The Roma of Moldova
It is estimated that between twelve and fifty thousand Roma people live in Moldova, a number which is considerably smaller than the Roma population in the neighbouring Romania.
The community is often associated with the area of Soroca, in the North, where luxurious houses built by affluent Roma families dominate the landscape of the fluvial town. The community is however very diverse and is spread throughout the country: from the tiny, poverty-stricken settlements in the districts of Calarasi, Nisporeni and Ungheni to the larger towns of Hincesti and Edinet.
According to several reports by the United Nations Development Program, the Roma community in the whole region suffers much higher rates of unemployment and illiteracy compared to the non- Roma Moldovan residents. Despite many Roma considering themselves primarily Moldovan citizens and mostly speaking Romanian as their first language, non-Roma Moldovans carry prejudice towards the community and this is the cause of widespread social inequality and human rights abuses.