Vocational Integration of Roma Migrants in the North of France


The ‘Aréas Gypsies and Travellers’ Unit of the French organization La Sauvegarde du Nord has been implementing for over one year and a half now a vocational integration project which successfully works towards the integration of Roma communities living in the city of Lille and its surroundings.


The project started on March 17, 2014 after the lifting of transitional measures on the access to the job market by Romanians and Bulgarians.

The project’s main priority is to facilitate the vocational integration of those Roma communities because once they get employed, they are able to have access to an accommodation as they earn wages. Therefore, two job counsellors were hired to work with Roma communities living in shantytowns in order to help them find an employment.


This approach proves to be very successful although it was quite a challenge at first working with Roma people who were likely to move out of their current settlement because of the French authorities or for other reasons. There was no guarantee of sustainability of the actions of those two job counsellors.


This integration approach was adopted as the area of Lille was not able to provide any housing to Roma people anymore.


Besides, the project also carries out several other objectives:


  • To support Roma access to training programs

  • To increase the empowerment of the beneficiaries through an appropriation of the various access to employment systems and/or training systems

  • To lift social constraints with the close cooperation of a team of social workers from AREAS

  • To work upon the evolution of people’s careers

    In order to meet those goals, many intervention tools are used such as numerous home visits in shantytowns and other types of precarious housing the targeted Roma communities are living in, the assistance provided by 25 round-the-clock care centers and private interviews at the AREAS Unit’s offices.

    The implementation of this project has enabled to reveal that an economic integration is a required basis for the development of the social integration of those communities.

If you wish to learn more on this ongoing project, please contact Mr. Patrick VIGNEAU: