Description of the situation

Among the basic questions of a comprehensive integration of the Roma is the issue of their employment which is not only considered a necessary condition for providing elementary existential opportunities, but is also regarded as one of the basic conditions for improving their integral socio-economic situation.


The problems related to the Roma employment or their role in the labour market have several specifics in Slovenia:


1.            There is no precise record on the number of unemployed members of the Roma community, since they are not registered in the unemployment records as members of the Roma community. This information can only be obtained through the typical Roma surnames and personal acquaintance with the clients which results in distortion of the data precision;


2.            In September 2009, 2,193 Roma were registered in the Employment Service of Slovenia (hereinafter referred to as 'the Service'), which is 2.5 percent of all registered unemployed persons in the Republic of Slovenia. The number of unemployed Roma is an estimate, since the records only register those who approve it;


3.            Certain types of social assistance available to the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia are legally bound to the unemployment status of the beneficiaries proven with the registration at the Service. Thus, there are persons registered at the Service who are not necessarily job-seekers, but are registered only to exercise social rights (a great share of them are the Roma community members);


4.           The general picture of the Roma unemployment indicates the concentration of the Roma in several areas, in particular in Prekmurje and Dolenjska, which is also a regional problem. The education structure of the Roma is actually very poor - in the area of Dolenjska the 98.2 percent of the unemployed Roma did not finish primary school, while in Prekmurje this percentage is somewhat lower, i.e. 90 percent. The number of the registered unemployed Roma is increasing in the absolute and relative sense. According to the information of the regional services and labour offices with registered unemployed Roma, some employers actually have a negative attitude towards the Roma people. Nevertheless, the main reason of high unemployment of the Roma is their extremely low education structure. With such a structure the options of getting or preserving a job are relatively low.


There are also differences among the Roma themselves, where a small part is already well-integrated in the environment of the majority population and at the same time preserves its cultural, language characteristics (e.g. the Roma people in the NE of Slovenia where the projects of social entrepreneurship are successfully developed), while a large part of them live isolated within their communities and have more problems integrating in another environment. The exclusion from the equal competition opportunities in the labour market gradually pushes them to the social periphery.


The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs has implemented numerous programmes in the field of labour market and employment directed to the target population of the unemployed Roma in recent years (the 2010-2015 National Programme of Measures for Roma of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, p.18):

-              "The Roma and the unemployment in Pomurje";

-              "Equal employment opportunities for ROMA - Our common challenge" (2012);

-              The "Development of Roma education and training models with the purpose to provide an increased regular employment";

-              The Phare programmes for Roma;

-              Two development partnerships were funded within the scope of the EQUAL initiative: The development partnership Roma Employment Centre and the development partnership Roma Education-Information Centre;

-              MEDIATOR cross-border social partnership - the Interreg III A programme;

-              The programmes of active employment policy including also the Roma employment programmes (they are still being conducted);

-              National programmes of public works (still being conducted).


The measures of active employment policy, which are adopted for an individual calendar year or plan period, define the types of programmes and target groups (also the Roma community members) of the unemployed who can enter them. 



  • Situation of Roma in Slovenia. Project REDUPRE. Maribor 2011-2012 [online]. Available at:
  • STRAŠEK, P. 2009. Roma people and employment in Dolenjska region. Diploma work  [online]. Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za družbene vede. Available at: