The social rights of a “forgotten” ethnic minority during the COVID-19 crisis: emerging challenges for the integration of Roma in Italy

The pandemic has led to an aggravation of well-known issues related to the integration process of disadvantaged ethnic minorities. In particular, the health emergency shows a warning situation about the guarantee of some social rights of Roma, such as the access to acceptable housing standards, distance learning and welfare services. In fact, despite Roma being historically located on the Italian territory, they still belong to one of the most marginalized communities in the country, also because of a gap in the legislation on the subject. Therefore, it will be examined whether the measures taken by the State in favor of vulnerable groups, in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19, and the responses by certain local bodies have taken sufficiently into account the conditions of Roma or not. Potential weaknesses of these remedies will be likewise explored in the context of the Strategic Framework 2020-2030 set by the European Commission for future national policies of inclusion.