"Appalling situation"

No school for many Roma

Over half of Roma children in Sweden do not attend school at all, or have a very high rate of absence, says Maria Leissner, chairperson of the Delegation for Romani Issues, to Radio Sweden International. The situation is appalling, she added, expressing her outrage that this situation has not been addressed.

This depressing picture of many Roma children's absence from the Swedish school system has come to light as a result of an extensive government inquiry conducted last summer.

One of the inquiry's recommendations was that more funds should be allocated to Sweden's municipalities for Roma teaching staff, and highlighted the importance for Roma children to have Romani role models at school. This recommendation has received support from a number of educational consultative bodies.