Many Roma Feel Discriminated Against

By 4 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 4, 2018 - The findings of a survey on the implementation of the 2013-20 national strategy for Roma inclusion show that 28% of respondents said they were discriminated against over the past year, notably in labour and employment.

The survey was conducted as part of a project aimed at ensuring the comprehensive and effective exercise of human rights and at facilitating Roma integration at local, regional and national level, while preserving their identity, culture and tradition.

The project is being implemented from February 2017 to August 2018 and is co-financed through the IPA programme for the government's office for human and ethnic minority rights, whose acting head Branko Sočanac said the interest was to improve the well-being of all Roma.

Roma MP Veljko Kajtazi said there were 17,000 Roma in Croatia and that now was the right time to come up with a better approach to resolving their issues. He welcomed initiatives in that direction.

The survey was conducted in 1,550 Roma households and among representatives of Roma, civil society organisations and institutions in 12 counties.

The findings show that in the month before the survey, 48% of Roma households went to bed hungry at least once and that a household's average spending was only 2,500 kuna per month, said Sara Lalić of the Centre for Peace Studies, which is implementing the project together with the Ecorys Hrvatska company.

The findings also show that 95% of Roma children aged 7-14 regularly attend elementary school, while only 31% of those aged 15-18 attend secondary school, although 91% of the parents whose children attend elementary school want their children to continue with schooling.