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Social Labyrinth - visualising social dilemma and stereotypes on Roma integration

Although GDP in Hungary has grown significantly in the past twenty years, the number of people living in poverty has not decreased, but rather grown. At the same time, it is important to note that poverty is not merely about the lack of financial resources.

Children born to extreme poverty are in a disadvantage from the very first moment of their lives: it is more likely that their weight will be lower, and they are more prone to diseases. If these children have development problems, their parents (who typically have low education) and nurses who are too busy don’t realize that there is a issue. Children often do not get appropriate treatment because of the lack of money or doctors in the area. As their mothers stay at home, children do not go to kindergarten, so they receive less professional care and development support. When children go to school, most of the teachers don’t have the necessary tools to help them catch up, so selection based on measured competences starts early. Those who stay behind end up in schools for children with special needs where they do not receive adequate help.

Those who cannot finish primary school in time, almost certainly end up in vocational training schools where basic competences are not developed. When they become 17 years old, they are “pushed” into the labour market where they do not find employment as they are lacking basic skills, and they cannot enter higher education in lack of a high school leaving exam (that they cannot take after a vocational school).

This project aims to develop tools that help dissolve fear and prejudice towards Roma among the non-Roma population. In the first step, we collected the most common stereotypes and misconceptions. In the second step, we have organised facts and arguments related to Roma integration, so that we can replace stereotypes with a clearer and more accurate picture. Finally, we aim to disseminate this more nuanced approach in cooperation with opinion leaders (e.g. with journalists and teachers) to reach a wide audience. The Budapest Institute coordinates this project in partnership with MOME, the Roma Press Centre and Romaversitas.

Short video clips prepared as part of the project can be accessed through the following links:


Project details
ClientOpen Society Institute (OSI) Think Tank Fund
Project leader Petra Edina Reszkető
Duration02/07/2014 - 30/04/2016
other BIT1 factsheet on benefits and livelihood (in Hungarian)
other BIT2 factsheet on school integration (in Hungarian)
other BIT3 factsheet on the perceptions of poverty (in Hungarian)
other BIT4 factsheet on public works (in Hungarian)
other BIT5 factsheet on school segregation (in Hungarian)
other BIT6 factsheet on the poverty rate (in Hungarian)
other BIT7 factsheet on parents and school choice (in Hungarian)
other BIT8 factsheet on the long term costs of poor education (in Hungarian)