law to avert cases of discrimination. However, the Saami group has agitated for the reintroduction of Sami language in learning institutions to enhance the passage of the Saami culture to the children (Inga, 2016). Additionally, the disintegration of the union between the Norwegian Saami and Sweden offered the individuals an opportunity to incorporate some of the policies that facilitate equality in the country.
Roma people are among the largest ethnic group across the globe. The community is spread across Europe and experiences various forms of discrimination that limit its development. Most of the Romani people live in poor households compared to the Saami. Additionally, lack of trust between the Roma patients and health professionals impedes the provision of medical care to the group. Studies indicate that both the Romani and Saami residents have a limited education which prevents them from attaining jobs in the legitimate employment agencies. The groups stay in areas with poor conditions compared to people from the majority tribes. The Romani incorporates the use of political parties and local NGOs to agitate for their rights. Equally, the incorporation of the Saami language in schools acted as a way of promoting Saami culture among the children.
Dobos, B. (2014). Roma Responses to Recent Challenges: Roma Political Parties in the Times of Crisis. http://real.mtak.hu/27661/
Inga, R. (2016). Suffering Through the Education System: The Sami Boarding Schools. Retrieved from https://www.laits.utexas.edu/sami/dieda/hist/suffer-edu.htm
Morris, M. (2016). Roma Communities and Brexit. London: IPPR. https://www.ippr.org/files/publications/pdf/Roma-communties-and-Brexit_Oct2016.pdf
Shavrina, O. (2014). Trapped in the net of circumstances. Nature use practices of the Sami people of Lovozero in the changing socio-economic, administrative and environmental settings (Master’s thesis, UiT Norges arktiske universitet).
Zashikhina, E. (2014). The indigenous people Saami and their cross-border cooperation in the north of Europe (Master’s thesis). https://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/95902