Macedonian Shopping Centre Calls for Removal of Roma Workers

Budapest, 21 March 2013: A Macedonian shopping centre, Skopje City Mall, instructed the agency which provides it with cleaning staff to remove all Romani staff who worked in the food section. Skopje City Mall sent an email making the request on 9 January 2013, and requested that the Romani workers were removed by 20 January, 2013. The incident only came to light in national media reports this week.

The cleaning agency, Land Service, rejected the request. According to the media report, the shopping centre made the request following food thefts from the centre. The agency engages Roma and non-Roma workers in this section – only the Roma were targeted on the basis of their ethnicity.

The ERRC utterly rejects the action by the managers of City Mall, which violates the Macedonian constitution, as well as anti-discrimination and labour codes in the country. The action is also in breach of international human rights standards.

“Collectively targeting staff based on their ethnic origin is not acceptable,” said Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the ERRC. “This kind of discrimination against Roma in the workplace, presumably based on stereotypes of ‘gypsy criminality’ should not be tolerated.”

The ERRC is urging the Macedonian equality body to take the case up and is following up with relevant EU institutions to highlight the incident.

The press release is also available in Macedonian.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324

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