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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 submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.

 

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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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