Roma represent one of the most vulnerable minority groups in the Republic of Moldova. Though the estimated population according to the 2014 census was around 9,000 (0.3 per cent of the population), Roma leaders believe that the actual figure is around 250,000.
Roma are disadvantaged in many aspects of their lives, including employment, health and education. According to a 2014 report by UN agencies, ‘Romani children face segregation at school, while many Romani families live in deprived and segregated areas with poor quality housing, lack of basic services and limited access to healthcare.’ Instances of trafficking, domestic violence, child labour and child marriage are more widespread among this minority. Though the Action Plan 2011-2015 was adopted and the establishment of Roma Community Mediators at the community level is ongoing, the UN CEDAW Committee expressed concern about the insufficient resources available for the implementation of the Action Plan, with only 15 mediators appointed.
One positive milestone was the election in June 2015 of two Roma women to positions in municipal councils – a significant event given the profound institutional discrimination faced by Roma, particularly women.
Updated January 2018
Minorities and indigenous peoples in