The Roma from Slovakia

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The Roma from Slovakia have migrated mainly from the East of the country, with the majority arriving in the UK post Slovakia’s accession to the EU on 1 May 2004. Some of the families in Sheffield have lived here since 2004, following in the footsteps of friends and family who made their way northwards via Peterborough (where many family and friends still reside). Most of Sheffield’s Slovakian Roma come from the villages of Bystrany and Žehra. Life in these villages is often marked by poor access to services and facilities and an often less than positive school experience. Under Communism, the Roma were employed alongside the so-called ethnic Slovakians but, with the fall of communism in 1989 and the subsequent restructuring of the economy, fewer jobs for ethnic Slovakians meant even fewer for the Roma. It is this search for a better life and employment that sees the majority of the Roma living in Sheffield today.

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