Strengthening partnerships for Roma children’s participation in health policy and practice in Europe

Larkins, Cath orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2999-6916, Saitovic, M, Milkova, R and Bereményi, A (2020) Strengthening partnerships for Roma children’s participation in health policy and practice in Europe. European Journal of Public Health, 30 (S5). ISSN 1101-1262

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:


Abstract Background Whilst some Roma children thrive, many experience poor health, housing and nutrition. This is linked to antigypsyism, economic inequalities, poor experiences of healthcare and other denials of social citizenship. Children globally are demonstrating about climate change, an issue of particular importance to those Roma children living in the most polluted and hazardous conditions affected by environmental waste and climate related risks. Academic and policy discourse recognises that finding solutions requires involvement of Roma children and young people, but to date there is very little research in this field. This paper explores how Roma children (aged below 18) can guide policy and practice to promote public health and sustainable development goals. Methods A review of literature on participatory practice with Roma children and young people was combined with a qualitative European survey (conducted Feb - June 2020) in English and Bulgarian. Critical realist analysis of data identified mechanisms that enabled inclusive and impactful participation in public health related matters, for whom and in which circumstances. Results Preliminary results, illustrated with examples from three European countries, indicate that participatory practices are more inclusive where Roma children lead identification of the issues they wish to address; there are explicit links to current service and policy opportunities; intergenerational and intersectional alliances are built; opportunities are community- based, not simply engaging with children in education; and pathways towards employment are offered. Partnership with Roma and Pro-Roma NGOs is vital. Conclusions Success in public health related participatory practice with Roma children is promoted by using inclusive methods and making links between everyday challenges and local, national and international policy (reflecting on structural inequalities). There is need to build decision-makers' capacity and commitment. Key messages Roma children can be effective partners in public health policy and practice. Supporting Roma youth leadership enables inclusiveness.

Repository Staff Only: item control page