Remembering not only the need to continue supporting the Roma, but also steps are being taken backwards. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia welcomed the International Day of the Roma, but also cautioned that the further integration of the Roma and solving their problems are not making much progress.

The Helsinki Committee said that the construction of the pool and the opening of the new secondary school in Skopje’s Suto Orizari is continuing the ghettoization of the area. More proof of this, is the fact that the problems with the water supply and sewage network in the settlement have not been fully resolved, which is a priority.

“In the spirit of the celebration of this day, we would like to emphasize our concern about the status of the Roma in the country and the continuing systematic discrimination and ghettoization. We are particularly concerned about the latest plans being made in the Roma settlement of Suto Orizari, including the newly established secondary school “Saip Jusuf” that continues to drain whole Roma classes from other schools in Skopje. Furthermore, announcements to build a pool in the same neighbourhood and investments of more than 6,000 euros for its construction, despite the lack of a functioning sewage and water supply network in the settlement are more reasons for concern. Residents in the community continue to face problems with access to quality, accessible and timely health care, and do not have access to a gynecologist”, reads the statement.

The Helsinki Committee recommends that there is another type of systematic segregation of Roma children in the educational process – they are allocated in special classes in mainstream schools rather than being involved and integrated into regular classes.