Ružić: Progress is visible, but we must all do more to provide employment opportunities to roma, especially women

“Improving the social and economic status of Roma and eradicating the widespread poverty and discrimination most of them face is the responsibility of both national and local governments and each citizen”, said the Minister at the conference Institutional and Strategic Framework for the Promotion of Employment of Roma in Serbia, held by the UNHCR Office in Belgrade.

Noting that the Roma national minority had its national council, whose members they would elect on Sunday, 4th of November, the Minister emphasised that the current year and the year before had been crucial for minorities, as a number of laws had been passed to promote the rights and improve the position of members of national minorities.

“The recently enacted set of laws governing public administration employees give priority to national minorities in employment and dismissal, where all other conditions are equal. Furthermore, the new provisions of the Law on the Protection of Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities, and also the Law on Civil Registration, give members of national minorities to have information on national affiliation recorded in public documents and official records, in accordance with the constitutional principle of freedom of expression of national affiliation”, the Minister explained.

He noted that, if the proposed amendments to the Law on Civil Servants are accepted, the Central Human Resource Records, an information system designed to support human resource management in public administration, will include information on national affiliation, if the civil servant or employee concerned has voluntarily opted for it. This will help manage the structure of employees in public administration better.

“All activities of the Roma employment and inclusion policy have shown that the rate of inclusion of the Roma national minority has been increasing year after year; however, we must continue promoting and implementing policies and measures which aim to increase the employment rate of Roma, and in this context I must underscore that the focus should be especially on Roma women”, the Minister concluded.