This publication presents the process of and lessons learned from the review and reorientation of a program for active health protection of mothers and children for greater health equity, with an explicit but not exclusive focus on the Roma population, carried out in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Using the methodological guide on integrating equity into health strategies, programs and activities developed by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of Spain, the analysis of selected services within the program shows that Roma and rural women benefit less than women from urban areas and with more education. Barriers and facilitating factors for using the services were related to their availability, accessibility and acceptability, contact with services and effectiveness of coverage.
Summary analysis of key findings from MICS surveys in Roma settlements in the three countries.
The lack of information on Roma communities, especially children, young people and women, hinders the development of effective social inclusion policies. In response, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia are taking crucial steps to end Roma exclusion, by monitoring progress and developing policies to prevent discrimination. These bold initiatives set a valuable example for other countries to follow.
Drawing on these efforts, the UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe/ Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) has produced a study on the situation of Roma children and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia to find out how Roma children fare in comparison to non-Roma and where positive progress has been made in social inclusion. This study fills a major gap in available research and disaggregated data on Roma children, young people and women.
This is an example of Roma good start initiative in Topaana, a Roma settlement in Skopje, the capital of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Emanuel is a six-year-old Roma boy with hearing disability. It caused him severe difficulties in communications and in education access. Thanks to Sumnal, a local NGO in Skopje, Emanuel and his family received the right support to prepare him to get ready for school and improve his quality of life.
Read the report in Romanian
A detailed picture of early childhood policy and provision frameworks in Macedonia, highlighting the barriers and opportunities for improving the access of Roma children to appropriate and high-quality early childhood development (ECD) services. The principal objective of the report is to provide data on young Romani children’s exclusion from society and to make this available to decision makers and key stakeholders that work on early childhood policies and programs. In order to protect the Roma community from the risks of segregation the following recommendations are made: extra effort is needed to prepare the ethnic majorities (Macedonians and Albanians) for greater inclusion of minority groups (Roma) and to value diversity in society. There have been some notable initiatives in the country to support Roma children’s education but more effort is necessary to: strengthen regulations in relation to ECD services; support human capacity development in order to enable Roma children to participate in and benefit from high-quality early childhood education services.
Read the report in Macedonian here.