The International Observatory on Statelessness


Some 3,000 of the estimated 20,000 Roma in Belgium do not have permanent status. Many of the Roma residing in Belgium retain the nationality of their country of origin. However, due to the shifting political territory in the Balkan region, many states of origin no longer exist, leaving some Roma de facto stateless. Many Roma in Belgium live in caravan sites or in housing where they are vulnerable to poverty, poor health, and lack of formal education. Only a few of the Roma in Belgium have the legal documents required to stay in the country or work outside the informal labor market. Lack of documents has also led to expulsions.