This research was conducted as part of the project “Empowering Roma children and families to exercise their rights”, which is implemented in the period from June 2016- April 2017 in six municipalities, i.e. Prilep, Suto Orizari, Bitola, Stip, Kumanovo and Gjorche Petrov.

The research aims to identify the barriers and factors which influence the exercising of rights by Roma children in terms of their social protection, and also to contribute to increased outreach and their inclusion in the institutional mechanisms for financial support and development.

The assessment conducted by UNICEF in 2012, concerning the system of child allowance in the country, was used as starting base for this research, according to which there is swift decline in the number of beneficiaries of the key rights to child allowance and that such benefits do not reach the poorest households with children. People living outside of the capital city are striving to obtain information and they are not always aware of the required documentation, and therefore rely heavily on the center for social work. Most often, those are Roma families which are exposed to persistent poverty, as well as poor agrarian families who are most often affected by natural catastrophes and risks.

The Institute for policy research and analysis Romalitico conducted the research and drafted the report, in capacity of consultant, while the logistics support for realization of the activities in the communities was provided by the local partner associations in each of the six municipalities Hereby, we extend our gratitude to the Association of education workers for protection of women’s and children’s rights “LIL”, Centre for development of the Roma community “Bairska svetlina”, Roma educational centre “AMBRELA”, Association of multiethnic society for human rights and Organization of Roma women in Macedonia “DAJA”.

We also extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Centres for Social Work from Stip, Prilep and Kumanovo which responded to our requests to fill out questionnaires and gave their input for the situational analysis.

Finally, we would like to express major gratitude to UNICEF Office Skopje that provided financial and technical support for the project, which aims to ensure better protection and integration of children from Roma communities.

Nesime Salioska
Executive director, Association ROMA S.O.S.

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