Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Public Hearing on Position of Roma in Serbia

The second sitting of the Sub-Committee on issues concerning the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma was held on the occasion of the International Roma Day, 8 April, at the National Assembly House.



The second sitting of the Sub-Committee on issues concerning the improvement of the position of Roma and implementation of the Decade of Roma was held on the occasion of the International Roma Day, 8 April, at the National Assembly House. The sitting was held in the form of a public hearing on the subject: Influence of the world economic crisis on marginalised groups, Roma community in Serbia – measures of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to alleviate the crisis. The sitting was opened by the Sub-Committee Chairman, Vitomir Mihajlovic.

On the behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, and all the deputies, the participants of the gathering were greeted by the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gordana Comic. Congratulating the members of the Roma community on their holiday, Deputy Speaker Comic stressed that the Roma are exposed to various prejudices which the citizens of Serbia must fight in two ways – by passing laws and observing them, and also by a public struggle against prejudice and respecting differences. In his opening address, the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Rasim Ljajic, stated that the position of the Roma community in Serbia has improved in recent years, but is far from satisfactory. He announced that a packet of measures will be adopted by 1 May aimed at helping the most socially endangered population, which is mainly composed of Roma.

UN Acting Resident Coordination in Serbia Lennart Kotsalainen applauded the efforts the Serbian Government has made to improve the position of Roma. He said that the UN will continue to support Serbia in this endeavour, and invited other donors to help fund the solutions to these issues.

Representatives of the Ministries of Labour and Social Policy, Education, Economy and Regional Development, as well as the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights talked about the measures the Government is going to implement in order to improve the position of Roma. Representatives of various Roma associations in Serbia attended the public hearing.



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