Committee on the Rights of the Child Reviews Croatia

On October 1, 2004, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued its Concluding Observations on Croatia, following consideration of the State Party report during its 37th session. In its Concluding Observations, the CRC noted the need for disaggregated statistical data on the situation of children, including Romani children and recommended that the government of Croatia "take effective measures to ensure the availability of reliable data regarding persons below 18 years old collected by age, gender, ethnic origin, and to the identification of appropriate disaggregated indicators with a view to addressing all areas of the Convention and all groups of children in society, to evaluate progress achieved and difficulties hampering the realization of children's rights." In addition, the CRC made several observations and recommendations to the government of Croatia specific to the situation of Romani children, including:

23. In accordance with article 2 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party carefully and regularly evaluate existing disparities in the enjoyment by children of their rights and undertake on the basis of that evaluation the necessary steps to prevent and combat discriminatory disparities. It also recommends that the State party strengthen its administrative and judicial measures to prevent and eliminate de facto discrimination against children belonging to minorities especially Roma and foreign children. […]

52. The Committee recommends that the State Party undertake all necessary measures to ensure that all children enjoy equally the same access and quality of health services, with special attention to children from ethnic and minority groups, especially Roma children. […]

57. While noting the efforts made by the State Party with regard to education - e.g. the 2001 Law on the Changes and Amendments of the Primary Education Law, it remains concerned about the different access to education of children belonging to minority and most vulnerable groups, including Roma children, children living in poverty, children with disabilities and foreign children which hampers the full enjoyment of a system of education adequate to their values and identity. […]

58. The Committee recommends that the State party […] (b) ensure the implementation of the National Programme for Roma, providing it with adequate human and financial resources and with periodic evaluation of its progress […]

70. The Committee […] is also concerned about continuing problems of ethnic discrimination and intolerance, particularly concerning the Roma and other minority groups – e.g. Serbs, Bosniaks and other groups.

71. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party take effective measures to encourage the protection of the rights of children belonging to minority groups and eliminating the atmosphere of impunity among those that harass these groups. It also recommends the State party to undertake special measures to stimulate a process of reconciliation and confidence-building, including wide-ranging educative and awareness-raising campaigns.

In the run-up to the CRC's review of Croatia, the ERRC submitted written comments on the situation of Romani children with respect to education, noting in particular concerns relating to racial segregation in schools. The full text of the CRC's concluding Observations on Croatia can be found on the Internet at: Review of Croatia .

(ERRC)

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