Correction: Western Balkans-Roma story

TIRANA, Albania — In a story May 9 about the situation of Roma in the Western Balkans, The Associated Press misreported or didn't properly explain some of the statistics in a report by the U.N. Development Program and the World Bank.

The story said the report shows up to 93 percent of Roma women are unemployed, but didn't explain that the figure referred to a specific subgroup: young Roma women in Montenegro. The report says the unemployment rate for Roma women in the Western Balkans is 72 percent.

The story said one-third of Roma families in the Western Balkans go to bed hungry. The report says that more than one-third of the Roma population lives in households where at least one person goes to bed hungry.

The story didn't explain that the unemployment figures of 73 percent to 86 percent referred to a specific age bracket. The correct unemployment rates in the report for the total labor force of Roma are 23-to-56 percent.

The story also said that 11 percent to 27 percent of Roma in the Western Balkans are employed, mainly in waste collection. The correct figures from the report are 11 percent to 22 percent. The waste collection references in the report did not relate to employment rates.

The story said most Roma don't have access to tap water but didn't specify that is only the case for Albania, not the Western Balkans as a whole.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Survey shows unemployment, poverty among W. Balkans' Roma

An international report shows that Roma people in the Western Balkans face high unemployment, poverty and less health care access

By LLAZAR SEMINI

Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania — An international report released Wednesday into the situation of the Roma people in the Western Balkans showed that 72 percent of Roma women are unemployed, with more than one-third of the Roma population living in households where at least one person goes to bed hungry.

Still, the survey by the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank, supported by the European Commission, showed some progress for the Roma, sometimes known as Gypsies, with more Roma children attending school than before 2011.

The study covered Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, all countries at different levels of integration with the European Union.

The survey highlighted low numbers of Roma completing school and unemployment of 23-56 percent as the top shortcomings in their integration. The number of employed Roma ranges from 11 to 22 percent.

Although fewer Roma live in overcrowded households than before 2011, there remains a gap in living conditions compared to the rest of the region's population. Only 48 percent of Roma in Albania have access to piped water, the report said.

Survey results will help Brussels assess Western Balkan countries' progress on Roma integration.

"The results of this survey will give the Commission a solid base for assessing the progress made on Roma integration during the enlargement process," said Christian Danielsson, head of enlargement department at the European Commission.

Better housing conditions, health care and access to jobs in the public sector are seen as challenges that need to be addressed in tackling the Roma's disadvantages.

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Follow Llazar Semini on Twitter https://twitter.com/lsemini

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