Access to health care and social aid 

The access of Kelderari Roma to other state services like social aid and health care is much too limited. Partly, this has to do with the system of registration. Those without registration are automatically excluded from free medical care and social benefits, such as pensions or allowances for children. Even when Kelderari Roma receive social benefits, these are not improving their quality of life in a substantial way. Life expectancy among Kelderari Roma is lower than among Russians and they tend not to visit doctors on a regular basis, but rather to call for an ambulance in case of emergency. Cases of closing available medical care like in Savvatyevo (Kalininsky district, Tver province), where a local medical station was closed, only strengthen this tendency. 

The practice of discriminatory segregation of Roma has also come to light in many hospitals (including children’s hospitals), birthing clinics and public bathhouses.  In Toksovo Children Hospital in the Leningrad Oblast, Kelderari Romany children are placed in separate wards.  This unwritten rule is enforced even when the warmer and more comfortable “Russian” wards are empty.  In Lower Osel’ki, Leningrad Oblast, the local Kelderari community is barred from visiting the public bathhouse even on a commercial basis. 

Access to resources

Crucial factors determining the quality of life of Kelderari Roma are the supply of drinking water and energy (gas, electricity). Water supply is often absent, though could be easily created in many cases, like in Solontsy, which is situated in the Emelyanovsky district of Krasnoyarsk. In the case of the Kelderari Roma community in Peri (Leningrad province) pollution prevents the use of the locally available water and a community of several thousands of people is depending on the purchase of water in nearby villages. In Novinki (Suburb of Nizhny Novgorod) the community depends on the supply of electricity to pump up the water. 

There are often problems with the supply of electricity connected to arrears in the payment of bills. In the case of the suburb area Chapayevsky belonging to the city of Perm, the local electricity company cut off the electricity supply of the local Kelderari Roma community when the temperatures were down as much as minus 40 degrees Celsius. In Chapayevsky as well as in most other compact settlements, non-registered houses do not have any meters to count the electricity consumption. The electricity companies tend to count the amount of people and the number and capacity of household appliances to measure this consumption. The debts of individual Kelderari Roma are treated as collective debts and therefore the electricity supply of the whole compact settlement is switched off in case of individual arrears – a common practice in the city of Perm. 

In Ryazan the gas supply to 220 houses was cut off in the autumn without any alternatives for heating of these houses available. In another case in Yekaterinburg, a girl was refused a passport on the pretext that her mother had not paid the electricity bill yet. In the settlement of Kosaya Gora near Tula gas and electricity supplies were switched off under the surveillance of 150 OMON riot police officers with dogs. Other cases were reported of prepayments made, without paid services being delivered. In Omsk, a substantial amount of money was paid to construct gas supply and in Barnaul, money that had been paid for the construction of a water supply was paid back and the water supply was cut off.