Macedonia, 8th April 2011 – National Roma Centrum (NRC) on the occasion of International Roma Day is underlying the urgency and importance of improving the situation of Roma community urging for real and visible actions. Starting from current perspective and dimension We are witnesses that Roma are trying to survive confronted with constant deterioration of socio-economic condition, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, lack of measures to protect cultural and language identity. Many initiatives were raised and formally supported, but still we have very clear gap in between, and should decide – Discrimination or Inclusion?
This year marks four decades since the First Roma Congress was held in London, and besides the fact that the movement for improvement of the situation of the Roma community has improved, the lives of millions Roma throughout Europe have not been visibly improved. The Roma community is faced with extremely low conditions for normal living and migrates in order to look for stability and normal development. NRC appeals to all Governments responsible for the lives of millions of Roma citizens, decrease migration, by offering stability.
Certain number of Roma are without civil status, without ID Cards, having no possibility to access institutional support and protection, no access to health services or social protection.
NRC is highlighting that in the area of employment Roma community is at he bottom, having serious impact on socio-economic condition of Roma families as barrier to access other rights. Roma community is insufficiently and non equitably involved in the labour market. Unemployment tendency is continuing rapidly to grow for Roma.
NRC is concerned about the fact that most Roma families live in substandard living conditions in urban areas, national data base and mapping for Roma settlements is not available, for illegal housings as well, means for improving infrastructure and minimum living conditions were not funded yet.
Substandard living conditions, difficulties in access to health protection and services, having no information, having no prevention, highest rates of infant mortality are characteristics of the real picture regarding health and Roma.
Education is the bright point in the strategic aims of Republic of Macedonia to improve situation of Roma and to foster their inclusion in society. Positive step forward has been made with increased number of enrolled Roma children, positive atmosphere in schools, scholarships for students and free school books. But still we lack continuance in ensuring quality education, we lack measures for desegregation at local level, extremely high rate of illiteracy among Roma and the process to educate them has not been started yet, parents are not motivated for greater cooperation with schools.
Media reporting has been increased regarding common problems faced by Roma families that now are receiving media attention.
In the frameworks of the Decade for Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, Macedonia has provided nearly 5 EUR per capita for Roma inhabitant, is it enough to build home, to be employed, to educated, or to receive health services?
Macedonia and the EU must demonstrate strong political will and action for improving and inclusion of Roma.
07th of april 2011 Asmet Elelzovski
National Roma Centrum-NRC
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