Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Brankica Jankovic, announces that the International Roma Day is celebrated on April 8 by members of the Roma community in difficult circumstances in which we all face – the fight against the COVID 19 epidemic, but with almost the same problems as in previous years, because Roma people are still marginalized and face great difficulties in all segments of life. Extensive poverty, as well as the fact that many Roma men and women still live without water and electricity in informal settlements, makes them even more vulnerable during this pandemic. That is why it is very important that Roma men and women are left behind in this period and that they receive timely information, Commissioner stated.
According to the results of a recent survey “Perception of the Roma Community on Discrimination”, conducted by Commissioner for Protection of Equality in cooperation with the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), most of the surveyed Roma believe that their rights and services are denied only because their nationality – in the municipality and other public institutions (64%), social work centers (61%) and in the employment process (60%). Jankovic emphasizes that, on the other hand, the fact that 88% of respondents recognize education as the most important for achieving an equal position in society is encouraging, which only confirms that it is necessary to work even more intensively on educating Roma children and youth and their full inclusion in all segments of society.
The obtained results are correlated with the complaints submitted to Commissioner for Protection of Equality every year, which points to the conclusion that it is extremely important to address poverty and social exclusion through joint action of all institutions in order to achieve full equality and equal opportunities for Roma, says Commissioner.
The results of the research “Perception of the Roma community on discrimination”, realized within the project of German development cooperation Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups, will be presented by Commissioner for Protection of Equality after the state of emergency ends.