Roma health in the European Region


About 10–12 million Roma live in the WHO European Region, including an estimated 6 million in the European Union (EU) alone. Roma are disproportionately poor in many countries, and evidence suggests that they are concentrated among the poorest. The conditions in which most Roma live have serious consequences for their health.

Ensuring the rights and social inclusion of Roma is a priority in Europe, pursued by an international initiative (the Decade of Roma Inclusion, 2005–2015) and EU initiatives. WHO/Europe joined the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2011 and works with the European Commission, other United Nations agencies and many other partners.

WHO/Europe’s programme on vulnerability and health works to increase awareness of conditions that make people vulnerable to ill health, and to build political commitment and action to change them. It particularly addresses the needs of Roma, migrants and other ethnic minorities, guided by the values and principles of Health 2020, the European policy framework for health and well-being.