Yurom Center expresses its great concern for the status of human rights of Roma and general situation of the Roma community inSerbia.

  1. The problem of public expression and spreading of ethnic and race intolerance towards Roma, organization of "spontaneous" meetings and attacks on Roma settlements inBelgrade, Zemun, Bor andNishas been evident for more than a year and it is unacceptable that police and judicial bodies have not succeeded yet in solving this problem permanently. The state is obliged to ensure security and personal integrity and to take all necessary measures to provide dignified life and peace to its citizens. The domestic public does not know if there have been initiated and applied any sanctions after many violent incidents against Roma as well as against the members of other communities. The state officials give no statements in regard to ethnic incidents. They do not denunciate such events, either. They do not even "make reserve" in regard to such violation type. The obligations, based on Constitution, National legislation and many International agreements, related to human rights have been ignored, they only represent a facade over "good and realized and respected human rights inSerbia".
  2. Four years after the adoption of Law on Education, the promise that education will become inclusive, remained unfulfilled for majority of Roma children. Over-representation of Roma children in "special schools" and lack of political readiness to provide for obligatory preschool education by kindergartens building in the vicinity of Roma settlements, represents a serious violation of human rights, "so much cared about", without taking any steps. The state solves this problem in a very perfidious way by increasing resources for the salaries of the National Council of Roma members, who, by the way are obliged to care about such problems, instead of allocating scholarships for around 500 Roma pupils in secondary schools.
  3. Participation of Roma in public sector, judicial bodies, the police, health and educational institutions is so small, although there exist the constitutional, legal and the International norms on equally legal and proportional participation of ethnic minority members in state institutions. The number of Roma in state institutions has dropped within the last 20 years to the level of the statistic error and it represents the most imposing example of institutional discrimination and violation of human rights by the very state.

On this Day of Human rights, it may be freely said that it is the state, in fact, which constantly violates the human rights of citizens, minority communities, and Roma particularly. In case of extremists and racists attacks on inhabitants of container settlements in Resnik and Zemun, there was manifested the state-absent situation where the security of these people had been seriously endangered.
We use this opportunity to appeal to the Government of Serbia, ministries in charge and independent regulatory bodies to consistently implement norms, they passed themselves, because we must not let the world have the image ofSerbiaas a xenophobic and racist country. In the first place, because the xenophobic and racists ideologies have never been dominant among the Serbian people, even today.

In Nis, 10th December 2013
On behalf of
Osman Balic