President receives Roma delegation on International Roma Day
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Friday spoke with representatives of the Roma national community in Serbia on occasion of April 8, International Roma Day.Source: Tanjug
He noted that the Roma people will have his sincere and unambiguous support.
Continuity is needed in raising, but primarily in solving the issues faced by the Roma population, Nikolic said.
The position of Serbia's Roma must be strengthened and the state must continue to invest efforts towards the exercise of their rights and enabling them to preserve their identity, the presidential press office said in a statement.
The representatives of the Roma community thanked Nikolic and pointed to the numerous problems related to the position of Serbia's Roma in employment, education and their other rights, expressing the expectation that the president will back an action plan aimed at social inclusion of the Roma community.
Further efforts should be made to step up the rights of Roma and ensure their full inclusion into the society, Serbian National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic said on the occasion of International Roma Day, drawing attention to the progress made in the legislative and institutional protection of the Roma population.
Gojkovic called on all institutions and the civil society to devote attention to the problems facing Roma over the entire year, notably in the fields of education, health, employment and economic empowerment so as to reduce poverty and improve their position, the parliament said in a release.
“Serbia is firmly committed to building a tolerant society, based on the respect of human rights, in which there will be no discrimination against any group, and we must all take part in building such a society,” Gojkovic said.
The national parliament will continue working to improve the legislative framework for exercising human and minority rights and applying available control mechanisms so as to ensure a more effective implementation of valid laws, she underscored.
Secretary General of the Sarajevo-based Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Goran Svilanovic extended his congratulations on the occasion of International Roma Day, stressing that this is an excellent opportunity to recall rich and extensive heritage and diversity of the region's largest ethnic minority.
“There are many challenges facing Roma on a daily basis, such as social exclusion, segregation and marginalization leading to lack of education, chronic unemployment and limited access to healthcare, housing and essential services, as well as widespread poverty,” the RCC quoted Svilanovic as saying.
In an effort to remedy the circumstances, the RCC will join the efforts of the governments in the region with a three-year project aiming at enabling economic integration and social inclusion of Roma.
The Project Roma Integration 2020, worth EUR 1.8 million, is a follow-up to the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015. The Belgrade-based project, funded by the EU and the Open Society Foundation, is expected to be launched in early June, reads the release.