Roma in ex-Yugoslavia
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, MA
Faculty of Humanities, Charles University
[email protected]
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
1
About ex-Yugoslavia
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Former Yugoslavia, 1981 census
Serbs
Croats
Bosniaks
(Muslims)
Slovenians
Albanians
Macedonians
Montenegrins
36.3%
19.7%
8.9%
7.8%
7.7%
6.0%
2.6%
Hungarians
Yugoslavs
Roma
Turks
Slovaks
Bulgarians
Romanians
Italians
Others
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
1.9%
5.4%
0.7%
0.5%
0.4%
0.2%
0.2%
0.1%
1.7%
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Ethnic majority map in former YU
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Josip Broz Tito
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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The national question
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Name: Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, one
party, one leader – many nations
 Nations and nationalities, nations – constitutive;
nationalities – high standard of minority rights, provided
they were able of self-organizing
 After the World War II, rapid development, industrial
revolution, workers self-management
 Freedom to travel (used by many, a lot of guestworkers
in Austria, Germany, etc. including Roma)
 Tito`s economic policy: get loans from the capitalists,
keep the distance towards them, but also towards other
socialist country (Tito – the bloody hound)
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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The national question
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Semi-Confederative Political Structure
Provisions for “Equitable Regional Representation”
Complex procedures for negotiation and consensus
formation
Explicit recognition of all interests, including
ethnicity (as long as they were not antisocialist)
Death of Tito—May 4, 1980
Rising Regional Inequalities
SANU Memorandum—1986
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Slovenia
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6.500 – 10.000 of Roma in Slovenia
Indigenous Roma, settled, mostly on social aid
Roma who moved from other republics of the former
SFRJ are in a legal limbo, like Slovak Roma in the CR
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Romany children generally receive separate education
 Indigenous Roma do have political local representatives,
non-indigenous remain excluded (deficiencies in basic
services, such as water supply and waste removal, are
compounded by low education and high unemployment)
 Possible lack of willingness to cooperate on Romani
side, too
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Croatia
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9463 according to the 2001 census 0.21%:
problems with the name (Cigani) and lack of
willingness to admit their nationality, Council of
Europe estimates 30 – 40 000 Roma in Croatia.
Approximately half of them in northwestern part
and the capital Zagreb.
 Ministry for Family, Defenders of the Country
and Intergenerational Solidarity adopted in
January 2005 an Action Plan for Roma inclusion
until 2015.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Croatia
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Language was excuse not to give citizenship to Croatian Roma,
therefore they cannot work legally, have health insurance or receive
social benefits.
Political representatives in the Parliament - one, who also
represents literally: Austrian, Bulgarian, German, Polish, Romanian,
Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Jewish … national minorities.
Croatian Ministry of Education was taken to national court for
segregating Roma children – result, court decided that quality of the
education is the same, but that separation into different classes is
rightful because of the language issue (children even ate separately
during breaks).
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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8864 according to 1991 census, before the war, which is
0.2%.
In BiH there are constitutive and non-constitutive
nations, the latter cannot engage in political life equally
and Roma are among those. Some Rome cannot vote,
because they have no documents or are stateless.
According to ERRC report, 30.000 of Roma were
subjects of ethnic cleansing, by all three sides, 70 of
them were among 8.000 massacred in Srebrenica. Most
of them ended up in Serb-run concentration camps.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Romani men were also forcibly conscripted and made to perform
slave labour in the armies of all sides to the conflict. Many Romani
women were raped and/or forced to perform sex labour. The 19921995 war saw the wholesale destruction of a number of Romani
communities
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Most of them are internally displaced persons, unable to claim their
pre-war property.
Roma living in informal settlements or who lived in social housing
before the war are frequently excluded from the benefits of new
property laws and are in many cases ineligible for the aid money
that has poured into the country under reconstruction schemes.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Serbia and Montenegro
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143.000, 1.44% in SCG, according to census, informally 450.000,
which makes them the biggest national minority, after NATO
established protectorate in Kosovo. Dispersed all over SCG
Discriminated in education (again special schools), housing,
employment, in access to social welfare benefits, in public spaces,
by landlords, including violent attacks, mostly performed by the local
bullies – insufficient or no protection by the state authorities.
Roma are denied access to many private night clubs, sports centres,
and discotheques on the excuse that the premises are currently
hired for a private party or that the Roma visitors are not properly
dressed.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Serbia and Montenegro
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Residents of Roma settlements are frequently forcibly
evicted and forced to live in temporary shelters.
In Kosovo: before NATO intervention, in a better position
than Albanians, after intervention forcibly resettled and
labelled collaborators (with Serbs), as refugees in
Serbia, they received a very poor treatment.
Political presentation: none on federal or any of the
republic levels, some on local level
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Macedonia
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55.575, according to 1991 census, which 2.73% of
population, real estimates are 200.000
The majority of researchers and/or institutions focusing
on the Macedonian Roma have come to the conclusion
that comparatively speaking, Macedonian Roma are
much better off than the Roma in any other country of
the region. After 1991, President Kiro Gligorov has
shown his sympathy towards the Roma on many
occasions He and other leading politicians identified
Roma as one of Macedonia’s major nationalities.
The post-1991 authorities granted the Roma with a legal
status that they have never enjoyed before -- they
became constitutionally equal to the Albanians and the
Turks in Macedonia.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in Macedonia
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There are Roma police officers and representatives from
Roma parties in the parliament In the previous
parliament, Roma had two deputies. Now there is only
one deputy in the present parliament.
In the Shuto Orizari district, Roma enjoy self-government
and are represented by their first Roma mayor, Nezhdet
Mustafa, and there is a Town Council dominated by
Roma.
The materials published during the 1994 census had
translation in Romani, along with Macedonian and the
language of the constitutionally mentioned minorities.
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Common features in all countries
 National
or ethnic minority
 Poverty, discrimination in legal matters,
segregation in education, unemployment
 Roma tend to accept religion of a
community they happen to live in
 Adored as gods of music, abused in
folklore presentations
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Romani NGOs in the selected
countries
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Slovenia: 8
Croatia: 25 URL www.umrh.hr
Bosnia: 9
SCG: 115, www.durn.org.yu,
www.rrominterpress.org.yu, www.ric.org.yu,
www.lprs.org.yu, www.hur.org.yu,
www.bahtalodrom.org.yu, http://ico.co.yu,
http://ius.org.yu, www.medijaklub.cg.yu
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Macedonia: 101
Selma Muhić-Dizdarević, Roma in
ex-Yugoslavia
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Roma in ex-Yugoslavia