About one-fifth of Croatian citizens perceive themselves as socially excluded or at risk of social exclusion, according to UNDP's National Human Development Report for Croatia, Unplugged: Faces of Social Exclusion presented in February 2007. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (www.dzs.hr) the at risk of poverty rate in Croatia in 2010 amounted to 20.6%, while the EU 27 average is 16,4% - therefore, in terms of poverty rates, Croatia ranks among the most vurneable countries, close to Latvia (21.3%); Romania (21%), Bulgaria (20,7%); Lithuania (20.2%) and Greece (20,1%).
The groups most at risk of social exclusion include people with physical and intellectual disabilities, women, returnees, the Roma and Serb minorities, long term unemployed, youth, single parent families, homeless, old people and prisoners.
The Social Inclusion programme provides support to social groups and individuals who are at risk of social exclusion and to those who have difficulties in achieving their civic, political and social rights. Through this programme, UNDP assists the Croatian central and local governments to effectively address social exclusion through data gathering, public debate and a transparent decision making process in social policy. The overall aim is to assist in the development and implementation of more inclusive and strategic social policies that target vulnerable social groups.