In times of pandemic and global health crisis, it is important to remember the most vulnerable – and often invisible – young children and their families.
The Roma population is the largest minority in Europe. Eighty percent are children and families at risk of poverty, who live without adequate housing, in crowded and unhealthy formal settlements or precarious informal slums, many of them without access to electricity, running and drinking water and sewerage. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges that many Roma communities face.
REYN, the community of early childhood professionals and practitioners promoting the wellbeing and holistic development of Romani and Traveller children in their early years, feels the urgency to put in the spotlight those children and families.
Knowing the long-lasting impact that the early years have on the health and wellbeing of every individual throughout their lives, we are concerned about the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young Romani and Traveller children living on the margins. We urge European leaders and country leaders to provide every child with the proper conditions to ensure protection and support in all aspects of life.