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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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Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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