Grants awarded

Roma populations and health inequalities: deconstructing a European policy ‘problem’


Dr Lois Orton

University of Sheffield

United Kingdom

I will generate new information for the design of successful policies to improve the health of Europe’s Roma populations. Roma, the largest ethnic minority in Europe, have faced generations of racism and oppressive policy approaches, including segregation, forced settlement and sterilisation. Their health is the worst of any group in the region. Despite increasing policy attention, Roma disadvantage is increasing. Before we can know what needs to change to improve the situation, we need to understand the nature of the ‘problem’. Understandings must reflect Roma knowledge in order to challenge their ongoing oppression. 

I will work in partnership with Roma populations in England and Hungary to develop creative approaches to bring to life their previously neglected perspectives on who they are and what is important for their health. This will help counter the previously unquestioned policy assumptions that have dominated action to improve the health of Roma in these countries.