The Roma population is young: 35.7% are under 15 compared to 15.7% of the EU population overall. The average age is 25 among Roma, compared with 40 across the EU. The vast majority of working-age Roma lack the education, cannot access labour market and consequently fall out of the social and health services package that in addition hampers their health.
The 12 to 15 millions of Roma living in Western and Eastern Europe exhibit some of the region’s worst health indicators. Discrepancies in health between Roma and majority communities reflect serious overall inequalities between the Roma and non-Roma population. One of the most efficient strategies used to date to address Romani health issues has been the creation, over a decade ago, of Roma Health Mediator (RHM) programs, carried out under the impulsion of Roma Civil Society Organizations.