Macedonia: Roma Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Issues Examined

13 November 2006

Roma Rights Organisations Provide Input to UN Treaty Body Review on Concerns in Macedonia

Budapest, Kumanovo, Geneva. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today reviews Macedonia's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Political Rights (ICESCR). In advance of today's hearing, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the National Roma Centrum (NRC) submitted written comments highlighting Roma rights concerns in Macedonia in areas of relevance to the Covenant.

The ERRC/NRC report highlighted concerns in the following areas:

  • The lack of comprehensive and effective legal protections against discrimination;
  • The systematic and determined failure to provide certain categories of Roma - including refugees and stateless persons - with legal status guaranteeing fundamental human rights;
  • The failure of the Macedonian government to effectively implement programmes and policies concerning Roma;
  • Widespread and chronic unemployment of Roma and discriminatory practices by employers against Roma;
  • Barriers to full enjoyment of state-sponsored health insurance and social benefits experienced by Roma;
  • Substandard housing conditions in which Roma in Macedonia live and concerns related to forced evictions of Roma from housing;
  • The poor health situation of Roma in Macedonia, coupled with discriminatory treatment by medical practitioners and substandard treatment;
  • The effects of widespread exclusion from education of Romani pupils and practices of racial segregation and other forms of discrimination in this area; and
  • Concerns related to the ability to use the Romani language in state institutions.

The partners' concerns were raised within the context of the Macedonian government's failure to effectively address the issues noted above and to provide adequate information to the CESCR in this regard. The partners also include a number of recommendations in the report submitted in September 2006.

The full text of the ERRC/NRC submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is available at:

ERRC/NRC action in Macedonia, including work toward the production of today's submission, has been supported during 2005 and 2006 by a grant from the European Commission.

For additional information, please contact the following:


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200
Fax: +36.1.413.2201

The National Roma Centrum is a professional Romani non-governmental organization based in Kumanovo, Macedonia, which represents and stimulates the active participation and integration of Romani people on the principles of the modern multiethnic European society. Its activities focus on human rights, lobbying, education and employment.

National Roma Centrum
Dove Bozinov 11/5
1300 Kumanovo
Tel/Fax: +389.31.427.558



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