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21 Feb 2018

Roma Largely Excluded from Mainstream Measures for Poverty Reduction

Regional Cooperation Council's Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Leader, Orhan Usein at the Roma Inclusion Seminar in Prishtina (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo*)

Regional Cooperation Council's Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Leader, Orhan Usein at the Roma Inclusion Seminar in Prishtina (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo*)

Prishtina – Roma Integration 2020 Action Team Leader, Orhan Usein is one of the key note speakers to open the Seminar on Policy Commitments and Inclusion of Roma and Ashkali Communities in Kosovo* Society, organised by the Office of the Prime Minister in cooperation with the European Commission in Prishtina today.

 “In the area of education, Kosovo* needs substantial efforts to reduce the illiteracy and increase school enrolment and attendance among Roma, including among adults. Particular efforts are needed to encourage Roma to enrol and complete university studies”, said Usein on this occasion.

 “In the areas of employment and social welfare, while deep and widespread poverty is recognized as a challenge among Roma, the institutions offer only the mainstream measures. Given the requirements of the measures and the circumstances of Roma, they remain largely excluded from such measures”, added Usein as an input to the discussion that followed.

In order to draw the attention of participants to the key sectoral recommendations that derived from the jointly organized National Platform, Usein also said that the barriers in accessing public health services by Roma, which must be removed immediately and underlined that “alleged discrimination towards Roma within the health system of Kosovo* should be investigated and subsequently tackled”.

In addition to Usein welcome address, key note remarks at the opening of event were given by Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo* Prime Minister, Nataliya Apostolova, Head of the EU Office/EUSR, Isak Skenderi, Civil Society Representative from the NGO Voice of the Roma Ashkali and Egyptians and Marta Garcia Fidalgo, Roma Policy Coordinator of the Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). The seminar was attended by representatives of government institutions, civil society, local and international organizations working for the rights of Roma and Ashkali communities in Kosovo*.

 This event is organised by the Office of the Prime Minister in cooperation with the European Commission in Prishtina.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.