On 8th of April the Roma in Macedonia, as everywhere in the world celebrate the Roma World Day. With the music and traditional food they celebrate their national holiday, but they did not forget to hark back the authority for their hard life.
We want to believe or not, definitely Roma in Macedonia live on the margins of the society and very often in extreme poverty. They are face significant barriers in accessing key economic and social rights, such as employment, social welfare, housing, health care and education. Unfortunately, while some NGO’s and state institutions used the found in the frame of “Roma’s decade”, the Roma citizens are afflicted by poverty. The current social and economic situation of Roma, who are especially burdened by transition problems, places them in the category of the poorest citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Roma live is not change to much since 20 years. More than 90 percent of Roma live in poorer areas, most of them are urban areas, but also in suburban are in the ghetto. When they live like in ghetto the conditions are highly substandard, lacking basic infrastructure and services that the state should provide, such as electricity, water, sewage removal, garbage collection or paved roads. Their settlements have existed for many years outside urban planning plan.
Among other things the biggest part of Roma in Macedonia are illiterate. The low level of educational attainment greatly impacts all other areas of life. As a result of the low levels of education held by a great number of Roma in Macedonia, many Roma who do succeed in accessing employment are engaged in only the least paid and unskilled forms of employment, usually in the form of hard physical labor.
The Constitution of Macedonia, and the amendments which were adopted as a result of the Ohrid Framework Agreement in 2001, provide general protection against discrimination and guarantees that citizens have the right freely to determine their political status and freely to pursue their economic, social, and cultural development. Roma are recognized as an ethnic minority under the Macedonian Constitution. The Constitution guarantees the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic identity of all communities. At the time of the 2002 census in Macedonia, 53,879 persons stated that they were Romani. Roma comprise approximately 2.66% of the total population of Macedonia.