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Challenges to Collecting Ethnic Data on the Roma Minority in Europe

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines how data on Roma, needed for policymaking, can be collected in full respect of this ethnic minority’s human rights and interests. It expands on the large data gaps about Roma across Europe and considers multiple reasons why available data are often incomplete, unreliable or overlook vulnerable sub-groups. It reviews the advantages and disadvantages of various data sources on Roma, including (1) the limitations of official statistics, (2) the added value of research data, (3) the unreliability of complaints data and overrepresentation in crime data, and (4) the significance of international and European monitoring and litigation. This chapter also addresses methodological challenges. On the one hand, the complex and fluid nature of Roma identities complicates the construction of ethnic categories for Roma. On the other hand, the appropriateness of the various ethnical identification approaches depends on the context and purpose of data collection. Furthermore, the chapter examines methodological issues involved in interviewing Roma that affect the quality of the data collected, including sampling, type of interview(ers) and questions asked, and time and budget restrictions. It identifies four factors that must be considered when analysing and reporting on data on Roma, namely (1) biases, (2) terminological and methodological choices, (3) Roma diversity, and (4) transparency of data dissemination. This chapter also considers the impact of privacy and data protection rules on data collection efforts on Roma. Lastly, it highlights three principles—awareness-raising, active participation and genuine political will—that should be fulfilled when collecting data on Roma.

References

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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