Chapter 10: Minority Inclusion in Romania
Vasile Gheţău INTRODUCTION It is not an easy task to identify and describe the various aspects of the labor market situation of ethnic minorities in Romania. One obstacle is revealing the visible and in most cases hidden barriers and difficulties ethnic minorities face in the labor market. The available data are rather limited, but they clearly show or give at least some information regarding a number of economic particularities and discrepancies, which potentially can explain the discrimination and marginalization. The most visible results of such practices can be identified in one ethnic group – Roma. The relatively disadvantaged economic position of the two or three other ethnic minorities does not arise from external adverse factors but from internal barriers (cultural and even political). Romania has experienced deep political, economic and social change from the transition period to the present economic and social landscape. We believe that this background has increased the risk of discrimination and marginalization regarding the external barriers members of some ethnic minorities face in the labor market, as decisions on policies regarding human resources have been transferred from state authorities to private companies. STATISTICAL OVERVIEW Romanian population censuses traditionally cover ethnic group and mother tongue, and from 1989 they have also included religion. No prior definition of ethnic group is given, as the characteristics are well known: a distinct community of people related by origin, language, and a similar culture and way of life. Determining ethnic group and religion is based on self-declaration and is optional. A...
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