Barcelona: number of people living in slums is rising drastically

The number of people living in slums in Barcelona has grown by over 20%. Being rejected in other European countries, such as France or Italy, most of the recently arrived people are coming from Romania and other Eastern European countries.

Comparing the number of people living in caravans and slums in the first quarter of this year to the number of 2017, the City Council of Barcelona has presented an increase of 20.7%. In other words, this equals a rise from 444 to 536 people living in 77 settlements in Barcelona, many of them in the Sant Martí district. This upward trend has been detected since 2015, when merely 412 people were found to be living in slums.

The majority being Roma families may be explained by their highly nomadic lifestyle and the refusal to accept accommodation offered by the government. Therefore, many of them also leave Barcelona again after some time, setting out for new destinations.

In order to guarantee basic needs, Barcelona’s budget for the attention of people living in these settlements is 660,000€ in 2018. The focus is on the children, who are also attending school. It is the children who are increasingly encouraging their parents to change their living situations.

About the ethnic group Roma
This ethnic group of itinerant people originated in India, but have spread worldwide; by the second half of the 20th century, they have migrated to every populated continent. Roma are also known by other names, such as Zigeuner and Sinti in Germany/Austria, Gitans in France or Gitanos in Spain; the name Gypsy is considered derogatory and rude. Due to their itinerant nature, the estimates of the total population range from two up to five million people.

By Laura Kabelka
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