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Promoting digital literacy of Roma people toward their active citizenship

By Alfredo Alietti


One of the main challenge Europe is facing nowadays is a digital literacy deficit. In line with this, the promotion of digital literacy, especially among vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, is a primary commitment of European institutions. Nonetheless in our European digital societies the benefits of ICT are not available to all citizens, in particular to the most vulnerable ones, such as unemployed people, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, elderly and so forth. Consequently, one of the most urgent need is to promote digital literacy also among excluded groups in order to reduce the digital divide: indeed the existence of digital divide in European countries bolster the production and reproduction of inequality mechanisms. This is the case of Roma people, the greatest minority living in Europe with 10 to12 million even if their precise number remains unclear due to different problems (fear to register in official census due to the stigma linked to their identity, problems in collecting ethnic data and so forth). addition to this Roma people register very low levels of participation in the contexts where they live also due to a lack of information among Roma about their rights as citizens (Fesus, 2012). The promotion of the use of ICT among Roma people could represent an essential means to address their social exclusion, to foster their awareness of rights and duties they are granted as European citizens and to promote their active participation in line with Common Basic Principle on Roma inclusion n. 10 (Active participation of Roma). The full participation of Roma in public life and their social inclusion, supported by the use of ICT, stimulate their active citizenship and develop their human resources. In the light of the abovementioned framework, the project has two main general objectives: 1) reducing the gap in ICT usage among different groups of citizens, with a specific attention to the greatest and most discriminated minority in Europe, i.e. Roma people; 2) using ICTs as a tool to improve active citizenship of Roma people in line with European priorities and strategies

Year: 2013
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