The ERTF published the Fact sheet on the situation of Roma in Macedonia.
Despite improvements, poverty is widespread among Roma in Macedonia. Roma are excluded from different aspects of social and economic life, including employment, housing and education. Most Roma continue to live in settlements isolated from the rest of society in conditions well below the minimum standard of living. Public utility facilities are inadequate or non-existent; there is a lack of access to a safe water supply in or near some settlements. Also, hate speech and racism towards Roma are common problems.
One of the main issues of Roma in Macedonia regards their relation with the police. One year ago, the revelation that the police had tortured two minors in front of their families confirmed the specific ill-treatment of Roma by law enforcement officials. Discrimination perpetrated by state agents against Roma is widespread in Macedonia: Roma undergo ethnic profiling, have their passport confiscated, and crimes against them are left unpunished.
The two other fields of deep concern are education, with an over-representation of Roma in schools for pupils with mental disability, and healthcare, particularly regarding the health of pregnant Roma women.
The current political situation of Macedonia must be underlined as ethnic tensions seem to be worsening. Yet, many international organizations and NGOs deplore the lack of concrete information available on the situation of Roma in Macedonia. Discrimination against Roma is underreported and very often left uninvestigated. A detailed study on the Roma situation is highly needed.
This report highlights the main challenges with access to education, healthcare services housing and public Participation of Roma and the proliferation of the Hate speech.
The Report can be downloaded here.