On the occasion of April 12th, the International Day of Street Children, the Center for Youth Integration presented the results of research on Roma households in informal settlements in the premises of Cafe bar 16 (Cetinjska Street 15a).

On that occasion, the Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Tomislav Žigmanov, Dr. Nataša Tanjević, Deputy Ombudsman and Marko Tošić, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Integration, addressed the audience.

All three speakers emphasized the importance of a multisectoral approach in protecting children in a street situation and emphasized the necessity of prevention and support that these families need in a situation of extreme poverty. Education is recognized as the key to getting out of decades of deprivation and isolation, as well as helping parents with employment.

The coordinator of the Children’s Shelter, Mina Medić, presented the results of the research that the Center for Youth Integration conducted during November 2022, in 30 informal settlements, on the territory of 8 Belgrade municipalities.

Key research results:

• The number of households is 46% higher compared to the previous survey, conducted by CYI in 2018.

• Almost 60% of households live with an income of less than 24,000 dinars per month. Income means all income, including social benefits, formal, informal employment and street work. Bearing in mind that the average family in informal settlements has 5 members (two parents and three children), the conclusion is that the largest number of families survive on less than 5,000 dinars per month per member.

• Street work is the only way women in informal settlements earn an income (38.7%).

• Between 700 and 1200 children are involved in some form of street work. The most common are the collection of secondary raw materials and the resale of goods on the market, and at least 140 children are involved in begging.

• Over 85% of families said they need better nutrition, hygiene products and better clothing.

• 44% of girls had their first pregnancy before they were 16 years old, and 71.5% of them before they were 18

• In 14% of households, at least one child has completely dropped out of the education process.

• A third of children who meet the age requirement are enrolled in compulsory preschool education.

• One in ten men has served a prison sentence during their lifetime.

The research and its presentation, which was attended by more than 40 representatives of domestic and international institutions, the civil sector and the media, were carried out as part of the project “Protection of the rights of children in street situations in the Republic of Serbia” which is implemented by the Center for Youth Integration and financed by the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Serbia.

The International Day of Street Children was established in 2011, and was first celebrated worldwide on April 12th, 2012.

Full document: Research on Roma informal settlements, CYI