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

Budapest, Kumanovo, Geneva, 13 November 2006. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today reviews Macedonia’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural 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-Macedonia-ICESCR-September-2006-English.doc ERRC-NRC-Macedonia-ICESCR-September-2006-English.pdf 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:

  • Tara Bedard (ERRC Projects Manager): tara.bedard [at] errc [dot] org, +36 1 41 32 246
  • Claude Cahn (ERRC Programmes Director): ccahn [at] errc [dot] org, +36.20.983.6445
  • Asmet Elezovski (NRC President): elezovski [at] nationalromacentrum [dot] org, +389.31.427.558