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Roma Recognised in New Macedonian Constitution

7 May 2002

On November 16, 2001, the Macedonian Parliament adopted fifteen changes to its constitution, including the official recognition of Roma and other minorities. The new version of the preamble gives the status of "people" to all citizens belonging to major ethnic groups in Macedonia, including Roma: "The citizens of Macedonia, the Macedonian people, and also the citizens living within its borders that are part of the Albanian people, Turkish people, Vlach people, Serb people, Romani people […]." On November 16, 2001, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that Mr Walter Schwimmer, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, stated, "This important decision will lay the foundations for a better protection of the civil, political, and social rights of all individuals living in the country, regardless of their community and ethnic background." Many are hopeful that the official recognition of Macedonia's minorities as a "people" will ensure greater respect for their human rights in Macedonia. However, Macedonian legal provisions presently require that a minority comprise 20 percent in an administrative unit before language rights provisions enter into force in the given area. Roma comprise more than 20 percent of the population only in the Ĺ uto Orizari municipality, and hence they will only have the right to the use of the Romani language in administrative contexts here. Information on the human rights situation of Roma in Macedonia is available on the ERRC's Internet website at: www.errc.org

(BBC News, RFE/RL)

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ERRC Seeks Communications Intern or Trainee

10 August 2016

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) seeks a Communications Intern or Trainee with experience in research, media, communications or a related field to assist in the promotion of ERRC material on Roma Rights and the activities of the Communications department.

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Adam Weiss on Roma Genocide Remembrance

3 August 2016

ERRC Managing Director Adam Weiss shares his experience of being taught of the holocaust growing up in a Jewish family, and his early perception of Roma as victims of genocide by the Nazis.

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Ethel Brooks on Roma Genocide Remembrance

2 August 2016

Seventy-two years ago today, 2,897 men, women, and children from Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp were forced onto trucks, taken to gas chamber V, and murdered with Zyklon B hydrogen cyanide. Their bodies, too many for the crematorium’s capacity, were burned in pits outside. Upon the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, only 4 Roma remained alive.

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