REPORT ON

      Council of Europe Project:
      ROMA ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT

      Serbia and Montenegro
      2004 - 2005

      By
      Nedjeljka Sindik, Nenad Vladisavljev & Judith Kiers

          Roma have an “ethnic” as well a “work” identity, 
          A stronger identification with their profession or work
          might broaden their horizons on economic possibilities
          and employment opportunities.

           

                    Osman Balic,
                    Roma engineer and President
                    of the Board on Employment of the
                    Assembly of Nis municipality
                    June 2004

      INDEX

      I EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

      II INTRODUCTION

      III ROMA EMPLOYMENT SITUATION

      IV EMPLOYMENT POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION

      V LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

      VI RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

      VII ACCESS TO VOCATIONAL TRAINING

      VIII ROMANI WOMAN

      IX ROMANI YOUTH

      X INTER-SECTORAL RELATIONS: EDUCATION, HOUSING, HEALTH, SOCIAL WELFARE
      XI EXISTING EMPLOYMENT PROJECTS

      XII GOOD PRACTICES / CASE STUDIES

      XIII CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

      XIV BIBLIOGRAPHY

      XV ANNEXES

      The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the
      Advisory Board, Barbara Davis, Mary Black and Stephan Mueller,
      who provided constructive comments to this report.

      Chapter I Executive Summary


      Important changes can be noticed in Serbia since the turn-over of the “old regime” in October 2000, yet the formal labour market is on the verge of collapse, due to the extended period of sanctions (more than 10 years), the general economic crisis and a government, which did not invest in maintaining and/or upgrading state factories over an extended period of time. As a consequence of this, so-called “fake employment” is appearing, as many of the workers have been sent home, as they are considered “technological surplus”. They cannot be laid off, but are sent home for a compulsory rest. The result of this is that the number of unemployed people is around seven times higher then the number of job offers. The economic situation in Montenegro suffers from similar crisis due to consequences of the regional conflicts and the transition towards a market economy.

      Due to this previous long-term neglect from the governments in creating a more effective economic environment, the grey or informal economy is flourishing as a means to survive for people from all social stratums in society. According to the (previous) Serbian Ministry for Social Affairs in their publication “Analysis of Living Standards”, around 1 million inhabitants of Serbia are employed in the grey economy. According to DPRS in Montenegro this is at least 85,000 people.1 This number might even be higher taking into account also the so-called fake unemployed as many of the people registered as unemployed are in fact engaged in the grey economy. According to an estimate by the Serbian Ministry of Economy and Privatisation from every four persons registered as unemployed three are working in the grey economy, so from the total number of 960.000 unemployed persons in reality only 250.000 are unemployed.2 The average monthly net salary in Serbia in 2004 is 14.636 YUD (190 euros)3 while the average grocery basket costs in May 2004 has been 19.545 YUD4 which means, covering the monthly consumer basket requires 1,33 monthly salary. In Montenegro according to the assessment of MONSTAT, the level of net earnings in June 2002 amounted to 118,57 EURO. Official statistics in June 2002 estimated 46.72% coverage of the consumer basket.

      The labour force is ill equipped for their tasks as the educational system is not in any way preparing young people for a future workplace, but schooling them in an autocratic academic way rather than providing them with practical skills. This explains the fact why the vacancies cannot be fulfilled – as the unemployed lack the necessary and required skills.
      Transformation of the government, its institutions and general reform procedures (in legislation and the institutions) is going very slow and is frequently hampered by the instable political environment, which – in turn - does not entice foreign investments.

      For the majority of the Roma5 the economic situation has not changed drastically since 2000. In general the poorer, more marginalized Roma were already reduced to survival tactics and are still depending on these for their daily survival. Fortunately there are still considerable number of Roma employed in government factories (especially in the Nis region) and in the municipality (communal) services but the majority of the Roma depend for their income on the small trade or market selling, and the collection of recyclable, raw materials - the informal economy. The majority of Roma are registered with the state-run Employment Agencies6 under municipal administration, but this is in the first instance to maintain their health insurance and other benefits, rather than expecting to find employment this way.

      There are high unemployment rates (around 30% in Serbia, and 17,4% in Montenegro), but the grey economy seems to absorb quite a large number of unemployed people including Roma. However, in the transition of informal to formal economy Roma might lose their opportunities to obtain some kind of income in this way. Therefore affirmative actions should be taken now to ensure future formal self-employment or small businesses by Roma with adequate skills and knowledge (of taxes, import/export, banking/credits, business plan development, etc.). The Roma still employed in state or private industries should remain there. Active measures should be taken to prevent redundancies of Roma at a large(er) scale (as happened in surrounding countries and or other countries in transition inCentral and Eastern Europe). Therefore it is most important to invest in vocational or re-training of specific skills, so that Roma can compete on the labour market. Roma NGOs can focus on the Roma employment issues together with Trade Unions, to ensure Roma job places and prevent further deterioration of the Roma employment situation.

      There is a role for government institutions, such as the Ministry for Labour, Employment and Social Policy and the state-run Employment Agencies to launch specific, pro-active government interventions, including anti-discrimination legislation – in access to work as well as in the workplace - so that Roma will manage to obtain and secure employment; otherwise they can become an easy target for exploitation.

      Due to the previous wars in the region the number of IDPs and refugees has increased considerably and many amongst them are Roma. Especially the economic situation and living conditions of Roma IDPs from Kosovo are often horrendous. Despite efforts of the international community and local (Roma) NGOs their situation has not improved much over the last 5 years. In order to prevent further marginalisation of poor uneducated Roma and Roma IDPs, registration (for personal identification documents) of Roma and all others who do not have such documents should take place, free of charge, so that they are at least entitled to basic benefits in the field of social and health security.

      Traditional Roma occupations are disappearing. In the current Serbia and Montenegro society there is no longer a demand for these specific, usually hand-made products. With a market overflowing with cheap Chinese and otherwise imported goods, the Roma products, such as handmade (wattle) baskets are too expensive for the local buyers. Nevertheless, supporting revitalisation of some old Roma occupations that survived market changes could be a chance for Roma specially if there would also be export channels secured. In this process the establishment of Roma associations and bundling of capacity in the form of corporations of tradesmen, guilds, and other partnerships should be supported.

      Some important legislation on labour exists but in order to have larger impact on vulnerable groups and Roma in particular some amendments should be made (see recommendations in chapter XIII). Lack of a strategy and policies or Action Plans on specific employment issues, makes this legislation far from adequate and guarantees only a minimum of securities.
      Also, the Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma in Serbia even now accepted by the Roma National Council, still needs to be adopted by the government and a comprehensive Roma Employment Action Plan needs to be developed. Due to the lack of legal instruments and strategies/policies no effective implementation and monitoring can be carried out. It will be also a challenge to implement the Decade Action Plans which have been developed in Montenegro. The key role of Employment Agencies and Labour Inspectorates – even though defined by law – can be improved in effectiveness and (local) capacity and resources. The social partners seem stronger than the legal government institutes in the employment sector, but they can only move forward with sufficient government support. It appears the government is still working hard on the necessary reform within the ministry, which may change effectively all labour related policies. However, the Roma as one of the target groups are not informed yet, in any of the necessary discussions on policy development. Even the Employment Agencies in their attempts to support business starters have not targeted Roma, as they do not seem to be aware of the Roma business potential.

      Anti-discrimination legislation has not been adopted by governments yet. The complex legal system and – often lengthy - court proceedings do not make it easy for people to lodge an official complaint about discrimination in the work place. Discrimination in access to employment is difficult to prove and no proper reinforcement mechanisms are in place to address it. Regardless of legislation it is quite easy for employers to exploit their employees in a market where there is an obvious surplus of labour. Roma and especially Roma women are likely to become victims of exploitation, due to their low level of education, and the position of women in society at large. Roma tend not to lodge a complaint for fear of retaliation and or losing their job.

      The Roma themselves see as a reason for their unemployment often their ethnic background, also they mention the grave economic situation in the country and their education and qualification capacity, which they consider insufficient.

      It is clear from various testimonies that discrimination towards Roma in access to employment and at the work place is a frequent occurrence. Because systemic data is not collected by the state, analysis must rely on anecdotal individual evidence reported and provided in interviews. Such analysis leads to the conclusion that discrimination against Roma in employment is widespread, but it cannot be documented how frequent or systemic it is. We do know that victims of such discrimination have little, if any, recourse and that, as such, discrimination in employment is rarely addressed or amended. Although a sensitive and controversial issue, authorities should include ethnically sensitive variables in the data collecting systems on registration of unemployed people, so as to be able to assist in designing appropriate employment policies for disadvantaged groups. This requires close cooperation of Roma representatives and Roma NGOs with government institutions in order to overcome mistrust against data collection by authorities.

      Vocational training is under developed and inappropriate in a country going through economic transition. It depends largely on the private sector, where practical training is offered, but diplomas are not recognized by the state (in Montenegro they are recognized) and are therefore not considered relevant in a job-application procedure. There is an urgent need to create an adequate policy on vocational training either within the Ministry of Education or within the competence of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy. The former – Ministry of Education – is preferred. The same applies for second-chance education, which is now to some extend within the competence of he Ministry of Labour, but should be envisaged within the foreseen Strategy on Roma Education. Subsidized training and or (individual) financial support for Roma to attend such training should be included in the policy.

      Even though the Roma women in the country have clearly a subordinate role in society, their situation is not as bad as the situation of Roma IDP women, who suffer more from a stricter patriarchal structure. As can be noticed from the examples on discrimination towards Roma women, they do not behave as victims, but rather brush off the insult and make the best of a bad situation. Some Roma women even “benefit” in a competitive sense from their low social status and are exploited by employers. However, this is should not be encouraged and needs to be seriously addressed by the government in a policy on gender issues. The fact that Roma girls show better results in educational levels should be acknowledged and supported by the appropriate authorities – one could think of including Roma girls in public administration, where Roma are under-represented in any case. However, for the Roma IDP women much change is still required, and it is hoped that the Roma Women NGOs will play a constructive role there.

      Life for Roma youth is not easy in Serbia and Montenegro today. This is a reflection of the (employment) situation for young people in general. Yet, a select group of Young (educated) Roma benefit – for the moment – of the inclusion of the country in the Roma Decade initiative. This does not automatically provide them with employment, but rather intends to empower and include them in improving the future of their communities. However, for the less highly educated Roma, life is as much a struggle as it is for their parents and the rest of the community - mainly based on survival tactics rather than future planning. This is due to the limited job opportunities and having necessary “connections” - a system still prevailing in Serbia and Montenegro - whereby Roma are the last in line, if other candidates have the required connections and qualifications. The government authorities may consider investing in young Roma people, to guarantee future employment, increasing living conditions and social cohesion as well as raising of education levels of this population. The majority society is “greying” and in future they will need capable young people to ensure proper care for elderly and an economically viable society to provide for all.

      Insufficient support from one sector leads to restrictions in another sector. For instance low level of education prevents Roma from inclusion in public sector jobs, bad living/housing conditions prevents them from going to school, unhealthy environments can hamper both education and employment opportunities and without unemployment registration no access to health insurance is ensured. In addition social assistance is not sufficient for basic survival. This drives Roma into the informal sector for jobs and/or informal self-employment. More inter-sectoral coordination should take place at government level – as in Montenegro - to ensure the proper design of comprehensive policy measures, taking into account the inter-dependency between the different sectors for solving the problems of Roma.

      The position of rural Roma is for the moment slightly better then Roma settled in urban areas, as there is more social cohesion in the villages; people will take care of each other. However, the rural areas are also a place where the rules of the social stratum are dominating life and are stagnating progress. If a talented young Roma wants to make a career, he will be severely hampered in such an environment, where his place will always be at the lower end of the social scale. In that sense urban areas offer more opportunities - for progress - but also for extreme poverty if progress is not within reach.

      The Roma in Serbia and Montenegro still have a determined position in society and are not fully marginalized. At the current time relations are changing and it will be a challenge for the Roma to maintain good relations with majority population and secure a more equal position in society for themselves.

      Chapter II Introduction

      Background/Justification

      This report has been drafted by two local consultants, one focussing on Serbia, the other on Montenegro.

      The report writing was hampered by limited human resources and a restricted time frame; therefore no research could be conducted in Kosovo.

      Scope of action

      The report includes the research and interviews made with the various Roma groups, including Romani Women and Roma Youth in Serbia between August 2003 and April 2004.

      The research in Montenegro was conducted in January and February 2005

      The situation of Roma IDPs and refugees is also described, even though a thorough analysis of their employment situation is beyond the scope of this report.

      Data collection

      The theoretical-methodological starting point of this survey is a global or a general methodological approach (providing a general picture of society) which should enable a basic understanding of the complexity of the Roma employment situation shaped by its economical, legal, cultural, political, and historical dimensions.

        By avoiding a focus on an economical or legal explanation, which may partially explain the problems, a more thorough approach has been adopted to try to draw a more complete picture of the problems of Roma in accessing employment.

        The complexity of the matter asked for carrying out a so-called orientation-explorative research including the study of relevant literature as well as discussion with people who have experience in this area – individual interviews and focus groups discussions. This allowed for a closer connection with the study-matter and enabled the researcher to define crucial points and further priorities for the survey.

        As a basic technique for data collection the open types of interview has been used, for each category of interviewees’ different questions, or for interviewees from the same category a unique interview (see annexes for interviews). With regard to the possibilities the survey type of free stratification sample has been chosen. For each category of interviewees’ (e.g. Roma woman, Roma workers in public services, Roma street vendors, officers of employment agency, in the areas of Vojvodina, Belgrade and Southern Serbia) a sample has been chosen which the local consultant considered sufficiently indicative. The following municipalities/areas have been covered: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sombor, Zrenjanin, Nis and Kragujevac.

        Data has also been collected on the basis of relevant and available literature such as: publications by the Statistical Office, by the employment agencies and other state institutions, results of various researches, reports of international institutions and NGOs.

      This study also uses case study method as in the part on successful and unsuccessful initiatives for economic empowerment of the Roma and in the part on discrimination.

      Regarding the interviews with employment agency officers, a content analysis was carried out on the answers provided in order to uncover a possibly concealed or hidden meaning.

      Finally, the collected data has been interpreted by using the method of comprehension through which it was attempted to explain the issues for Roma in access to employment through determining factors such as cause and effect, functionality, historical background and political environment.

      The data collected regarding the situation in Montenegro is based on legal provisions, official reports, and reliable reports of NGOs, research, reports from workshops, seminars and presentations at conferences.

      In addition meetings and interviews with government representatives, NGO activists, Roma representatives, representatives of relevant institutions and international organisations were held to gather information.

      Chapter III Roma employment situation

      Number of Roma

      According to the last official census carried out during 2002 Serbia - without Kosovo - has a total of 7.498,001 inhabitants. The Serbs are with 6.212,838 (82,86 %) inhabitants the majority population, followed by Hungarians 293,299 (3,91%), Bosnjacs (Bosnians) 136,087 (1,81%) and Roma with 108,193 inhabitants or 1,44% of total population.7
      It is a widely accepted conviction among demographists that the number of Roma is much higher than the official census states.8 According to a report by Goran Basic the number of Roma in Serbia and Montenegro is about 300,0009, while Bogdan Djurovic estimated in 1996 that Serbia with Kosovo has between 400,000 and 450,000 Roma inhabitants.10 Some Roma sources operate with a even higher number of 700,000 including Kosovo and those who left the country during the conflicts of 90’s.11 According to the official results of a census held in November 200312, 2601 Roma live in Montenegro. According to unofficial researches the number of Roma in Montenegro is around 20,000. About 66% of Roma declare themselves Roma, 24% declare themselves Egyptians and some smaller numbers as Muslims, Montenegrins, Croats, Albanians and nationals of the former Yugoslav Republic (UNDP Survey 2004)
      One survey carried out in 2001-2002 by the Centre for Ethnicity Research in 593 settlements with more than 15 families or 100 inhabitants per settlement, there are 210,353 Romany autochthons and 46,238 IDPs from Kosovo.13 This survey did not cover about 30% of the Romany population - those who are living in settlements smaller than 15 families or less than 100 inhabitants - also mixed settlements in which the Roma are dispersed and not concentrated in a single place have not been included.14

      The disparity between the official census figures and estimates of demographists is the result of ethnic mimicry and methodology for gathering solid statistical population data. Roma, who have been often persecuted and discriminated on the basic of their ethnic background, learned through this negative historical experience that it is better not to be too outspoken about their ethnic origin and tend to hide their identity behind the identity of the majority population or religion identity (e.g. Islamic Roma declare themselves Muslims, Catholic Roma state they are Hungarians15.) The case of ethnic mimicry is the best illustration of the socio-economic position in which Roma find themselves today. Roma have often been noticed to be supportive of “flags of others nations”, believing that as members of other ethnic groups (or majority population) they will have better perspectives for prosperity than as Roma. Data from some older censuses strongly support this point-of-view. After World War II the general optimism in the country and the believe of a new place for Roma in the new Socialistic Society had a strong impact on Roma, creating a growing ethnic solidarity and cohesion, whereby the 1953 census could register 85,000 Roma in SFRY. One decade later - when illusions of a radical (positive) change for the position of Roma was destroyed - the 1961 census registered 32,000 Roma in SFRY, almost 2/3 less then in the previous census.

      On the other hand demographic methodology considers “ethnical determination” not the same as “ethnic origin”.16 Disparity between official census figures and the real number of Roma population are a serious source of frustration to Roma as it reduces their chances to exercise their rights comprised in The Federal Law on Protection of the Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities, The Law on Local Self Administration in Serbia and the Charter on Human and Minority Rights and Civil Liberties, which is a basic document in the formation of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

        For Instance: Article 11 of The Law on Protection of the Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities prescribes that:

    “The unit of local self government is obliged to enter the language and alphabet of national minority in official use always if the percentage of the national minority in the total population on the their territory reaches 15% according to the latest census”

        Article 68 Of the Law on Local Self Administration in Serbia prescribes:”
        “In ethnically mixed municipalities a Council of Inter-ethnic relations will be established. […] Ethnically mixed municipalities are the ones in which one ethnic community forms more than 5% of the total number of inhabitants or all such communities form more than 10% according to the latest population census in the Republic of Serbia. Communities that participate in the total population of the municipality with more than 1% may have representatives in the council for inter-ethnic relations..."

        Practically, there is no municipality where Roma according to the last census (2002) could accomplished the required quotas, prescribed in the above mentioned laws.

        Development of the labour market

      The formal labour market is on the verge of collapse, due to the extended period of sanctions (more than 10 years), the general economic crisis and a government that did not invest in maintaining and/or upgrading state factories. As a consequence of this situation, so-called “fake employment” made its entrance as many of the workers have been sent home for a compulsory rest, as they are considered a “technological surplus”. The labour force is ill equipped for their tasks as the educational system is not in any way preparing young people for a future workplace, but is schooling them in an autocratic academic way rather than providing them with practical skills. The result of this is, that the number of unemployed people is around seven times higher then the number of job offers 16,8 %, but these vacancies nevertheless remain unfilled.17
      In Montenegro there is a clear discrepancy between labour supply and demand; supply is six times higher than the demand, while in case of certain occupations with secondary school qualifications that ratio exceeds even 10 to 1.18

      Due to this neglect from the government in creating a more effective economic environment, the grey or informal economy is flourishing as a means to survive for people from all social stratums in society. According to the Serbian Ministry for Social Affairs in their publication “Analysis of Living Standards”, around 1 million inhabitants of Serbia are employed in the grey economy. This number might even be higher taking into account also the so-called “fake unemployed” as many of the people registered as unemployed are in fact engaged in the grey economy. According to an estimate by the Serbian Ministry of Economy and Privatisation from every four persons registered as unemployed three are working in the grey economy, so from the total number of 960.000 unemployed persons in reality only 250.000 are unemployed.19

      According to DPRS Montenegro of the total active population 30.4% is unemployed. According to the Labour Survey this was 20.7%. The difference is accounted for by unemployed registered with the Labour Bureau, but active in the grey economy. The Survey therefore calculates an average of 24% unemployed.20 Based on estimates 50,000-85,000 people are employed in the informal sector, 5-12% of the total population have found employment in the informal economy.21

      So in Serbia and Montenegro we are dealing with two economies and labour markets the formal one, which seems on the verge of dying out, depending on transformation, which may take too long for many sectors to become economically healthy again; and the informal economy, established by customer demand, flourishing and flexible, but not legalised yet.
      Even though quite a number of Roma are still employed in government factories (especially in the Nis region) and in municipality communal services the majority of the Roma depend for their income on the grey, informal economy.

      Employment/unemployment indicators

      As relevant data for employment indicators still have not been processed (from the 2002 census), data will be used from the 1991 census as well as results taken from some other, more recent research. According to the 1991 census only 27% of the Roma population was economically active as opposed to 46% overall22, the Serbs showing 47% of economic activity. From the economically active population 31,5% of the unemployed were Roma, the total of unemployed people in Serbia was 7,4% and Serbs had unemployment rates of 6,8%, which means that the unemployment rate is more than four times higher compared with majority population. The share of depending persons on one income for Roma is 60%, for total population is 37,6% and for Serbs it is 36,6.23 The average salary for a Roma with a steady job is 25 EURO, which is 1/3 of the average salary in country.24 The average monthly net salary in Serbia in 2004 is 14,636 YUD (190 euros)25, while the minimum salary amount in the first six months of 2004 is 5,394 YUD26 . This means that the grocery basket cost of 19,545 YUD27 requires 3,62 minimum salaries from low paid manual jobs in which the majority of employed Roma are engaged.

      In Montenegro according to the assessment of MONSTAT, the level of net earnings in June 2002 amounted to 118,57 EURO, while according to ISSP in the course of 2002 the amount was 199,00 EURO. Official statistics in June 2002 estimated 46.72% coverage of the consumer basket, ISSP estimated for food and beverages in the same period 46.2%.
      The minimum salary is 50,00 Euro per month.
      The level of average net earnings in the course of 2002 amounted to 200-250 EURO per month (for formal and informal economy).28

      According to analysis the average monthly expenditure per person within the R[oma] population is 2.3 times lower than the average expenditure per person in the country as a whole. Given these figures the poorest R[oma] spend over 15 times less than the R[oma] who have the highest expenditures.29

      Total percentages of unemployed in Montenegro are: regular population 17.0% (663,843), RAE 43.3% (19,534), Refugees 32.5% (13,308) and IDPs 30.4% (22,105); 8% of the total population of Montenegro are R[oma], Refugees and IDPs.30

      A research carried out in 2002 in Roma settlements in Serbia indicate the following quite dramatic data: the percentage of unemployed heads of Roma families is 68,4%, for non-Roma neighbours the percentage is 15,7%. In non-Roma neighbour families, there are 19.4 % pensioners, amongst Roma there are only 2.6 %. It may be concluded that most Roma heads of family have never had the chance of holding a steady job from which they could retire31,
      or they die before retiring age. According to a survey for Belgrade area in 2001, 80,9% of Roma did not obtain formal employment, and 27% stated that they did not have any regular earnings; only 7,9% received a regular salary, whereas 42,6% stated that “collecting secondary raw material” had provided them with additional income in the previous month.32
      According to censuses in the 80-ies Roma population unemployment was 18,7%, ten years later it increased to 38,3% (doubled in comparison with the previous censuses) as a consequence of the continuous economic crises, and insufficient needs of the labour market for low skilled workers.

      Income related data in Montenegro33

      In terms of the income sources of the general population, the majority of households acquire income through employment (75,7%), in the second place are pensions (45,5%), and in the third place are private transfers received from relations and friends in-country and abroad (19,3%). Among the R[oma], income gathered through employment is (27,6%), followed by humanitarian aid (18,7%) and income acquired through unemployment (16%). Among the refugees and IDP’s, income from employment is higher than for R[oma] for the majority of households (54% and 43,3% respectively).

      In terms of the structure of expenditures, food expenses dominate in all population groups: 49,4% among the general population, 66,7% among the R[oma], 51,9% among the refugees and 53,6% of total expenditure among IDP’s. The second largest expenditure represents accommodation expenses. R[oma] households have expressed dissatisfaction with their living conditions. Furthermore, 80,7% of Roma households believe that food security represents a major problem over the long-term.

      The issue of the volume of (registered) employment is closely linked to poverty levels. The volume of the informal sector in 2002 is estimated at 30%. The economic recession, is having a detrimental impact on both the domestic population and the refugees and IDP’s: the labour market is inflexible, even workers with many years of experience are left without jobs, and education no longer guarantees employment. Among the domestic population, within the 16 to 65 age-group, 17% of those surveyed is not working, but is ready to work if employment opportunities emerge. At the same time, the unemployment rate is 43,3% among R[oma], while 32,5% refugees and 39,4%34 IDPs [are not economically engaged].

      Traditional Roma occupations

      For centuries Roma occupied specific professions in different areas of Serbia and Montenegro, such as: musician, blacksmith, carpenter, basket maker, caldron (copper) maker, feather trader, horse trader, fortune teller, bear trainer …35 This started to end in the late 1960s.
      Roma brought along remnants of the caste system from India, when they travelled from India to the Balkans. The caste system comprises a rigorous separation of society into groups on the basis of the professional occupation, and linked to each professional group a specific position and prestige in society. In the case of the Roma this separation and heritage of caste system left only small traces behind in their social structures. Separation of Roma into groups on the basis of their profession has disappeared with time, and Roma groups started to be active in different occupations one after another. Therefore, to refer to specific professions for Roma groups is not very appropriate nowadays. Nevertheless, it is possible to hear from older Roma about the Kikavav group of Roma, kikava means in Roma language vat, or Slajferja which is in Roma language association of amusement park, and games like pinball and arcades.

      As mentioned above, up to the end of the 60-ies of the last century, Roma in Serbia and Montenegro have been mainly working in their own professions. They would sell their goods on markets, or during the festive seasons have small barbecues on the streets, going from door to door selling their products and so on.
      Due to the increasing focus on industrialisation and agricultural reform in late 60-ies many of the old Roma professions disappeared. Roma wares – usually handmade - could not compete with the cheaply produced mass products (either imported or locally produced). Without the possibility to create mass production, and develop knowledge and skills for new times Roma found themselves unprepared and may be considered potential losers of this transition towards industrialised production of goods.
      In addition the agricultural population started to go to the city markets to buy their goods, so there was no more need for Roma going from door to door to sell their wares.
      Also an exodus of labour force from agriculture into industry started and the inclusion of women workers in the industries made it more difficult for Roma to enter the secondary labour market.

      When the Roma traditional occupations became useless and the Roma had no formal education, they were given stigmatizing occupations like: manual street sweeper, gravedigger, cleaning lady, morgue workers, etc. These professions are increasing the prejudices against Roma and are offering them no respect and very little payment.36
      The census of 1981 shows that 41,57 % of the active Roma population has been in manual professions where professional skills are not requested, such as: cleaner, carriers of goods, storekeeper, collectors of raw materials, building site workers. From the percentage of Roma working population, 13,3% ( for total population 1,93%) have been registered in so-called group workers without a profession. This group is divided into sub-groups:

        - workers without permanent vocation;
        - unskilled workers who are not put into other groups;
        - workers who can be put into groups according to vocations.

      Those vocations are labelled /registered, which is demonstrating the disability of statistics to comprehend the abundance of survival strategies of Roma who were not integrated into institutional economy.
      A definitive impulse of the end of Roma traditional occupations was a trend in the middle of the 80-ies starting with some specific articles on the market and a global increase of the grey economy within and between East European countries.37
      This trend opened new possibilities for Roma leading to Roma participation in the grey economy.

      Moreover, some traditional Roma occupations like musicians survived all the above mentioned processes and are still popular today. The same could be said of such occupations as: the feather trader, horse trader, fire (wood, anthracite preparations), amusement park owners and - very rarely though - umbrella makers, bear trainers or caldron (copper) makers.
      Supporting revitalisation of some of these occupations could be a chance for Roma, especially if there would be export channels secured. Especially trading in: feathers, charcoal, horses or occupations like animal breeding, professional musicians… In this process the establishment of Roma associations and bundling of capacity in the form of corporations of tradesmen, guilds, and other partnerships should be supported.

      Self employment
      Due to the ongoing collapse of the formal economy, the Roma started to look for new ways of earning a living. This mostly resulted in small business, usually in the grey economy, and usually small trade in various articles (textiles, car-parts or household articles). These items are sold on the markets or in the streets, but not so much door to door.

      In Belgrade for instance the goods for sale are displayed on parked cars (not of the traders, but of other people – with permission) and whenever the car owner has to use his car, the business items are removed and another car will be used to display the goods. This is of course completely illegal, but seems for all street vendors and their customers the only way to buy and sell the goods. The products for sale in the few official department stores are too expensive and by displaying the goods close to the customers, the sellers can ensure some sales (and profits).
      The city of Belgrade authorities have so far made some feeble attempts to regulate this type of trade, but are not able to control it yet. The traders do not belong to one ethnic group, there are Roma amongst them, but also traders from majority population. Allegedly no protection money needs to be paid for specific (more profitable) locations yet. The police occasionally “cleans” the streets, but has no real powers and the next day the situation is as before.

      In other parts of the country, ways of self-employment can be found as in Belgrade (street-selling, or for instance on the ferry boat in Kotor Bay, Montenegro perfume selling) sometimes self-employment is displayed in starting a small business, or in having some agricultural land (even though this is not so common for Roma), also Roma are engaged in breeding animals for sale and survival. The most common form of labour and self-employment, however, is the collecting of raw/recyclable materials. This form of self-employment usually includes the whole family as a labour force, who in turns go around checking the containers. The collected items are being sold to an intermediary. The price paid for these raw materials by the intermediaries have not increased in the last 6 years, which means the Roma are quite likely exploited by these intermediaries. In the Nis area there is an initiative to form a Trade Union of raw material collectors, so that they can determine the price and have some control over the market.

      In Montenegro collecting of recyclable materials and begging (see paragraph on Child Labour) are the most common self-employment activities. According to the National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro38 20% of total Roma population earn their living by collecting and 15% are beggars, while in 25.9% households one member is temporarily or permanently employment.
      Some Roma are street-vendors on the coast, targeting tourists, but this occupation seems to become less, due to high overall unemployment rates in Montenegro, which decreases employment opportunities in the tourism sector for Roma.

      What is noticeable, in the self-employment described, is that so far there is not a wide-spread or comprehensive attempt by the government to legalise this in Serbia and Montenegro. There are no minimum requirements for education levels or registration of the business imposed yet. However, at the small markets, or “piaca”, the municipality has introduced a tax system (pashaul tax), which is collected for the duration of one year. Also the municipalities are trying to introduce bills & tellers (providing the price and tax) to be used by market-vendors. This more regularized (formalised) market business (already ongoing in Nis) will become more widespread soon and Roma need to be prepared for this new phase if they want to continue their business ventures as before.

      Since 2002 there are some attempts through Small Medium Size Agencies (government initiative) to offer support, such as training and consultancy to starting business ventures. Roma have not been included in these activities much, due to unawareness from both sides.
      According to statements from several Roma, the agency has been informed (in 2002), but did nothing to actively include Roma.

      In Montenegro the Institute for Employment seems to be better informed of the Roma needs, however, so far this has not simplified bureaucratic procedures for Roma much.

      Romani women

      In Serbia and Montenegro the Roma woman is certainly not in the most favourable position. Double discrimination abounds, however, there is a force amongst domicile young Roma women to be emancipated, to be heard and to have higher education levels. The number of Roma women in university is growing but is still very small.

      It is necessary to emphasize that there is a big difference regarding the position of Roma women who are domicile and Roma IDP women from Kosovo. In the case of Roma women from Kosovo the existence of the patriarchal principles is much more intense, a reflection of rural Kosovo, which is until today largely very socially conservative. Most of them do not have finished elementary school, which is also the result of the political situation in Kosovo during the last 15 years. In this period the majority of women from Kosovo were confined to their premises for fear of being raped if they go alone outside of the house. This combination of adhering to Kosovar customs and the consequences of the political situation may explain the reasons for the limited emancipation of the Roma women from Kosovo. For Roma IDPs the family purchasing is the role of the man. The woman is only allowed to work outside of community, after she has brought up the children and when the son’s wife joins the family. Domicile Roma women more often have elementary school then IDPs. They participate in the purchasing of goods for the family. If they work, they work mainly as street vendors, as cleaning ladies in private houses or in the municipal cleaning services… For a domicile young Roma woman it is allowed to educate herself to go out with friends, to be employed, but it is forbidden for her to have sexual relations before marriage, although even this taboo is disappearing lately. In general one could say that domicile Roma women from northern parts of Serbia are more emancipated than the Roma women from southern Serbia and Montenegro - reflecting the more general level of emancipation and development in the different regions.39

      Romani youth

      For young people in Serbia and Montenegro it is difficult to find appropriate jobs. The grey economy is usually the only place where the employment of youngsters is encouraged and appreciated and for the young people this is their chance to make some good money quickly. This is the same for young people with university degrees and those with limited educational background. One can assume, however, that this “exploitation” of youngsters – in heavy unskilled jobs as well as in private enterprises – will take its toll, and does not provide any guarantee for young people to enrol in a job where they are more secure (as far as social benefits, taxes and pensions are concerned).

      In Montenegro there is a high share of unemployment among young people. According to official records (2002), 24% of persons under age of 25 wait to be employed.
      The young people feel mainly trapped in the transition phase the country finds itself in now, and, as opinion polls regularly show, if given a chance young people would go abroad to look for opportunities. They feel equal to Europeans and European standards, while this will not be within reach for the next 10-20 years to come. The government does not seem actively involved and/or using the potential of young people; young people are increasingly de-motivated by this. The government is probably incapable to be more pro-active towards youth due to their inability to speed up the transformation process and to the general political instability of the country, which does not encourage foreign investments. After dramatic and widespread engagement in the movement to overthrow Milosevic, young people and students have not especially been invited to participate in public life and are not demanding a better life through participation in institutional means of expressing dissent, such as voting. They are not politically or socially engaged – are not rallying or barricading for their rights - but are quite inert in changing their future for the better. One of the reasons for this inertness may be the need to focus on their economic survival on a daily basis.

      So if a young generation of majority population are trying to survive on a daily basis, how much more difficult should be the situation for Roma, who are only recently following a reform or emancipation process within their own communities, which gives them more chances, but also protects them less in a (majority) society where competition is getting tougher every day. Young Roma have less support from their communities, and their parents are not convinced higher education levels will provide better jobs – for the young Roma to make a feeble attempt in advancing in society takes enormous courage and determination as they are struggling with their own background and with the severe competition they find in majority society where they will try to look for an appropriate position. It should be acknowledged by government and society alike that affirmative action for Roma youth is not a luxury, but rather a necessity.

      Seasonal/temporary work

      Employment in the agricultural sector and the building industry is usually carried out on a temporary or seasonal basis. Many Roma find employment in these two sectors as the Roma are flexible in their approach and have experience in these types of work.
      From Northern Serbia whole families travel southwards in the season to work as berry pickers or other manual agricultural work; simultaneously also Roma families from Southern Serbia travel elsewhere to find employment in the agricultural harvesting season. This form of temporary employment is even regularised and larger farms might even offer barracks for accommodation and food for their workers.

      Seasonal work is another source of income for Roma households, male members of family work in quarries or the building industry in Montenegro. During the 80-ies Roma also used to work in the tourist industry on the Montenegrin coast. Changes of the economic situation in Montenegro and deterioration of the tourist industry in the early 90-ies as well as growth of unemployment rates in Montenegro decreased the opportunities for Roma in this sector.

      The types of activity Roma deploy to earn a living, seasonal work and self-employment by collecting recyclable materials, some trade and craftsmanship, have not been formalized yet and fall into the grey economy. Roma often conduct work that is least paid and offers no protection. Due to necessity also children from an early age are employed in the same sectors to supplement the family income, or they can be seen begging in the street. The majority of refugees and IDPs are involved in trading, mostly within the grey economy.40

      Regional differences

      Roma in rural areas are mainly working in agriculture, mostly on a seasonal basis. A form of income can also be animal husbandry, breeding of chicken or pigs for consumption or egg-laying chicken for the production of eggs. In certain areas Roma are also collecting wild berries, mushrooms, medical herbs and other forest produce. They will dry these products before sale.

      In the cities Roma tend to be either factory workers, collectors of raw materials or workers in building construction or other heavy unskilled labour. In the urban areas there are more opportunities to find a job, even though a larger income is needed to survive. Around Belgrade there are very many illegal Roma settlements (like slums) – sometimes they disappear and then spring up at another place - which show the trend of people looking for employment in big cities (as can be seen all over the world).

      Even though the employment opportunities in the countryside are fewer, due to more social cohesion in the villages the Roma have a better chance at survival in the countryside and perhaps a better social position than in the towns, where they are often considered the poorest of the poor. Even though towns/cities may offer better employment opportunities, it is doubtful that Roma would be considered for many of these jobs.

      Educational levels and employment

        The low level of Roma education points to the low capacity of labour supply which Roma are able to offer to a labour market depending on skilled people. From the Roma population, who are able to work every fifth is literate (20,5%), less than 1/3 of Roma with elementary school are able to work, while only every tenth from the Roma population of workers have a qualification or specific knowledge or skills for work (9% middle school, 0,3% university degree).
        In Montenegro according to the Household Survey (2003) about 5% of the adults aged 16-24 in the standards population are not in school and never attended secondary school. For R[oma] population this figure is 70%.41 The illiteracy among R[oma] is 76%. In 2002 regular primary school contained only 1% of pupils for RAE nationality, and part-time education about 0.5%.42
        Inclusion of RAE children in the educational system is problematic due to illiteracy and problems of poverty, lack of facilities and inadequately trained teaching staff. Due to the difficult economic situation of lot of R[oma] families have poor living conditions, children in some areas do not have access to running water or conditions for normal psychophysical development. Out of 21 municipalities in Montenegro R[oma] children attend primary school only in 12 of them. There is a high dropout rate of the RAE children following initial entry into primary education.

        The goal of the education reform is an increased enrolment of children in pre-school education of about 2,5% annually, with greater involvement of poor groups in all parts of the Republic, especially RAE children. This should be undertaken by:
        1. intensive building of infrastructure facilities
        2. giving facilities as concession (expanding capacities of existing kindergartens)
        3. stimulating the opening of private kindergartens
        Special attention will be directed on preparation of teachers and other personnel for work with RAE children in native language in pre-school education.43

      The importance of education for economic activity and employment can be found in the following data from the 1991 census:

              27,7% of Roma without education are active,
              62% Roma with elementary school are active,
              80,6% with middle school are active
              86% with university degrees are active44

      The data above illustrates that with increased education the economic activity also increases.

      On the other hand, an inverted causality relation between education-employment can be observed: an unemployed Roma cannot educate himself; uneducated Roma are not able to be competitive on the labour market, so they stay unemployed; as unemployed Roma they are staying poor.

      In Montenegro the R[oma] population poverty profile shows the following data:
      And average R[oma] household has 5.7. members, poverty risk is higher than for households with up to 3 members (55.1% - 18.5%); Households with household-head with less than 50 years of age have a higher poverty risk (54.1%); Households headed by males (53.9%) – reason being: these households have usually more members- ; Household-head with primary education have a higher poverty risk than with secondary education (54.4% - 36.9%).45

      This circle of hardship is a clear result of the extreme poverty Roma live in. This poverty takes the power of culture so in this sense Roma are doubly poor, economically and culturally as well. The shape this culture of poverty takes can be very powerful even if its traits are disguised, while it shapes the framework for ways of behaving, thinking and acting. Different ideas spring from the palace than from the cerga (=tent). The culture of poverty fosters low self-esteem, a strong orientation towards the present (survival strategy), general feeling of helplessness, and makes the level of aspirations low. Fostering living in the present, Roma are not in a situation to invest or make strong efforts in education as this will only yield fruit in the long run. Such a pattern or a way of life passes on from one generation to another and thus poverty is permanently kept alive.46

      Language skills

      The domicile Roma will have sufficient knowledge of the majority language, so that this will not be an immediate barrier in their efforts to obtain employment. Even illiterate domicile Roma will be able to communicate efficiently. The problem of language skills is quite prominent amongst the Roma IDPs from Kosovo, whose first language is Albanian. Especially for the adolescents and adults - people at working age – not mastering the majority language at a sufficient level limits their employment chances.
      The younger generation, i.e. children, have received catch-up classes through numerous NGO activities and sometimes the regular school, so that they can at least enrol in school and receive an adequate level of majority language necessary for future employment.

      Religion

      It is a know fact that religion, church and life in accordance with denominational ethical principles can beneficially influence Roma employment in terms of obtaining a working ethic.
      According to one survey 66,2% Roma in Serbia declare themselves Orthodox, and Islamic 15,5%, and 2,3% as Catholics.47 Their religion is unique compared with the religion of other believers of the religion they profess as it includes elements of other religions. (e.g. Islamic Roma venerate orthodox saints).48
      In Montenegro 12% of the Roma belong to the Orthodox religion, and 82% are Muslim and some belong to protestant communities, such as Jehova’s witnesses.49

      Otherwise, institutionalization of their religion and connection with church is not so strong compared with other believers of religion, therefore the impact of the church in the above mentioned sense (working ethics) is limited. An exception can be made for those Roma who have recently been converted from their more traditional religions to small protestant communities (Baptist, Pentecostal church, Evangelical churches, Jehova’s witnesses and so on).50 These religious communities are smaller with an intense internal structure of social cohesion and solidarity, therefore the impact on believers in this case is higher. The Roma form a part of the church community and are more likely to value ways of life and culture which are not always easily accessible. The phenomenon of Roma Protestantism has a positive impact on their emancipation as workers, in the sense of the Roma obtaining a so-called Protestant work ethic. The doctrine of Protestantism links the idea of “vocation” to the accomplishment of religious duties toward God, success in work is seen as a sign of salvation and God's grace, and devotion to work and diligence as a sign of the presence of faith.51

      Situation of Roma IDPs and refugees
      According to the assessments and figures by ICRC about 215,000 IDPs live in Serbia, while some 29,000 live in Montenegro. UNHCR states there are a total of 220,000 IDPs in Serbia and Montenegro.52 The number of Roma IDPs ranges from 20,000 registered in Serbia and 8,000 registered in Montenegro, to an estimate of 50,000 unregistered.53 UNHCR claims that: “Only an estimated 45% of Roma, Ashkaelia and Egyptians, who fled to Serbia and Montenegro following the ethnic violence in 1999, have been registered as IDPs.”

      When they fled Kosovo in 1999, Roma moved to locations where other Roma were already settled. The highest concentrations of Roma IDPs are in: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Pancevo, Zrenjanin, Nis, Pozarevac, Vranje, Bujanovac, Berane, Podgorica, Bar, Niksic.54
      The majority of them are settled in very overcrowded pre-existing illegal settlements, unrecognized collective centers, abandoned houses, without access to electricity, running water or a sewage system (43,5 % of 593 Roma settlements are without sanitation facilities, while 27,3% are settlements with no water supply).55 According to UNHCR “there are currently 586 illegal Roma, Ashkaelia and Egyptian settlements in Serbia and Montenegro”.

      For the Roma IDPs the access to rights and services, such as medical care, employment benefits, pensions and education depends on being registered as a resident or an IDP in Serbia. The major problem in the registration process is the difficulty to obtain their official documents as the “dislocated municipal registry offices”, where they were registered in Kosovo have been moved to a few cities in southern Serbia. These offices are ill equipped and in bad conditions, while the staff cannot handle the large caseload and the complexities of the individual cases. Moreover some of the key documents, such as birth and marriage certificates are only valid for a period of six months. For the Roma IDPs this means they need to travel to the registry offices, very often spend the night and wait for the documents to be prepared, sometimes travel more than once, which is a heavy financial burden for them.

      For Montenegro UNHCR56 describes the situation of IDPs as follows::
      “The Decree of Montenegro on Displaced Persons dated July 1992 regulates the rights and obligations of both refugees and IDPs. It offers very limited access to civil as well as socio-economic rights for both categories. Further, as a rule, they are not able to receive permanent resident permits. As a result, they do not have access to the labour market and they have very limited access to health care. The Decree on Employment of Non-Residents of 2003 further restricts access by IDPs to the grey area of economy, as additional taxes are imposed on employers who hire non-permanent residents of Montenegro.” (For more information about the situation of IDPs/refugees in Montenegro – see ANNEX I)

      Persons originating from Kosovo who are forcibly returned57 from third countries to Serbia and Montenegro are not permitted to be registered as IDPs either in Serbia or Montenegro.
      For the new group of persons fleeing from Kosovo to Serbia proper after the ethnic violence in March 2004, the registration of this caseload has not yet been established. These persons received a temporary right to stay in Serbia for an initial period of 45 days (extendable upon request for another 45 days, through an Instruction issued by the Serbian Commissioner for Refugees).

      The difficulties surrounding the registration of IDPs are a known fact and have been well documented by UNHCR in their most recent reports. Some well intended initiative has been announced to strengthen the capacity of the registry offices with Roma interns, who can
      use this opportunity to become civil servants (OSCE/ODIHR), but it is not clear whether the Roma interns have been appointed yet. However, one feels the problems are so large and complex – that a more consolidated effort should be made to enable IDPs access to their rights.58

      Interestingly, the EU Stabilisation and Accession Report59 reports that regarding refugee status and deregistration there are “administrative practices and bureaucratic procedures affecting the ability to obtain personal documents, establish residence and access social and health services”. The issue of the specific difficulties of IDPs in registering or obtaining personal documentation is not discussed. In the SAp report, listing the short and medium term priorities both republics are required to “amend legislation to repeal all discriminatory provisions [for refugees, displaced persons and minorities]” as a short term priority. As a medium-term priority both republics are urged to “ensure full respect of their human rights, including access to health services, and easy access to personal documents…” Perhaps the 2004 annual SAp report focussed only on short-term priorities, even though this is not specified.

      It can be concluded that the Roma IDPs are more vulnerable than other IDPs (Serbs), and also compared to domicile Roma they are in a more difficult position. From the 23,100 IDPs who are recognized by ICRC as households below minimum living standards, 11,600 are Roma (11,000 Serbia, 3,600 Montenegro).60

      As far as employment is concerned, the Roma IDPs are involved in similar economic activities as the domicile Roma, such as the collection of recyclable materials (grey/informal economy). As those activities are already carried out by the domicile Roma, the opportunities for the IDPs to earn some kind of a living are less compared with resident Roma. Therefore some of the Roma IDPs are gathering their income by begging and according to ICRC “some households collect food leftovers from garbage to feed their family”.61

      Another difficulty is that many of these IDPs do not speak Serbian or their knowledge of Serbian is very limited (see section on language and employment). This also hampers their chances on the labour market.

      For Roma refugees from Croatia - there are some 30 families in Bezdan, Northern Serbia – the situation is however better than for domicile Roma. They have Croatian passports which enables them to travel without a visa to Germany, Austria and Western Europe in order to find temporary employment. After working in Western Europe for three months (end of the allowed temporary stay) they return to Bezdan and after some time they start to travel for work again.

      People without identification documents

      A large number of Roma in Serbia and Montenegro - mainly those from illegal settlements - are without personal documentation. Comprehensive statistics do not exist regarding the numbers of these Roma without identification documents. A survey conducted in Belgrade by OXFAM discovered that 39% Roma in that city do not have an ID card. Most affected are Roma IDPs, 56% of them did not have an IDP registration card, which is necessary to receive humanitarian aid.62

          The latest research carried out on this issue will be released in the Spring of 2005. The research is a joint activity of CARE International in Serbia and Montenegro, the Norwegian Refugee Council/Praxis and Center for Ethnicity Research.63

      Lack of personal documents paralyses the access to services and to basic rights and privileges, such as: right to vote, (free) health care, employment, state housing provided by the program for social vulnerable people, right to receive state social assistance, even to receive humanitarian aid from International Agencies and other non-governmental organizations. ”They also experience difficulties - as many other IDPs - in obtaining payment of their pensions and allowances. For instance, pensions paid to IDPs in Serbia are inaccessible to IDPs in Montenegro without travelling to Serbia,”64

      When Roma try to register for identity documents, they often cannot supply proof of their present place of residence because their settlements or streets are illegal, i.e. they have not been legalized by municipal authorities and formally entered in the property registers (“katastars”). As a result, an applicant from an illegal settlement does not have a registered address in the municipalities’ index of streets. Roma, especially IDPs, who wish to obtain identity documents often cannot provide authorities in their current location with birth certificates necessary to obtain identity cards. A precondition for obtaining a birth certificate (and a child’s birth certificate is a precondition for school enrolment) is that the child’s parent has a birth certificate. Birth certificates must be obtained from the registry office in the individual’s place of birth. Registry books from Kosovo have been moved to municipalities in southern Serbia, but some books are still in Kosovo, notably Klina municipality.
      Other reasons for the existing documents situation are: lack of awareness among Roma about the need to be registered, lack of trust towards authorities, lack of flexibility by the authorities to adapt to the particular situation of IDPs and persons living in illegal settlements and related costs associated with obtaining documents, such as documents fees, court costs and travel/accommodation costs.65

      Child Labour

      In poor Roma families the children already at an early age assist in obtaining the family income. Usually the older girls look after their younger siblings, while the boys from the age of 8 may already accompany father or mother in collecting raw materials. This participation by children in acquiring the family income should not interfere with the rights of the child, including the right to education. Roma parents may very well not be aware of the rights of the child, or in such a desperate situation that the child’s participation makes a substantial difference.

      However, if children are purposely exploited and are engaged in degrading and humiliating jobs, then it becomes the responsibility of the government and society at large to put an end to this, for the benefit of the child. For all parties - government and Roma communities alike – begging by Roma children is an embarrassing problem, difficult to address. It is a phenomenon on the rise in Serbia and Montenegro – mainly carried out by Roma IDP children - and may negatively affect the still reasonable social cohesion between Roma and majority population in Serbia and Montenegro.

      On the other hand – some poorer Roma communities in Southern Serbia – even foster a tradition of begging and travel to Bosnia Herzegovina or Montenegro in the summer season to earn some extra income. In the Roma settlement Mazurica, close to Surdulica, one old handicapped lady is known to be transported to Sarajevo in summer for the purpose of begging. In Berane, Montenegro one domicile Roma woman is a locally known professional beggar.

      Nevertheless, with an increase in child begging in the major towns in Serbia and Montenegro, and the more serious forms of organised begging by Roma children in the region this issue should be addressed immediately.

      The issue of Child Labour is beyond the scope of this report – Save the Children Fund will publish a report on this issue for the whole region in he course of 2005.

      Conclusions: The employment situation for Roma in Serbia and Montenegro can be considered fragile at best. There are high unemployment rates, but the grey economy absorbs quite a large number of unemployed people including Roma. In the transition of informal to formal economy Roma may lose income opportunities. Therefore affirmative actions should be taken now to ensure future formal self-employment or small businesses by Roma with adequate skills and knowledge - of taxes, import/export, banking/credits, business plan development, etc.

      Roma still employed in state or private industries should remain there. Active measures should be taken to prevent redundancies of Roma on a large(er) scale. Therefore it is most important to invest in vocational or re-training of specific skills, so that Roma can compete on the labour market. Roma NGOs can focus on the Roma employment issues together with Trade Unions, to ensure Roma job places and prevent further deterioration of the Roma employment situation.

      In order to prevent further marginalisation of poor uneducated Roma and Roma IDPs, registration (for personal identification documents) of Roma and all others who do not have such documents should take place, free of charge, so that Roma are entitled to basic benefits in the field of social and health security.

      The government should include Romani Women and Youth in future employment programmes.

      Chapter IV Employment policy development and implementation

      1. National employment policy and other relevant policies in the field of employment

      Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for Serbia

The PRSP for Serbia was adopted in 2003 by the Government of Serbia and the whole text recognizes Roma as one of the most vulnerable groups. One of the addenda to the strategy is dedicated solely to the poverty of Roma. In particular also Roma woman, Roma children, and Roma returnees are mentioned as vulnerable groups regarding aspects of gender, the specific problems of returnees and child poverty. For the period from 2004 to 2006 - the implementation of the Strategy – funds are foreseen within the budget for activities on Roma, such as: Employment (10.2 millions euros), Education (46.8 millions euros), Social protection (1.8 millions of euros), Rebuilding of Roma unhygienic settlements (47.4 millions euros).
The empirical basis for the development of the PRSP has been the survey on living standards of the Serbian population undertaken in 2002 by the government. This survey did not cover Roma, IDPs and refugees, so even if Roma are mentioned in the Strategy, activities on Roma within the Strategy are not based on a comprehensive needs diagnosis.

      At the moment no activities on Roma within PRSP are being implemented.

      Montenegro has no specific Strategy for Roma population, nor have they developed Employment Strategies for vulnerable groups. However, The Montenegrin Law on Employment recognizes the “Active Employment Policy” (AEP) defined in Article 24, which defines measures to stimulate the establishment of new work places. Unfortunately no specific target groups are defined. Also according to the EC Stabilisation and Association Report (2004) “The legal framework [regarding Labour rights] has improved […] through the adoption of new employment laws. […] However, implementation of legislation is often difficult.66 To provide some more detailed insight in (un)employment and poverty levels of Roma data from the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (DPRS) will be presented.

      DPRS data
      The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (DPRS) shows that 12.2% of the population of Montenegro is poor. The absolute poverty line is defined as the total expenditure below the minimal consumer basket for a standard household (€ 116.2 per consumer unit per month) and the line of defining the economically vulnerable population is set 50% above the poverty line (€ 173.4). Assessments of poverty are sensitive to the poverty line: more than one third of the population is classified as economically vulnerable or without access to sufficient resources, because they live below the level of 150% of the poverty line. Poverty assessments are particularly sensitive around the poverty line (the concentration of the population around the poverty line is rather large, in other words, a slight moving of the poverty line upwards, significantly increases the percentage of poor people). According to the research from June 2003, raising the poverty line for 20% would double the poverty rate. Given that this study includes research by population group, there are clear variations in poverty. The poverty rate is largest among Roma (52,3%); it is equal among refugees and IDPs (slightly below 40%) and smallest among the regular population (9,6%).

      The most vulnerable are the residents of northern Montenegro, which has an overall poverty rate of 19,3% and where 45% of the total poor are located. This region also includes 9,7% of Roma, 10,4% of the refugee and 51,6% of the IDP populations. Around 35% of the poor live in the central region, which has a poverty rate of 10,8%. The central region also contains 52,3% of the Roma, 51,1% of refugee and 36,6% of the IDP population. Around 19% of the poor population lives in the southern region which has the lowest regional poverty rate of only 8,8%.67

      The poverty rate with the R[oma] population in Montenegro is 4.5 times higher than the national poverty rate, and 5.5 times higher than the poverty rate among the regular population.

        National rate of poverty is 12.2%
        Poverty rate among the regular population is 9.6%
        Poverty rate among R[oma] is 60%, refugees 48%, and displaced persons 46%

       

      Montenegro

      Regular population

      RAE*

      Refugees

      IDPs**

      The assessed size of the population

      100%
      (718.790)

      92,4%
      (663.843)

      2,7%
      (19.534)

      1,9%
      (13.308)

      3,1%
      (22.105)

      Absolute poverty:
      Expenditure/expenses under the absolute poverty line
      (€ 116,2 per month per person)

      12.2%

      (87.641)

      9.6%

      (63.728)

      52.3%

      (10.216)

      38.8%
      (5.164)

      38.6%
      (8.532)

      % poor by group

      100%

      72.5%

      11.7%

      5.9%

      9.9%

      Economic vulnerability and absolute poverty: Expenditure/expenses below the absolute poverty line +50%
      (€173.4 per month per person)

      34.4

      31.1

      75.6

      68.9

      73.2

            Poverty gap

      3.6

      2.7

      23.2

      12.1

      10.2

      Severity of poverty

      1.5

      1.0

      13.8

      5.5

      3.8

      Average deficit of the poor as a percentage of the poverty line

      29.9

      28.0

      44.4

      31.2

      26.4

      Extreme poverty: expenses for food < the poverty line for food

      4.7

      3.5

      24.6

      17.0

      15.3

      The share of food expenses > 0,6

      26.7

      23.9

      79.3

      44.5

      52.4

      Poverty with respect to education: 16 to 24 years old that are not in school and did not attend secondary school

      17.2

      4.7

      70.0

      29.3

      8.0

      Poverty and health:
      Any illness/injury in the last 30 days which prevented or disabled standard activity

      6.1

      6.2

      9.3

      3.3

      3.2

      Poverty with respect to employment 16 to 65 years old that are not working, but ready to work if employment opportunities are identified

      17.4

      17.0

      43.3

      32.5

      30.4

      Poverty with respect to living conditions The source of drinking water in the flat/house is not from the water network or the flat/house does not have a bathroom

      18.6

      16.0

      74.7

      28.5

      39.9

      Less than 10m per person in the flat/house

      11.3

      8.2

      85.8

      54.5

      50.1

       


      *Total RAE population consists of both domestic RAE (14,856) and internally displaced RAE (about 4,680).
      **Without RAE from Kosovo;68

      Fund for the Development of the Republic of Serbia.

      The Fund for Development of the Republic of Serbia was established in 1992 to support programs of economic development in the country, development of SMEs and enhancement of export.
      This Fund gives credits to businesses with funds, which are mainly secured from the Republican budget, as well as from Banks and Foreign credits. The budget of the Fund for 2004 is 160.630.716,00 Euros from which 52.857.142,00 Euros are allocated to SMEs credits.
      The Fund provides SMEs with 40-80% of financial resources necessary for one project, with a term of payment of up to five years with an interest rate of 1- 5% annually depending on the level of the municipality economical environment where the project is supported.
      The Fund’s programme for 2003 and 2004 puts as one of its main targets for the Regional Development of Serbia: “credits to development of SMEs in insufficiently developed and ethnically mixed regions, particularly in southern Serbia.” Also the programme prescribes that projects which secure new employment have priority. The application form for credits is, however, too complicated for low educated Roma. It was impossible to obtain information on the amount of resources allocated in 2003 to their main target groups.

      Strategy for Development of SMEs and Entrepreneurship in Serbia 2003-2008

      Adopted on 16 January 2003 by the Government, the strategy refers to changes in financial legislation and the economical environment of country, which should increase the share of SME in the global economy of Serbia. The strategy is adopted having in mind that the development of SMEs plays an important role in the economic recovery of Serbia and that SME will be one of the main sources of employment. The government expects that the effect of this strategy will be one million new work places by the end of 2007.

      The strategy does not contain any references regarding entrepreneurship of vulnerable groups, not even regarding unemployed persons. The strategy only mentions that “in the implementation of this Strategy, the National Employment Agency will be included in the sphere of creating conditions for employment in the SME sector”.
      However, employment agencies interviewed by the local consultant reported that they do not know of any activities of the Republican Agency for SMEs regarding this strategy.

      Draft Strategy for the Integration and Empowerment of the Roma
      The Draft Strategy for the Integration and Empowerment of the Roma pointed out that Roma should be mainstreamed in other policy papers, inter alia, in the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and SME. This Strategy recognizes entrepreneurship and enterprise of Roma as a one of the main areas which should be targeted in the process of economical empowerment of Roma. We can conclude therefore that the Strategy for Development of SME and Entrepreneurship in Serbia 2003-2008 did not include the recommendations from the Roma Integration Strategy. Although, it should be pointed out that the Draft Strategy for Integration of Roma has not been adopted by the Government yet, which to a certain extend provides a legitimate excuse for deficiencies in the Strategy for SMEs regarding Roma issues, but not for a lack of a policy on vulnerable groups in general within this SME Strategy.
      However, in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper – adopted by the Government - the role of entrepreneurship is emphasized, especially in the process of economic empowerment of vulnerable and poor population, but the SME Strategy does not take that into account.

      Employment Policy and National Employment Agency

      There is no Employment Strategy in Serbia, but an assessment on the employment
      policy can be made through reviewing the employment law and its implementation.
      In July 2003 the new Law on Employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment was adopted (Official gazette of R.S. 71/2003), which introduces some new measures, such as, institutionalization of an “active employment policy” (article 9). This refers to the special programs and measures in which, inter alia, priority is given to: employment of refugees and IDPs, employment of persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high, employment and professional rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, employment of women and self-employment (Article 31). The program of “active employment policy” as the law prescribes should be adopted by the government, after having received an opinion or recommendations of the Socio-economic Council of the Republic of Serbia (Article 31).

      In accordance with this program, the government, provincial and local authorities announce public calls for submitting project proposals of active programs for employment which will be financed from the budget of the National Employment Agency and donations (Articles 32 and 33).

      This program of “active employment policy” is not yet adopted, neither are there signs that it is in a process of preparation. Also the Socio-economic Council as a body comprising representatives of the Government, Trade Unions and Associations of Entrepreneurs - as a generator of social dialogue in the country - currently does not exist. According to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy members of this body dissolved the council with the explanation that there is no social dialogue, and that a new composition should be established, but this is not established yet.
      In trying to obtain information regarding concrete measures of “active employment policy” within the programme, the employment agencies could not provide any information. Information, however, was obtained that the “active employment policy” and the target groups who have priority according to this Act are not especially favoured. These groups will not have priority in the realization of general rights for unemployed persons such as: the right to information on job offers, the right to mediation in the process of employment, the right to vocational re-training, but they will only have priority in special governmental programmes.

      Nevertheless, some of the measures prescribed within the law itself are progressive and their further application is in so-called general Acts of the National Employment Agencies.
      So, Article 34 of the mentioned Law and Article 57 of the Rules on Conditions and Procedure of Fulfilment of Rights of Persons Who are Seeking for Employment( Official Gazette of the RS, No 61/04) prescribes that employers who employ persons from one of the category mentioned in article 31 of the Law (refugees, IDPs, people with disabilities, employment of persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high…) have the right to subsidies for health, social, and pension security. The Employment Agency in Sombor reported to local consultant that these subsidies will be reimbursed not in total but to the amount of 30% for the period of one year. It remains to be seen whether this will be a sufficient incentive for employers.
      Further, Rules on Procedure for Fulfilment of Rights on Subsidies for self-employment (Official gazette of RS 07/04) and in the public announcement of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Policy prescribes amounts of subsidies for following categories of unemployed persons:

          140 000 YUD (around 2,000 euros) for persons with disabilities
          120 000 YUD for unemployed persons older then 50 age
          100 000 YUD for self-supporting mothers or both unemployed parents
          80 000 YUD for unemployed person younger then 27 years of age
          70 000 YUD for other unemployed persons

      Although, Roma could benefit if they ask for the subsidy for the category of self-supporting mothers or both unemployed parents, there is, unfortunately, no mention of a category such as “persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high”.
      Many of Roma are self-employed in the informal economy and if they will not be supported they will not be able to adapt to the upcoming legalised economy (formal market), nor will it be possible for their self-employment or “business” to survive in the “formal economy”.
      Therefore, authorities should also allocate special amounts of subsidies for self-employment to category of “persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high”.
      On the other hand, even a public announcement of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Policy states that the programme supports “self-employment through establishment of SMEs companies, guilds, agricultural farms, shops and through other forms of business cooperation”. However, for one business idea only one person is able to get a subsidy. For instance, if five unemployed persons would like to open a bakery together, only one person can get the subsidy.
      Therefore, authorities should support cooperatives of unemployed persons and prescribe subsidy amounts for such cases.
      Taking into consideration that the “Rules on Using the Funds of National Employment Agency” is in preparation, there is a good chance that the above mentioned recommendation will be included.

      Currently, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy is developing a National Employment Strategy and Action Plan on Employment. The Employment Strategy covers the period 2004-2008, while the Action plan covers the period 2005-2006. Also, the Ministry, together with the Roma National Council, World Bank and the State Ministry for Human Rights and National Minorities is involved in the development of an Action Plan on Roma Employment in accordance with the Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of Roma. This Action Plan, as the Ministry stated, will be included in National Action Plan.
      The methodology and timelines of the Roma Employment Action Plan according to the Draft Strategy for Integration are the same as for World Bank Decade Action Plans and they cover a period of 10 years.

      At this stage of the development of the Action Plan on Roma Employment we can say that the document is more a compilation of various projects, then a policy document on providing relevant legislative measures for Roma integration within the existing labour market and society at large. Therefore, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, the Roma National Council and World Bank should create more comprehensive action plans where all measures defined should be accompanied by appropriate changes in legislation and clearly mention the main actors in the implementation process.
      Since the Action Plan covers a period of ten years, the developers of the Roma Employment Policy should take into account the fact that the country will find itself in the process of accession to the EU, which will require the creation of human rights, social, economical and labour market environment of the country in accordance with European standards.

      Concrete Actions by Employment Agencies

      Regarding Roma employment the Employment Agencies informed that they participated in the following activities:
      - The Employment Agency in Novi Sad within the project of the American Development Foundation “SME Business Start-up Training for refugees, IDPs and Roma” gave a training on the new employment law and possibilities for self-employment;
      - Within the public works project “Beautiful Serbia” financed by UNDP the Employment Agency in Nis have been responsible for workers selection. The Ministry for Employment informed that a quota of 30% for Roma workers has been made for the “Beautiful Serbia” project, but the problem was that the number of Roma who were interested in the skills training and the temporary employment was insufficient. It appears that the remuneration for the temporary employment in the “Beautiful Serbia” project is so low that even unskilled construction workers prefer to work in the grey economy – where the pay for 8 days is the same as the pay for one month in the project.

      Equal opportunities policies

      Public Procurement Policies are not used to address certain categories of disadvantaged employees nor Roma population, as yet. A fuller description of equal opportunity provisions is given in Chapter V of this report.

      2. The Draft Strategy for the Integration and Empowerment of Roma: the chapter on Employment
      The draft Strategy was finished in December 2002 and represents a package of proposals for “administrative and legislative reforms required to promote empowerment and integration of the Roma population fully into the social and economic framework of the country.” (page 8 of Draft Strategy).
      The following issues are discussed: Education, Housing, Access to public services (education, health, social welfare), Economic empowerment and employment, Problems related with personal documentation, Roma IDPs, Roma returnees, Roma woman and children, Political participation, Media and Culture (page 8). The following areas were prioritized: Education, Housing, Economic empowerment and employment and Roma IDPs.
      For the development of the draft Strategy a Strategy Team was established composed of two international experts and four national experts-including two Roma consultants. Additional experts from the Roma community were contracted on an ad hoc basis.
      Participation of Roma community was considered as “a crucial precondition for successfully addressing the needs of the community and ensuring their co-operation in the implementation of the future Strategy.”(page 18).
      To reach this aim, preliminary regional meetings were organized in Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad with 25-30 participants from the Roma community in each meeting. An additional meeting was held with Roma NGOs from Kragujevac. During these meetings the initial outline of the Draft Strategy and proposed Roma experts, for the Roma expert groups, were discussed by Strategy Team.
      Nine experts groups were established by the Roma communities for each of the sectors of the Draft Strategy. A total of nearly 70 experts participated in the groups.
      Issues and recommendations discussed by the experts groups “were integrated in the draft”. Different views on certain topics were “duly reflected in the draft Strategy” (page 19).
      Also the United Coalition for the Election of the Roma National Council – a predecessor to the Roma National Council - had delegated some members to participate in the experts group. Also a number of individual Roma were consulted, who did not participate in the working groups.
      After the first version of the draft, informal meetings were held with Roma in Montenegro “to inform them about the elaboration of the draft Strategy.”(Page 19).
      Comment on the general approach
      In the first section of the Draft Strategy is mentioned the so-called Rights-based approach as a fundamental principle for the development of the Strategy (Introduced in the publication of the UN OHCHR entitled Draft Guidelines: a Human Rights Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategies, Geneva, September 2002)
      Introducing this principle for the development of policies in the draft Strategy one finds “rationale of the draft Strategy no longer derives merely from the fact that the Roma have needs but also from the fact that they have rights-entitlements that give rise to legal obligations on the part of the others. Action in favour of the Roma then becomes more than charity, more than moral obligation, it becomes a legal obligation” (duty to respect, protect and fulfilment of rights) page 21.
      As an essential characteristic of a human rights approach are mentioned: Accountability, the principles of universality, non discrimination and equality the principle of participatory decision-making processes, and the recognition of the interdependence of rights” (page 21).
      It is underlined in the introduction of draft Strategy that one of three basic points which are asked and mandated by the Strategy Team were to “Place at its centre the protection and promotion of the human rights of the Roma, and in particular freedom from discrimination” (page 18).
      Taking into account the long history of discrimination of Roma people resulting in their current disadvantaged position, affirmative action should be developed (reference taken from the Federal Law on the Protection of the Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities, which makes allowances for affirmative actions for Roma – see Article 4.2. states that “… (a)uthorities will pass legal acts and take measures from the first paragraph of this Article with the aim of improving the position of persons belonging to Roma national minority.” ).

      .

      Taking into account the current socio-economic situation affirmative action should be seen in the light of “do-no-harm approach…developed in such a way not to deteriorate inter-ethnic relations” (page 11-24) Indeed, in order to avoid the risk of creating tensions with other communities, the actual implementation of such action, in particular at the municipal level, should always consider its potentially negative impact on inter-ethnic relations. Certain projects suggested in the draft Strategy should, therefore, consider the participation, or even the inclusion, of vulnerable members of other communities” (page 24).

      One of the criteria for development of the strategy was to present a realistic, balanced approach, taking into account requests from the Roma community, as well as the capacity of government institutions and international organisations (page 19). The following priorities from fourteen main sectors of the draft Strategy were selected for immediate action: Education, Housing, Economic Empowerment and Employment and Access to Public Services and the Situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
      A participatory approach with the Roma community in the development, implementation and monitoring of the Strategy was defined as follows: “Co-operation should not be limited to mere consultation but should be conceived as a partnership on an equal footing” (page 100).
      The Draft Strategy does not recognise the need for establishing the principle of integration without assimilation, in other words there is no declared pledge for preservation of identity, for fostering differences and multiculturalism in society.
      Integration without assimilation can be considered a conditio sine qua non, and a specific chapter on culture was added to the Strategy, however, the above mentioned issues were not elaborated further.
      The Draft Strategy does not comprise references regarding social inclusion and anti-poverty measures.
      Regarding references to employment measures the Draft Strategy pointed out that activities on Roma economic empowerment should be co-ordinated with the activities of the governmental institutions dealing with general economic empowerment.
      Further, main activities in the framework of Draft strategy should be on the one hand integration of Roma in the labour market, and on the other hand, supporting structures for Roma entrepreneurship.
      Any measures regarding employment should be sustainable and take into account the demands of the (labour/consumer) market.

      Equality, non-discrimination, social inclusion, anti-poverty measures

      No specific references to these points were made in the Draft Strategy, even though the mentioned Rights Based-approach in the Draft Strategy focuses on principles of non-discrimination and equality as essential points of departure. There are no references in the Draft Strategy regarding social inclusion and/or anti-poverty measures. It appears that PRSP was assumed to address anti-poverty measures.
      As far as non-discrimination and equal opportunity policies are concerned the following references are made:
      3.4.1. (7): The low level of education and professional training, as well as discrimination suffered in the past, which prevented thus far the equal participation of the Roma in the economy, call for the introduction of an equal opportunity policy as well as for affirmative action.
      3.4.4. (5): An effective anti-discrimination law should provide for the implementation of an equal opportunities policy.

      Employment chapter of the strategy

      The main factors recognized by the Draft Strategy which contribute to the disadvantaged position of Roma on the labour market are:

        1) Low level of education
        2) Discrimination by (some) potential employers

      The Strategy underlines that continued deprivation of Roma would contribute to increase the current prejudices towards them and widen the ethnic distance. Also, lack of sustainable economic perspective and continued discrimination might cause illegal migration to Western Europe. The transition phase and reform processes might further deteriorate the position of Roma in the sense that experiences show that in the framework of privatization unskilled workers are more likely to be laid of. On the other hand the reform process presents an opportunity to consider the specific situation of the Roma in the reform programs. Consequently, affirmative action and equal opportunities policy should be “introduced” and the Roma employment issue considered in the framework of documents such as Reform Agenda for Serbia, the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and SME Development, the Social Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Programme on Vocational Education and Training.
      According to the Draft Strategy the following areas should be targeted:

          a) Legislation- anti-discrimination law and equal opportunity policy. Affirmative action with regard to increasing the number of Roma employed in Federal, Republican, Provincial and Municipal institutions be obligatory, tax alleviation in occupations of vulnerable persons, including Roma, such as small scale trading, flea market trading, provisions for incentives to employ very vulnerable persons, such as wage subsidies schemes and tax-credits for employers, include Roma.

        b) (Re-) integration into the labour market:

            Increase number of Roma employed - Roma should be integrated in temporary public work programmes, housing construction programmes for their community and programmes upgrading the infrastructures of Roma settlements.
            Support to employers employing Roma - The Support Fund to provide loans (with low interest rates and long grace periods) to employers under the condition that these loans are used for the employment of Roma, Wage-subsidy schemes and tax-credits for employers could be introduced in order to facilitate the employment of Roma, in the course of the privatisation of state or municipal companies that employ a large number of Roma, the future employment of Roma should be encouraged.
            Increase in the number of Roma employed by the State and Municipalities - special apprenticeship and internship programmes,
            Romany-owned enterprises in the privatisation of state and municipal companies which employ a large number of Roma,
            Include Roma in Yugoslav Army and Police, public contracting,
            Avoid the further laying-off of Roma in the process of privatisation of state or socially owned enterprises.

        c) Enterprise-development programmes for Roma - Income-generating projects

          developing small family or community enterprises and promoting local development in general, to bank loans for Roma-owned small and medium enterprises (SME) and in particular to (soft) micro-credits, Economic Development Fund” helping income-generating projects and SME to develop, providing increased access to funding and by improving the guarantees given to financial institutions, providing loans (with low interest rates and long grace periods) under the condition that these loans are used for the establishment of Romani-owned enterprises, land ownership by Roma, The Fund could be established as a “revolving fund”. It could foster social cohesion, and re-invest return interests in social or educational projects,
          d) Training - Long-term economic empowerment programmes have to be coordinated with programmes in the education sector; vocational training and qualification programmes for young Roma, qualification programmes for qualified but unemployed Roma
          e) Business support services for Roma entrepreneurs and participants in the income-generating programmes should be provided with Specific training to national and local labour offices [Employment Agencies] in order to make them more aware of situation of the Roma.
          f) Information - an information campaign for Roma on their rights and duties in the field of employment, and about the different types of assistance available from administrative bodies and about the functioning of institutions such as social security.

      The chapter on Employment of the Draft Strategy does not provide any information on implementation, monitoring and evaluation bodies and mechanisms. Regarding funding the chapter speaks of the establishment of a “Support Fund” with the role to provide loans (with low interest and long grace periods) to employers under the condition that these loans are used for the employment of Roma. The chapter is also mentioning an ”Economic Development Fund” in order to assist income-generating projects and SME, providing increased access to funding and improving the guarantees given to financial institutions. This “Economic Development Fund“ should be only dedicated to the developments of enterprises. However, it could also be integrated into the general “Support Fund”. There are no further details regarding structure and terms of references of these funds.

      Although the chapter on employment does not contain recommendations regarding implementation, monitoring and evaluation bodies and mechanisms, the third and last chapter of Strategy is dedicated to these topics.

      So, the Strategy recommends the establishment of Federal Co-ordination Council as a body attached to the Federal Ministry for National and Ethnic Communities. The Co-ordination Council would have to consist of representatives of the Ministry and Roma National Council. The Council should develop general policies with regard to the integration and empowerment of the Roma, develop priority programme areas for the Strategy, co-ordinate the relevant Republican activities and establish guidelines for the implementation at the Republican level, develop the Terms of Reference of the proposed Support Fund and have the competence to raise funds.

      Also a Roma Office should be established “to deal exclusively with Roma-related issues and be tasked with organising capacity-building training, public information campaigns, fund-raising, etc.” Should the Roma Office be based on the Federal (Union) level, it should act as a secretariat of the Co-ordination Council, should the Roma Office be based on Republican level, it could either be a part of a Republican Ministry of National Communities or of the Prime Minister’s Office or of the Office of a Deputy Prime Minister for Minorities.

      On the republican level an Inter-ministerial Commission should be established with representatives of relevant Ministries, Roma (preferably nominated by the Roma National Council) and, as appropriate, independent experts, should be included as members of this Commission. The Strategy underlines that “ways should be identified to involve representatives of Municipalities in the Commission on a permanent basis”.

      Within the framework provided by the Federal Co-ordination Council, the Inter-ministerial Commission should supervise the implementation of the Strategy and plans of action on the Republican level.

      At the working level each relevant Ministry should organise regular consultations with experts from the Roma community and representatives of the international community in order to support the Inter-ministerial Commission.

      The Strategy also recommends that local municipalities in cooperation with Roma should establish local plans of actions in order to facilitate the integration of local Roma communities. In municipalities with an existing local Roma Council, the Roma should actively participate in the establishment and implementation of the action plan(s). The Council and the Municipality could develop joint projects to be submitted to donors or Support Fund (see below).

      Concerning funding, the Support Fund should be established with financial resources from the Federal and Republican budgets as well as from international sources. The Support Fund should be administered by representatives of the Government and Roma representatives.

      The municipalities should also make financial contributions from their own budget when they implement activities for Roma empowerment.

      The chapter on Employment of the Draft Strategy does not present a comprehensive and exhaustive program for improvement of situation of Roma in the field of employment, but rather provides through recommendations a direction for development of further policies. The Strategy authors stress that further plans of action should be develop by the Government, which should ensure the participation of Roma.

          “The vulnerable situation of the Roma requires a co-ordinated and long-term commitment of all the authorities concerned and of the International Community. In order to alleviate the situation of the most vulnerable, however, short-term, transitional and ad hoc regulations and arrangements should also be introduced (page 47).”

      The Draft Strategy is developed during the time of the negotiations between the Serbian and Montenegro government regarding the new Union Charter and during the time of the election process of the Roma National Council. In a situation where the future of the country is insecure, and further separation of competencies between Union and Republican institutions are being established, the authors of the strategy had a difficult assignment. Nevertheless, the Draft Strategy shows omissions which are not only due to negative political circumstance in the period of development of the strategy. In particular this refers to omissions in reference to a precise and well-focussed monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure the proper implementation of the Draft Strategy. The Strategy merely lists some available (local) mechanisms, which are cumbersome and often in-effective and recommends the establishment of an independent mechanism including donors, international organisations and independent experts, which also does not seem quite appropriate. For a society in which corruption is widespread, during a transition period, it is necessary to develop transparent, strong and precise recommendations regarding mechanisms of control of implementation processes.

      Implementation of Roma employment policy

      The Serbian Law on Employment recognizes the jurisprudence of “active policy for employment”- article 31 regulates that in programs for active policy for employment priority is, inter alia, given to “employment of persons belonging to ethnic minorities in whose case unemployment is very high” (point 7).
      The majority of civil servants working in Employment Agencies are informed about this new law. Whether they are making this their priority remains to be seen.

      As far as the Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma is concerned the Action Plan on Employment is in an early stage of development.

      3. The World Bank Decade initiative

      The initiative for a Decade of Roma Inclusion grew out of the conference “Roma in an Expanding Europe: Challenges for the Future,” hosted by the Government of Hungary in June 2003. The conference was organized by the Open Society Institute, the World Bank, and the European Commission with support from UNDP, the Council of Europe Development Bank and the Governments of Finland and Sweden. At this high level conference, Prime Ministers, or their representatives, from 8 countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovakia - made a political commitment to close the gap in welfare and living conditions between the Roma and the non-Roma and to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion.

      The Decade will run from 2005 to 2015. The objective is to speed up social inclusion and the economic status of Roma. The year 2004 has been set aside as the Decade planning year. The Government of Hungary under its Prime Minister offered to host a secretariat to plan and coordinate activities. The Decade planning is informed by an International Steering Committee (ISC) made up of government representatives, Roma from each country, international donors and other international organizations. This Steering Committee has met at regular instances during the year.
      At the first ISC meeting in December four priority areas of the Decade were accepted: education, employment, health and housing. In addition three cross-cutting themes were accepted: gender, poverty alleviation and anti-discrimination. Each participating country’s action plan will identify goals and targets in these four areas. The Decade has been launched in most countries in early 2005.69

      The World Bank Decade initiative is not a (new) funding mechanism. Financial support for the implementation of the national action plans will need to come from re-allocation of existing resources in national budgets and from funding instruments of multinational, international and bilateral donors. For the implementation of the Education Action Plans a Roma Education Fund will be established. A donor pledging conference for the Fund is planned for the beginning of 2005.

      The preparation of the Action Plans for Roma Employment in Serbia and Montenegro were carried out in the following way.

      In Serbia the Roma Secretariat was in charge of organizing the working groups on the priority areas for the Action Plans. In the course of the year the working group - consisting of both representation from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policies and Roma – grew in expertise and became more efficient. The Council of Europe activities in the field of Roma employment coincided with the Decade working group on Employment and as a result most of the recommendations from the Country report on Roma Access to Employment in Serbia and Montenegro have been included in the Action Plan for Roma Employment. The Serbian government has adopted the Action Plan which is quite comprehensive, with budget allocations and comprises also structural changes in Employment legislation.

      In Montenegro the Action Plans were developed in working groups organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The level of expertise provided from the side of the government was higher than in Serbia, but the Roma representation was rather limited. The Action plan estimates that policy and legislative change will be adopted in 2008, including adoption of the Law on Minorities and relevant antidiscrimination legislation. It should be noted that Montenegro has no Strategy for Roma, which makes that the Action Plans prepared for the Roma Decade carry more weight.

      The Action Plan for Roma employment defines two levels, a preparatory phase and an implementation phase. The preparatory phase focuses on registration and mapping the number of unemployed Roma to obtain an overview of the size of the problem. In the second phase employment projects will be prepared and implemented for the benefit of Roma. For a category described as “difficultly employable persons” long-terms programs will be devised to assist with the obstacles in obtaining employment as well as in mediation (this is very costly). The ideas presented in the Montenegrin Action Plan for Roma Employment are laudable and well intended, however, the budgets proposed are not conform the real cost implications. Also it appears that only the first phase of the Action Plan is made quite concrete, while the second phase is mentioned in the text without indicators and remains on the level of recommendations, rather than firm commitments. Even though the Action Plan is quite comprehensive it is clear that some elaboration is needed, especially for the second phase: clearly defined activities with indicators and budget-lines.

      The Action Plan on Roma employment, drafted and accepted by the Montenegrin Government for the Roma Decade (2005-2015) can be viewed as a starting point to address the Roma employment issue. It should be underlined that this Action Plan needs to be elaborated into a full-scale Strategy with functional implementation mechanisms for it to have the appropriate effect. It is recommended that the government joins forces with Roma and International NGOs and other institutions to reach its goal.

      4. Policy implementation and monitoring

      There is no government Employment Strategy as of yet, which can be implemented or monitored. However, at this moment in time, the Draft Strategy is at a stage where Action Plans or Policies can be developed for implementation in the various sectors and these should be monitored.

      Implementation of Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma
      Although finished in December 2002, the Strategy has so far only recently (April 2004) been accepted by the Roma National Council. Some amendments will be made and then it will be presented to the Council of Ministers of the State Union for adoption by the government.
      The prospects for adoption of the Strategy by the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro are rather slim, given that the State Union institutions, where they have been formed, are in political or operational crisis and that the Strategy does not include the Republic of Montenegro.

      Even though the Strategy has not been adopted yet by government, some of the recommendations from the Strategy are implemented. In April 2003 the Federal Ministry for Human and Minorities Rights established a Secretariat for Roma National Strategy as an answer to the recommended Federal Coordination Council, which is mentioned in the Draft Strategy. The Secretariat has funding for four employees, one of them is Roma who was employed at a later stage for the administrative needs of the Secretariat. At the current moment the Secretariat has only two staff members (one of them Roma) and a Director.
      The activities of the Secretariat are the following:

        On the initiative of the Secretariat the Inter-ministerial body on Roma of the Republic of Serbia has been established in May 2003.
        One series of five round tables discussing the Draft Strategy contents with Roma from Serbia has been carried out.
        On the initiative of the Secretariat an education affirmative action is carried out and 41 Roma students and 37 Roma secondary scholars have been enrolled in University and school. Also a considerable number of school books have been distributed to Roma.
        In June 2004 teams for the development of Action Plans for each sector of the Strategy were established. Each team is composed of a representative of the Roma National Council, the relevant Republican Ministry and a delegate of the World Bank Action Plans.
        A series of ad hoc activities have been carried out such as giving recommendations to other authorities regarding individual Roma cases.

      Questions regarding the timeframe of the implementation of the Strategy remain, as after all the activities of the Secretariat are rather modest compared with the role this body is supposed to play according to the Draft Strategy. It seems also that the competences of the Secretariat are not clearly defined – regarding the activities undertaken it seems to combine the competences of the foreseen Co-ordination Council and the Roma Office as they are described in the Draft Strategy.
      While questioning the role and competences of the Secretariat the local consultant was informed that the Parliamentary and Election crises in Serbia had a large impact on their activities, and they waited for the new Serbian Parliament and Government to be established. The political events in Serbia in 2004, such as those stated in random order below, influenced largely the process of implementation of the Draft Strategy of Roma.

          the recent Kosovo crises and unresolved status of the province;
          the creation of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro;
          failure of elections for the Serbian Presidency;
          crises in Serbian Parliament and extraordinary elections;
          state of emergency
          Assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister.

      This new political reality has switched the focus of the authorities on the “new” problems, away from solving the old ones, such as finding solutions for the Roma issue. However, why did the Secretariat not prepare Action Plans which could be ready when the new government officials will be in place.
      The Inter-ministerial body was established in May 2003 with representatives of the following Ministries: Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Commissariat for Refugees, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Ministry for Urban Planning. The activities of the Inter-ministerial body include participation in round tables organized by the Secretariat for Roma National Strategy after which the Ministries agreed to send comments on the Draft Strategy text to the Roma Secretariat. Only the Ministry of Labour gave in December 2003 their comments on the content, and they never received any reply from the Secretariat. Also the Ministry of Social Policy sent comments, but these refer to the inadequacy of the language and terminology of the Draft Strategy, which was written first in English and then translated into Serbian. These changes have been incorporated in the Strategy.
      After December 2003 this Inter-ministerial body did not have any meetings.
      The activities of the Inter-ministerial body also include participation in the World Bank regional meeting held in Budapest in April 2004 regarding the initiative of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, where the Inter-ministerial body presented Action plans for Health, Housing, Education and an action plan for Employment. Each of these documents consists of merely two or three pages. When the local consultant asked the Inter-ministerial body whether the presented action plans were just abridgements of full and comprehensive action plans, the answer given was that those documents are actually the complete action plans. This gives the impression that these documents were made on an ad hoc basis just for the purpose of the World Bank meeting. These 2-3 page documents generally refer to the global measures mentioned in the Draft Strategy or they have been translated into a small project.
      For instance the action plan for employment focuses on self employment of 50 Roma who should be educated in the field of entrepreneurship and they would receive subsidies during their training. One of the measures from this 2-page action plan describes “Lack of working habits of Roma population”, but it is not explained how this activity will address this problem and in the way it is written it seems to reinforce the existing stereotype on Roma laziness. The required financial support for one year of the project implementation is 320,000 euros. When questioning whether the Ministry and/or the Government will finance these activities, the answer is that financial resources for this initiative should come from international and intergovernmental institutions.
      Only the Ministry of Education has prepared a comprehensive Strategy on Roma Education. The ministry in its composition before the December 2003 elections showed particular sensitivity to the educational needs of national minorities in particular of Roma children. Nevertheless the ministry’s Strategy is not yet adopted and in the current political climate is it doubtful whether this will happen soon.
      Regarding implementation of the Draft Strategy as well as monitoring the activities, we can conclude that the Inter-ministerial body on Roma as well as the Secretariat for Roma National Strategy are not as effective as they were planned to be according to their description in the Draft Strategy for Roma integration.
      The Roma National Council informed the local consultant that the existing institutional structure of state institutions working on minorities issues is making the Roma Integration process slower. The Federal Ministry on Human and Minorities Rights is a guarantee for the realization of international agreements on Human Rights, extradition of prisoners to the tribunal in the Hague, as the Federation is subject to the international community and responsible in activities in the sphere of the so called soft law. This Ministry is not competent to make direct decisions regarding employment, education, culture…which are in the competence of the Republican authorities. According to the Roma National Council there exists a gap of an effective body on republican level which would coordinate activities of the republican ministries. As an consequence of this gap we have a situation where one Ministry talks about 100,000 Roma and another about 50,000 or where the Ministry for Social Policy drafted the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) which prescribes inclusion of all highly educated Roma in governance structures and where the Ministry of State Governance and Local-self government in their reform program for state governance are not mentioning Roma at all. This is also case with PRSP Strategy and Strategy for SME which do not mention vulnerable groups at all, even though PRSP stresses the importance of SME for vulnerable people. [authors’ note -This does of course not refer to the specific Roma poverty addendum to PRSP]
      The Roma National Council informed that they asked for the establishment of a Republican Ministry for National Minorities as is the case in Montenegro which has a Republican Ministry on National Minorities and its own Law on Minority issues, but they did not receive a reply on this proposal.
      Finally, we could conclude that lack of political will amongst the authorities, country-wide political instability and internal weaknesses in the Roma National Council has had a strong influence on the process of integration of Roma in society and in particular on adoption and implementation of the Strategy for Roma integration.
      5. The Role of key institutions in promoting equality in employment for Roma

      State Employment services
      The main task of state-run Employment Agencies (under municipal jurisdiction) is to register unemployed persons and keep statistics on unemployment rates. They work in a limited fashion on labour trends and analysis of the labour market. They are also supposed to mediate for employment, but the employment Agencies are not so active in this respect, and are depending on the demands of private or public companies to find employment for the unemployed registered with them. Therefore most people register with the aim to ensure their health insurance and social benefits. They will look for jobs in the local paper of listen to the radio.
      The Employment Agencies can offer, however, subsidized work-places to employers, and this service could be exploited more for the benefit of Roma long-term unemployed people, as this can be an attractive opportunity for employers.
      Also the Employment Agencies can offer certain subsidies for self-employment, on the basis of redundancies of employees or on the basis of people who apply for these subsidies (konkurs). However the subsidy or grant/credit is not sufficient for starters, and in the case of cooperatives provides the subsidy only for one person.
      The Employment Agencies can also offer some vocational or re-training for redundant workers. In the case of a recent redundancy the Employment Agency offers the training for free in certain limited fields and the participant receives 30% of his previous earnings during the training.
      It is felt if the Employment Agencies would provide fewer services, but target their actions better, the results would be more satisfying. The Employment Agencies target Roma population as a special group, which deserves more affirmative action.

      Labour inspectorates and their role

      The Labour inspectorates - within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy - are mainly working on reinforcement of the law regarding “black” labour. As emerged in our interviews they are aware of discrimination issues in the work place, even though these are usually not reported. They have also noticed that discrimination in access to work is existing, but this does not fall within their mandate.

      The Labour inspectorates are not very effective yet, but they are working with ILO on modernization and reform of the inspectorates. They do cooperate with the social partners, but due to a certain inflexibility and/or incapability of the labour inspectorate as a reinforcement body of the Labour Law, the social partners do not expect much support from the labour inspectorates. There is a clear need for more effective cooperation especially in the case of mass redundancies. For 2004 the number of collective redundancies is expected to be twice as high as last year and will rise up to 60,000 people.

      Even article 12 of the Law on employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment prescribes that “to persons who seek employment - equal access to employment is secured, regardless of race, colour of skin, ethnicity… “and further, article 157 and 161 of the Labour Law prescribes that the labour inspections are dealing with monitoring of the implementation of the law, and if cases of abuse are committed by the employer, the inspections will start mediation and/or legal procedures. Nevertheless, as the labour inspectorates reported, they did not deal with one case of discrimination in the workplace, and discrimination in access to employment in not within their mandate.

      Conclusions: Some important legislation on labour exists but in order to have a larger impact on vulnerable groups and Roma in particular amendments should be made to existing legislation (see recommendations in Chapter XIII). Lack of a strategy and policies or Action Plans on specific employment issues, makes this legislation far from adequate and guarantees only a minimum of securities.
      Also the Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma - even now accepted by the Roma National Council - still needs to be adopted by an executive or legislative body in the government and a Roma Employment Action Plan needs to be developed. Due to the lack of legal instruments and strategies/policies no effective implementation and monitoring can be carried out. The key role of Employment Agencies and Labour Inspectorates – even though defined by law – can be improved in effectiveness and (local) capacity and resources. The social partners seem stronger than the legal government institutes in the employment sector, but they can only move forward with sufficient government support. It seems the government is still working hard on the necessary reform within the ministry, which may change effectively all labour related policies. However, the Roma as one of the target groups are not informed yet, in any of the necessary discussions on policy development.

      Chapter V. Legislative Framework

      To our knowledge no research has been carried out to examine the effects of the current labour and employment legislation with regard to the discrimination of individuals and groups in the workplace or in trying to access employment. (The reasons for this are complex and beyond the scope of this report.) Although the Labour and Employment laws are evolving to keep pace with the demands of an economy in transition and to meet the requirements of the EU Stabilisation and Association process, no provisions have been incorporated yet in the Labour and Employment laws which address discrimination and or initiate affirmative actions to include all disadvantaged groups in the labour market. This report presents a brief overview of prevailing legislation, which we hope will prompt further inquiry and can serve as a starting point for a comprehensive examination.

      A. Employment legislation

      According to the European Commission Stabilisation and Association Report 2004, the legal framework for labour rights has improved in both republics, through the adoption of new Employment laws. The Commission notes, however, that “implementation of legislation is often difficult. The functioning of labour inspectorates should be strengthened”.70

      The right to work is guaranteed by article 40 of the Federal Constitutional Charter, Official Gazette of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, No 1/2003, by article 35 of the Serbian Constitutional Law, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No1/90, and by article 52 of Montenegro’s Constitutional Law, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, No 48/92.

      The Serbian Constitutional Law states that “to everyone under the same conditions work place and function are accessible” (Article 54). Further in article 35 it gives certain guaranties regarding security of working status in the sense that the employment status can only be terminated against the will of the employee under the conditions and in accordance with the law.
      - The Federal Constitutional Charter in article 40, stipulates that everyone is free regarding choice of work, everyone has the right to an adequate working environment and in particular to an adequate compensation for work. The same article regulates that members of the State Union are creating conditions, in which everyone is able to live from his or her work.
      - The Serbian Labour Law71
      recognizes and prohibits discrimination; According to article 12 persons seeking employment or persons employed cannot be positioned in an unfavourable position towards others on the basis of gender, birth, language, race, ethnicity, religion, marriage status, family obligations, political or other conviction, social origin, property status, membership in political organisations, trade unions or on the basis on any other personal affiliation.
      - The Serbian Labour Law in article 9 prescribes that the employee has the right to adequate compensation, to material security in the time of provisionary unemployment, security and shelter on the work place, health insurance and other specific rights in the case of illness, reduction of the capability to work, such as the right and other forms of protection in accordance with law and collective agreements.
      The same article guarantees protection for employment of women when they are pregnant and a special protection for employees younger than 18, as well as employees with disabilities.

      The right to work is guaranteed by article 52 of Montenegrin Constitution, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, No 48/92.
      Article 55 of the Montenegrin Constitution states: “The state shall provide social welfare for citizens unable to work and without a livelihood, as well as for citizens without the means of subsistence.” 

        - Article 3 of the Montenegrin Law on Employment and article 3 of Montenegrin Labour Law ensures, equality of employees in the process of carrying out their work duties on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, language, religion, political and other conviction, education, social origin, property situation and any other personal affiliation.

        - The Montenegrin Law on Employment, articles 48-63 prescribe that the employee has the right to adequate compensation72, to material security in the time of provisionary unemployment, health insurance and other specific rights in the case of illness, reduction of the capability to work, such as the right and other forms of protection in accordance with law and collective agreements.

        - The Montenegrin Labour Law, article 53, guarantees protection for employment of women when they are pregnant and a special protection for employees younger than 18, as well as employees with disabilities.

      Special protection for employees younger than 18
      According to article 13 of the Serbian Labour Law and Article 10 of the Montenegrin Labour Law conditions for the establishment of a labour relation are that a person should be at least 15 years old, should be healthy and capable to work. According to the Serbian Labour Law the establishment of labour relation with a person younger than 18 requires written agreement of parents or guardian that the nature of work does not endanger this young person's health, morals and education (article 13).

      Employment of non-citizens and stateless people
      Employment of non-citizens and stateless people beside the above mentioned conditions for special groups (pregnant women, persons younger than 18 and persons with disabilities) require government permission for permanent or provisionary stay (working permit/residence permit) and permission for work. It should be pointed out that refugees and IDPs according to the Serbian Law on Refugees73 have the right to employment under the same conditions as citizens of the Republic of Serbia.

        In Montenegro this is as follows:

        The right to employment of non–citizens and stateless people is stipulated by the Law on Labour and Employment of Foreigners and Regulation of work engagement of non- resident persons74.

        Article 1 of the Law on Labour and Employment of Foreigners prescribes “A foreigner (foreign citizen or stateless person) could be employed or contracted by a party in Montenegro under the conditions prescribed in this Law and Collective agreements and in accordance with ratified international treaties and accepted regulations of international law”.

        The employment of non-citizens and stateless people requires a government permission for permanent or provisionary stay (working permit/residence permit) and permission for work.

      Termination of employment

      Provisions on termination of employment merit special attention in assessing the potential effect and actual implementation of the law in cases involving disadvantaged groups (including minorities and women), that is in cases involving individuals who are members of groups underrepresented in the workforce and/or subject to discrimination. For that reason the relevant provisions in Serbian and Montenegrin law are described here in detail.

      Articles 101 and 102 of the Serbian Labour Law determine the basis of involuntary termination of employment.
      The Serbian Labour Law in article 102 prohibits termination of employment - inter alia - on the basis of gender, language, ethnicity, social origin, religion, political and other conviction, or any other personal affiliation.

      Articles 108 - 114 of the Montenegrin Labour Law determine the basis of termination of employment.

      In cases of involuntary termination of employment or when an employee assumes that the employer violates his/her labour rights he/she can submit a request to the employer to ensure him/her the enjoyment of these rights. The employer is obliged to decide on the request in fifteen days, from the day when the request was submitted. The decision is final and it is in written format containing rationale and legal remedy.

      If the employee is not satisfied with this decision he/she could bring the case to the court to protect his/her rights in fifteen days from the day of receiving the decision.

      Articles 121-123 of the Montenegrin Labour Law stipulate that any of these two parties (employer and employee) can address the problem in an arbitration commission, which can be convened on the request of one of the parties in the disagreement. If the disagreement cannot be solved through arbitration, the employee has the right to seek a court remedy or submit a complaint to the Labour Inspectorate.

      The Montenegrin Law on Labour does not contain provisions on prohibition of termination of employment on the basis of gender, language, ethnicity, social origin, religion, political and other conviction, or any other personal affiliation. This is part of the Criminal code.

      In cases of involuntary termination, it appears that all persons employed in Montenegro and persons employed by state institutions in Serbia enjoy greater rights than those employed by private (non-state) employers in Serbia. The Montenegrin Labour Law in article 96 and the Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions75 regulates that where a decision is made that an employee’s employment contract will be terminated, he/she has the right to internal appeal (i.e. to appeal inside the company) The decision regarding appeal is final and is made by a governing body or the director where this body does not exist.

      These Laws define a two-step process: the second step exists only if the employee appeals on the termination of his contract, following a decision by the director or someone acting on his/her behalf. The employee may appeal within the company to an appeal committee or if such a body does not exist to the director or someone acting on his/her behalf. Under the Serbian Law for State Institutions, the decision refers not only to the termination of the employment contract with the employee but also to rights deriving from the contract. The terminated employee may in the last instance bring the case in front of the court (see Articles 71 of the Serbian Law for State Institutions and articles 97 and 120 of the Montenegrin Labour Law).
      The Serbian Labour Law, however, does not provide for an internal appeal. According to article 105 the employer’s decision is final. The employee has the right to challenge the decision in court.
      Article 104, provides for Trade Union participation in a termination procedure. The Trade Union may provide an opinion on the case, with no legal consequences. Also, the Trade Union with the employee’s permission can start litigation (Article 122).

      Disagreement within the workplace
      It is unclear from our research whether the system of disagreement resolution within the workplace is consistent in public and private employment sectors. Information on disagreements are not made public therefore it is difficult to document whether or how discrimination manifests itself within the workplace.

      Disagreements between employees can be addressed in an arbitration commission, which can be convened on the request of one of the parties in the disagreement. If the disagreement cannot be solved through arbitration, the employee has the right to seek a court remedy. (Article 121 of the Serbian Labour Law and article 120-126).

      Failing to follow the decision of the court can also have subsequent criminal sanctions. For example if an employee is not arriving in time at his/her job, the salary can be reduced by 20%. If the employee contests this in court and the court rules in his/her favour, the employer is obliged to reimburse the 20% taken from the employee’s salary. If the employer fails to abide by the decision, the employer will be fined. The employer can be fined three times in the form of a penal fee, after that criminal sanctions will apply. It is a criminal offence to not follow the court’s decision (Article 91 of the Serbian Criminal Law and Article 75 of the Montenegrin Criminal Law).

      B. Legislation governing discrimination, including in Employment

      1. Ratification of relevant international instruments - including:

      European Convention for Human Rights; (including Protocol 12) – ratified March 2004
      European Social Charter (Revised)- not ratified
      Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) - signed and ratified in 2001
      International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (including declaration re: individual complaints under Article 14) - signed and ratified in 1967
      International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; - ratified
      UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education - signed and ratified in 1964
      ILO Convention No. 111 - ratified

      2. Domestic legislation addressing racial and ethnic discrimination in employment

      a. Constitutions

      There are tree constitutional documents in force in Serbia and Montenegro; the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro (Belgrade), the Serbian Constitution (Belgrade) and the Montenegrin Constitution (Podgorica). Provisions in these documents will be cited below.

      On the principle of general equality

          In the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro, the Charter on Human and Minorities Rights and Freedoms76states in article 3 that everyone is equal before the law and everyone has the right to equal protection without discrimination. It is “forbidden” to discriminate directly or indirectly on any basis, such as on the basis of race, colour, gender, ethnicity, social origin, birth and similar status, religion, political and other convictions, property situation, culture, language, age or mental and/or physical disability.

        - The Serbian Constitutional Law in article 13 states that “citizens are equal in rights and obligations and they have equal protection before the state and other institutions regardless of race, gender, birth, language, ethnicity, religion, political and other convictions, education, social origin, property situation and any personal affiliation”.
        - The Montenegrin Constitutional Law in Article 15 stipulates “citizens are free and equal disregarding any characteristics or personal affiliation. Everyone is equal before the law”. Article 43 states that it is “against the law and punishable to promote national, race, religion and other inequality”.

      On prohibition of discrimination at work

        - The Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro does not include specific provisions regarding discrimination at work.
        - The Serbian Constitutional Law according to article 54 regulates that “to everyone under the same conditions work place and position are accessible”.
        - The Montenegrin Constitutional Law does not contain specific provisions regarding discrimination at work.

      On affirmative action

        - The Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro in article 3 states that “it is allowed to introduce the provisional arrangements for fulfilment of equality, necessary protection and improvement (or progress) for persons or groups that are in an unequal position, in order to obtain full use of human and minorities rights under the same conditions”.
        - The Serbian Constitutional Law does not contain provisions regarding this matter.
        - Article 73 of the Montenegrin Constitution stipulates that members of the national and ethnic groups shall be guaranteed the right to a proportional representation in the public services, state authorities and in local self-government.

      b. Labour law

      The Serbian Law on Employment regulates, inter alia, the situation before a contract is made with an employee, and the Serbian Labour Law regulates the situation after the contract is made. The Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions regulates working relations only in state institutions. This is the same in Montenegro.

      Prohibition of discrimination on ethnic/racial grounds

        - The Serbian Labour Law in article 12 states that “ a person who seeks employment, or persons already engaged/employed cannot be put in an unfavourable position towards others, regardless of gender, birth, language, race, ethnicity, religion, marriage status, family obligations, political and other conviction, social origin, property situation, membership in political organizations and trade unions, or some other personal affiliation.”
        - The Serbian Law on Employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment,77 article 8, indicates the principle of equal accessibility and prohibition of discrimination in employment, as follows “Implementation of this law, other regulations and acts of the National Employment Agency and services, ensure equal accessibility and equality to job seekers in the process of employment, disregarding race, colour, ethnicity, ethnic origin, language, religion, political or other conviction, social belonging or origin, property situation, marriage or family situation, family responsibility, age, membership in trade unions, associations or political organization, or on the basis of any other condition which could be a basis for discrimination”.
        - Also, article 21 of Serbian Law on Employment, stipulates that a person who thinks s/he is a victim of discrimination has the right to require compensation from the employer in a judicial process.
        - The Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions does not contain stipulations regarding this matter.
        - Article 3 of the Montenegrin Law on Employment states that “all unemployed persons are equal in their right to employment regardless of gender, birth, language, race, ethnicity, religion, political and other conviction, social origin, property situation, membership in political organizations, or other personal affiliation.”
        - The Montenegrin Labour Law does not recognize discrimination as such, although article 3 regulates that ”employees are equal in fulfilling their labour rights regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, language, religion, political or other conviction, education, social origin, property situation and other personal affiliations.”

      Definition of direct/indirect discrimination at work

        - The Serbian Labour Law includes provisions regarding discrimination at the work place, but does not recognize direct and indirect discrimination as such.
        - The Serbian Law on Employment includes provisions regarding discrimination at the work place, but does not recognize direct and indirect discrimination as such.
        - The Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions does not recognize discrimination as such.
        - The Montenegrin Labour Law does not have provisions regarding this matter.

      Equal opportunity provisions
      Article 12 of the Serbian Law on Employment and Insurance in the case of unemployment prescribes that “to persons who seek employment – equal access to employment is secured, regardless of race, colour of skin, ethnicity …” Neither the State Union nor the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro has a Law Against Discrimination that could guarantee protection. Specific reference to equal opportunity is not consistently reflected in relevant statutes and regulations regarding employment, as indicated below:

      - The Statute of the National Employment Agency78 does not contain any provisions regarding equal opportunity policies.
      - The Resolution on Unique Methodology In registration Procedure in the Area of Labour and Forms Of Applications And Reports79 does not contain any regulations regarding this matter. This resolution refers to how the Employment Agencies collect and register the information of unemployed persons and the job offers of employers, which might come in.
      - Rules on of Using the Funds of National Employment Agency80 does not contain any provisions regarding equal opportunity policies.
      - Rules of Conditions and Ways for Fulfilments of Rights of Unemployment Persons81 does not contain any provisions regarding equal opportunity policies. This act describes the rights of unemployed people and how these rights can be implemented.
      - The Law on State Governance82 only prescribes in Article 6 that employees in state institutions are obliged to act impartially (fairly) and conscientiously.
      - The Law on Public Services83 prescribes in Article 8 that institutions should act in order to
      ensure the fulfilment of citizen’s rights under equal conditions.
      - Article 3 of the Montenegrin Law on Employment in the case of unemployment prescribes that “to persons who seek employment – equal access to employment is secured, regardless of race, colour of skin, ethnicity …”
      - The Statute of the Montenegrin Institute for Employment 84 does not contain any provisions regarding equal opportunity policies.

      Reversal of burden of proof

        Reversal of burden of proof is not recognized by Serbian and Montenegrin legislation.

      Affirmative action

        - The Serbian Labour Law does not contain provisions regarding this matter.
        - The Serbian Law on Employment recognizes the jurisprudence of “active policy for employment”, article 31 regulates that in programs for an active policy for employment priority is given to: “employment of persons belonging to ethnic minorities in whose case the unemployment rate is very high.”(Point 7), “employment of refugees and IDPs” (point 3),” employment on public works” (point 9), “self-employment” (point 8).
        - The Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions - does not contain provisions regarding this matter.
        - The Montenegrin Law on Employment recognizes an “active employment policy”, article 24 regulates that the Institute for Employment carries out the policy and plans for an active employment policy.
        - Article 25 stipulates right to inclusion in this program of “unemployed persons, employed persons with half working hours and persons for whose work there is no need for the reason that of technologic, economic or organizational changes has happened.”(i.e. part-time workers and technological “surplus”)
        - Article 26: Measures of Active Employment Policy are:

          o Financing/co-financing the creation of new jobs
          o Co-financing the program of public works
          o Scholarships
          o Establishing fund for work
          o Providing part of the costs for maintaining “productive working places”
          o Credits for investment in employments on the basis of new production or other possibilities
          o Co-financing of seasonal employment
          o Assistance in instruction of new employees
          o Co-financing of the salaries for the first time employed persons (pripravnik)
          o Creation of programs of employment for some categories of unemployed persons (disabled and long-term unemployed)
          o Creation of programs for professional and regional circulation of employees
          o Co-financing education and instructions
          o Co-financing adjusting of space and technical facilities for some categories of unemployed
          o Other measures in accordance with the Law

      c. Provisions related to employment of non-citizens (labour law or aliens’ acts)

      According to the Law on Conditions for Establishment of Labour Relations with
      Foreigners85, employment of non-citizens requires in addition to conditions under article 7 (see above) of the Federal Labour Law, a permit for permanent or provisionary residence and work permit. The Law of Employment of Foreigners in Montenegro stipulates that for the employment of non-citizens a permit for permanent or provisionary residence and work permit are required.

      Non-citizens can establish a labour relation without permission for establishment of working relation if they have permission for temporary or provisionary stay, and if they establish labour relations because of expert works defined with agreement about business-technical cooperation, long-term cooperation in productivity, transfer of technology and investments from abroad.86

      A request for a work permit from a non-citizen with a permanent residence permit should be given to the bureau for employment personally. In the case of non-citizens with provisional permission to stay this request should be made by the employer. This is the same in Montenegro according to article 9 of the Law of Employment of Foreigners.

      Non-citizens with permanent or provisional permission for stay have the right to be informed regarding vacant work places (vacancies), thereby having equal rights as citizens. This is the same in Montenegro. The right on mediation for employment applies to non–citizens if there are no citizens who are able to fulfil the criteria applicable to the job.

      According to article 6 of the Serbian Labour Law for State Institutions, non-citizen cannot be employed in state institutions. According to article 16 of the Montenegrin Law on Civil servants and Public officials, non-citizen could be employed in state institutions. Article 16 states that: “Non citizen or stateless person could be employed in State institutions according to conditions prescribed in special law and international treaties.”

      In Serbia refugees and IDPs according to the Serbian Law of Refugees have the right to employment under the same conditions as citizens of the Republic of Serbia. This is different in Montenegro, see ANNEX I.
      For Serbia this means that under these conditions they have the right to be informed about free working places/ vacancies, the right to mediation in employment, the right to professional orientation, the right to prepare (vocational re-training) for employment, the right to fiscal compensation and the rights to insurance and other rights in the case of unemployment, the right to court protection in the case of breach of the labour contract, and other labour rights.

      d. Criminal law

        There is no specific regulation in criminal law regarding discrimination in employment, only regulations regarding offences that can be generally described as discriminatory in nature. The Federal Criminal Code criminalises as offences the incitement of ethnic, racial and religious hatred and intolerance (Art. 143), and racial and other discrimination (Art. 154). The Serbian Criminal Code (Art. 60) defines violation of equality as a denial of the rights of citizens, including those under ratified international treaties, on national, racial, religious or other grounds. It is also an offence to deny or restrict rights or grant advantages on such grounds.

        If an employer does not abide by court decision, such action is considered a criminal act according to Article 91 of the Serbian Criminal Law and article 75 of the Montenegrin Criminal Law.

        Montenegrin legislation on discrimination can be found in articles 159, 225, and 443 of the Montenegrin Criminal Code.

          - Article 159 stipulates that the person who on the basis of “ethnicity, race, gender, language, religion, political or other conviction, education, social origin, property situation and other personal affiliations,” denies or limits the rights of the other person and citizen prescribed by the law and other documents and international treaties or on the basis of diversity grants advantages on such grounds will be imprisoned to three years. If this occurs by someone in active duty he/she will be imprisoned to five years.

          - Article 225 of the Montenegrin Criminal code stipulates financial penalty or imprisonment to one year for denial or limitation of equal conditions for employment on the territory of Montenegro.

          - Article 443 states, that the person who, on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity, ethnic origin, or any other affiliation violates rights granted by ratified international treaties will be imprisoned from six months to five years.

        e. Statutes governing public services

      - The Law on State Governance87 only prescribes in Article 6 that employees in state institutions are obliged to act impartially and conscientiously.
      - The Law on Public Services88 prescribes in Article 8 that institutions should act such as to ensure the fulfilment of citizen’s rights under equal conditions.
      - The Statute of the Serbian National Employment Agency89 does not contain any provisions regarding discrimination in employment.
      - Rules on Conditions and Ways for Fulfilments of Rights of Unemployment Persons90
      does not contain any provisions regarding discrimination in employment.
      - Rules on Using of the Funds of the Republican Institute for the Labour Market91 does not contain any provisions regarding discrimination in employment.
      - The Resolution on the Unique Methodology in Registrations in the Area of Labour and Forms of Applications and Reports92 does not contain any regulations regarding discrimination in employment. This resolution refers to how the employment offices will keep the books and records regarding unemployed persons, keep record of work places where people can be employed and other necessary information.

      In Montenegro this is as follows:

      - The Law on Civil servants and Public officials93 states that it is prohibited to deny or privilege rights of the civil servant or public official based on political, ethnic, racial or religious grounds, on gender or for any other reason adverse to the Constitution and rights and freedoms granted by the law.
      - The Statute of the Montenegrin Institute for Employment94 does not contain any provisions regarding discrimination in employment.

      - The Law on the Unique Methodology in Registrations in the Area of Labour and Forms of Applications and Reports95 does not contain any regulations regarding discrimination in employment. This refers to how the employment offices will collect data and keep the records regarding unemployed persons and beneficiaries of pension and disabled persons insurance. This Law prescribes the methodology of data a collection and record keeping of work places where people can be employed.

      f. Non-discrimination and equality law

      The Institute for Comparative Law convened a working group of experts in government and the nongovernmental community and drew up a Draft Law Against Discrimination. Council of Europe experts provided comments on the draft. Despite very positive feedback from international experts, the draft has not yet been processed for adoption by the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro.

      The Draft regulates the prohibition of and protection against discrimination in all spheres of social life and establishes a framework of special protection against discrimination of particularly vulnerable categories of people (Article 1). It also prescribes, inter alia, discrimination in the sphere of employment (Article 13) and prohibition of discrimination against minorities (Article 20) as well as disciplinary and criminal responsibility, including appropriate sanctions (Article 31-33). Another draft law on discrimination against persons with disabilities is in preparation.

      g. Case Law
      Once judgment in a case is final, court documents in Serbia are sealed. Moreover, in the absence of anti-discrimination legislation, court statistics do not reflect discrimination cases, or more specific cases of discrimination in access to employment or at the workplace. Labour inspectorates reported that they did not have any cases of discrimination in general. See Chapter VI for descriptions of cases reported by nongovernmental organisations monitoring and reporting on human rights violations.
      h. Main obstacles in challenging discrimination at work
      - There is a lack of special enforcement bodies. Labour Inspectorates do not cover access to employment, the Office of the Ombudsman only exists in Montenegro and in Serbia on the level of Vojvodina and its power is limited. Also, there is no widespread field network of free legal assistance provided by the state or NGOs for victims of discrimination.

      - Roma victims of discrimination fear retaliation and often are reluctant to report discrimination to authorities. Moreover they are not always aware of the possibility of legal protection. Sometimes they do not know that the discriminatory treatment received constitutes a violation of law or regulation. Also, most are not able to cover legal expenses.

      - There is no anti-discrimination law. Criminal law is not comprehensive enough and does not recognize indirect discrimination and reversal of the burden of proof, so bringing and conducting proceedings involving discrimination is often impossible.

      - Legal protection of victims of discrimination in general is not effective. Prosecutors frequently take no action on well documented complaints submitted to them. The individual victim or person acting on his/her behalf who submits such complaints does not receive information from court on the status or results of any investigation that may have followed from the complaint. Proceedings drag on for years because the courts do not schedule hearings. Sanctions currently mandated in law are ineffective and often trivial. When cases are decided in favour of the victim and damages awarded, the court generally awards trivial sums to the victims. All these factors combine to discourage use of the provisions in place.

      Public Education and Awareness

        Government efforts to promote anti-discrimination and tolerance.

      During 2002 the then Federal Ministry for Human and Minorities Rights conducted a campaign to promote tolerance, multicultural society and elimination of prejudices. The campaign included activities like: a youth camp for youngsters from the ex-Yugoslavia region, broadcasting on TV and spots, billboards and posters...

        Training of government officials in anti-discrimination measures.

      The OSCE, United Nations, Council of Europe and European Union have sponsored – in partnership with certain ministries and regional/local governments – training programs in human rights issues. Special emphasis has been placed on the judicial reform and (re) training of the judiciary and the police. To date no special training has addressed anti-discrimination measures to civil servants in the field of labour and employment.

      Conclusions: The Legislative Framework in both republic show inconsistencies regarding “affirmative action”. Also lacking is appropriate anti-discrimination legislation sufficient to prevent and address discrimination issues. However, the complex government system and – often lengthy - court proceedings do not make it easy for people to lodge an official complaint about discrimination in the work place. Discrimination in access to employment is difficult to prove and no proper reinforcement mechanisms are in place to address it. Besides, even though legislation exists, it is still quite easy for employers to exploit their employees in a market where there is an obvious surplus of labour. Roma and especially Roma women are likely to become victims of exploitation, due to their low level of education, and the position of women in society at large. Those Roma who found employment are keen to keep their jobs even when the working conditions are not in accordance with the law. Roma tend not to lodge a complaint for fear of retaliation and or losing their job.
      The Montenegrin legal framework lacks a Law on National/Ethnic Minorities which could stipulate affirmative action towards Roma and other minorities.

      Chapter VI Racial discrimination in employment

      1. Evidence of discrimination

      a. Statistical evidence

      Legal statistics in Serbia are not collected in such a way that it is easy to compile statistics on discrimination in general, on discrimination in the workplace, or on the number of court cases on discrimination (general or workplace) that passed through the court or that were successful in court. There is no system in place within the court system and Ministry of Justice that is tasked with collecting data based on different categories of court proceedings.

        Legal state assistance available to victims of discriminations is extremely modest. The Ombudsman’s office in Serbia now exists only on the territory of the Autonomous province of Vojvodina (since January 2004) and this office’s jurisdiction is very narrow. The court of Serbia and Montenegro designed to treat disagreements between the state and citizens has been established very recently. The labour inspectorates do not cover access to employment. So, there is no state institution which can provide an insight into the level of discrimination in “access” to employment.

      Legal statistics in Montenegro are not collected in such a way that it is easy to collect statistics on discrimination in employment or on discrimination in the workplace.

      The Ombudsperson institution in Montenegro started on 10th of December 2003. To date they have not received any complaint on discrimination in the work place or discrimination in access to employment submitted by Roma, Askhalia or Egyptians.

        Legal assistance provided by NGOs in Serbia and Montenegro is modest and limited. It cannot provide a basis for nationwide data on the frequency and extent of discrimination towards Roma, or specific discrimination of Roma in access to employment. As described earlier, this is due to absence of legislation, which makes administrative and judicial remedy next to impossible. Besides NGOs are limited in the assistance they can provide in cases of direct and indirect discrimination.

      Some data are available that suggest the extent of discrimination towards Roma in presentation in state bodies and consequently in the decision-making process. Often the low education level is given as the explanation for the low presence of Roma in the government institutions. This explanation should be taken with reserve if we make a more thorough analysis of education levels and ethnic structure of employees in the government institutions. In the Autonomous province of Vojvodina where Roma officially constitute 1,43% of the total population (and this number is disputed), of the nearly 6,000 employees in government institutions only 5 or 0.08% of the total number of employees are Roma.
      In the following table you can find the representation of persons belonging to certain ethnic groups in the total population of Vojvodina and their representation (employment) in government institutions -

          Ethnicity

          Share in total population of Vojvodina

          Participation in governance of Vojvodina

          Serbs

          65,05 %

          66,7 %

          Hungarians

          14,3 %

          13,5 %

          Croatians

          2,8 %

          3,5 %

          Romanians

          1,5 %

          1,7 %

          Slovaks

          2,8 %

          2,7 %

          Ukrainians

          0,23 %

          0,24 %

          Roma

          1,43 %

          0,08 %

      A survey of employees in Vojvodina provincial government institutions shows that 14,5% of the employees have finished elementary school and 38,2% employees have a middle school diploma.96
      We might conclude from this data that among the mentioned ethnic groups, Roma have the highest disparity between the share in the total population and representation in government institutions and that this is not due to the low education levels since a considerable number of Roma is on the level of the education of government’s employees in Vojvodina.

      The Ministry for National and Ethnic groups’ rights protection in Montenegro conducted a research throughout 1999-2002 about representation of the minorities in public services. The result was unsatisfactory concerning each minority, especially for Roma who had no representatives in public service.

      b. Attitude reports

        “There are prejudices among people that we are lazy,
        but we can contest that.
        An example is the Roma who went to Austria [1980-ies] before the war,
        and who are considered all good workers there”

        Roma entrepreneur from Aleksandrovo

      A survey made of pupils from a middle school in Belgrade97 showed that only 33% of the pupils (based on questionnaires filled in) would accept to have a Roma being a supervisor in a company.

      Among employees in government institutions often also a superficial interpretation of the situation of Roma can be found, a result of a stereotypic way of thinking, and lack of knowledge.
      A good illustration of this occurred during a meeting with the National Employment Agency in Belgrade. During this meeting it was reported that the Employment Agency in Nis made a quota of 30% of Roma to be employed as construction workers within the UNDP project “Beautiful Serbia”. However, the required quota could not be met, as the Roma did not show sufficient interest in the project. This was interpreted by the National Employment Agency as follows: the work in building/ construction is not within the culture and habits or customs of the Roma population, so the National Employment Agency decided that in the implementation of the “Beautiful Serbia” project in Novi Sad a quota for Roma should not be set in construction work but in the area of communal works. Upon further inquiry into this matter the National Employment Agency explained that in general the interest for this type of work was very low - not just in the case of Roma. Furthermore, we were informed that the monthly wages in “Beautiful Serbia” were 120 euros. Given that the daily rate for construction workers on the grey market is around 15 euros, a construction worker would earn in eight days on the grey market what it would take one month to earn in “Beautiful Serbia”.

      So deep-rooted are ethnic stereotypes and prejudice in public and private discourse that state officials are not aware of the public responsibility of their statements and attitudes. During our interviews, a representative of the Ministry for Public Administration and Local Self Government stated that “Roma are not willing to change their lives”, apparently unaware of the impact and consequences of such remarks.

      However, there are also positive examples to take note of. We noticed in a discussion with the staff of the National Employment Agency that the Head of the Sector for Employment of the Belgrade based his opinion of Roma in the field of employment not on prejudice, but on a profound thinking process, whereby his assumptions were unfortunately wrong.

      In Montenegro a Research of Value Orientations and Ethnical Distance, was conducted in the period May 15-23rd in 2004. The Center for Democracy and Human Rights conducted 1005 interviewees, chosen according to standard two-phase stratified sample, participating in this research. They came from nine Montenegrin municipalities (Bijelo Polje, Pljevlja, Berane, Podgorica, Nikšić, Cetinje, Bar, Ulcinj and Herceg Novi).98

      The number of interviewees, per poll circle was 5-8 persons. The sample is representative for the whole of Montenegro. If we look at the basic characteristics of the sample, we will see no significant deviations that might endanger the validity of the data. The research of ethnical distance, which was found, was based on the use of the revised Bogard’s scale for examining social distance, which has nine modalities.

      This method of examining the distance is very simple and is a widely used methodology. According to this method, interviewed person answers on each of these variables in two-valence99 manner, with ‘yes’ or ‘no’- whether he would like to enter into relations with members of various nations. First, we present summary of general distribution of ‘yes’ answers in percentages.

      Assertions

        Montenegrin

        Serb

        Bosnian

        Albanian

        Croat

        Roma

        American

        French

        Russian

        German

        English

        Italian

      That he lives constantly in my state

      97,9

      95,6

      83,4

      69,0

      75,2

      77,9

      64,7

      72,0

      75,3

      66,2

      67,5

      76,6

      That he lives in my neighborhood (same building or street)

      97,1

      94,5

      77,3

      60,9

      70,4

      63,3

      65,3

      72,8

      75,7

      67,4

      68,0

      76,7

      That he is my colleague at work

      96,7

      93,7

      80,0

      63,3

      72,9

      61,8

      69,9

      74,1

      76,3

      72,4

      71,3

      78,1

      That he is my superior at work

      93,5

      88,3

      63,3

      48,9

      56,6

      45,8

      58,3

      61,4

      62,9

      58,9

      58,9

      63,6

      That he is teacher to my children

      92,7

      87,2

      57,9

      43,3

      51,7

      39,3

      50,5

      54,9

      56,2

      52,6

      53,5

      57,2

      That I am visiting him and that he is my friend

      97,4

      95,3

      79,8

      60,6

      70,5

      57,0

      69,2

      75,0

      77,6

      70,0

      70,4

      78,8

      That he is occupying high rank position in my state

      95,1

      82,6

      52,7

      39,3

      44,4

      35,7

      36,8

      38,5

      41,1

      38,4

      36,6

      40,0

      That we are distant relatives- through marriage of our cousins

      87,4

      83,2

      44,6

      30,8

      42,8

      23,1

      52,2

      55,0

      56,5

      51,4

      51,2

      58,6

      That we are close relatives through our own marriage or marriage of our children

      84,8

      79,8

      38,8

      24,9

      35,3

      17,7

      45,7

      47,6

      49,0

      43,9

      44,8

      51,5

          Diagram shows that there is the smallest distance toward Montenegrins (they are the majority ethnic group) but right behind them are Serbs, or it can be said that regardless political quarrels there is no ethnic distance toward Serbs. The sequence goes than from Italians toward Roma showing where the biggest ethnical distance exists. It should be noted that differences between Italians, Bosnians, and Russians are small, but also that the distance between French and American is not big, while Albanians and Roma distinguish themselves with high distance.100

      Nationality of the interviewees

      Nation

      Montenegrins

      Serbs

      Bosnians/
      Muslims

      Albanians

      Croats

      Roma

      Montenegrin

      0,17

      0,97

      3,31

      4,42

      3,29

      4,67

      Serb

      0,62

      0,16

      4,20

      5,87

      5,06

      5,06

      Bosnian

      1,11

      1,60

      0,04

      2,11

      2,09

      2,85

      Albanian

      1,45

      2,76

      2,31

      0,35

      2,08

      4,55

      Muslim

      1,13

      1,43

      0,09

      3,87

      2,73

      4,10

      Croat

      0,09

      1,64

      1,73

      1,82

      0,18

      3,09

      Continuation of table:

      Nationality of interviewees

      Nation

      Americans

      French

      Russians

      Germans

      English

      Italians

      Montenegrin

      3,15

      2,86

      2,92

      3,20

      3,02

      2,57

      Serb

      5,40

      4,50

      3,32

      4,95

      5,06

      4,25

      Bosnian

      2,24

      2,69

      2,98

      2,42

      2,29

      2,35

      Albanian

      1,90

      2,20

      3,65

      1,90

      2,18

      1,71

      Muslim

      3,28

      3,28

      3,94

      3,37

      3,33

      2,86

      Croat

      1,82

      1,73

      2,73

      2,18

      2,09

      1,64

      Montenegrins are the least tolerant toward Roma followed by Albanians. They show very small distance toward Serbs but it should be noted that distances toward all groups by Montenegrins are far less that distances expressed by Serbs, and this especially applies to distance towards Americans and other nations belonging to western cultural circle. Serbs, after Albanians, expressed the greatest distance toward Americans, followed by English and Roma. It should be noted that total Serb distance toward-, almost all – is bigger compared to distances of all other nations. National minorities are in principle more tolerant, but attention should be paid to Bosnians, who express relatively big distance toward Albanians (interesting) and Westerners. Croats are in general the most tolerant and Muslims express the greatest distance toward Russians.101

      c. Interviews with employers

      The local consultant tried to reach some of the employers of private and public sector firms, employing a considerable number of Roma, but unfortunately the employers were not overtly cooperative. The impression is that this uncooperative attitude originates in the much documented suspiciousness of foreigners and foreign institutes that prevails in Serbia not in an objection to the nature of the research or to the employment of Roma. They might be more cooperative on this issue with a scientific local institution or government body.

      The Employers that local consultant In Montenegro contacted had diverse attitude towards Roma employment in their firms. The answers were diverse form extremely negative to positive, and showed that personal affiliation and experience, or previous cooperation with Roma had impact on their attitudes.

      d. Reports of victims of discrimination

      By private employers

      Toma butcher’s shop102/access to employment

      At the beginning of the November 1999, the Toma butcher’s shop in Belgrade published an advertisement in the newspaper for two cleaning jobs. Zivana Miladinovic and her neighbour Stanka Marinkovic reported at the shop on November 15 to inquire about the job vacancies. The proprietor, Toma Grbic, told them that while Miladinovic did not meet the requirements, he could give Marinkovic work on probation. Marinkovic described her subsequent conversation with the proprietor as follows:

          “I asked him why he would admit only me if he needed two cleaning women. He said Zivana was “coloured” and that I would do because I was white. I replied that Zivana might be more hard working than me in spite of her darker skin. I told him that I too was a Gypsy and that what he did was deplorable because Gypsies have the same rights as everybody else. The owner said, do not take offence, but such are the rules. The cleaner is supposed to prepare the butcher’s breakfast, but the butcher will not eat what a Gypsy woman prepares for him.”

        Statement given to the Humanitarian Law Center on 7 November 1999

      Berisa Sanija (19) from Novi Sad/access to employment

        Three months ago I was looking for a job through the advertisements. The shoe boutique “Slavko” asked for a sales person. I called the shop from a public (street) telephone and one man explained me where the boutique is and how to find it. After 10 minutes my mother and I were there. When the owner saw us he started to laugh cynically. We told him that we came because of the job vacancy and that we spoke with him 10 minutes ago by phone. He answered that he received a woman from Futog 20 minutes ago. My mother and I went out not understanding how he could tell us that he received a woman 20 minutes ago if we called him 10 minutes ago and that he told us that we should come. It is very hard for a Roma to find a job because of the distance toward us.

        Statement given to Roma Women Organization “Amarilis” from Novi Sad on15.02.2004.

      Radu Misa from Belo Blato (Vojvodina)/discrimination at the workplace

        Eight Roma from Vojvodina, including me went to Golubovac in Montenegro in June 2001. Usually we were waiting on the square where workers are waiting to be hired by private employers for manual daily paid jobs. Once one man came and hired all eight of us for work in his quarry. We were put up in the employers’ barrack near to the quarry. On the day agreed for paying, we went to this man to ask him for our money, and he said “What money do you mean Gypsies” - it was very warm and hard to work with the rocks so we were swearing on him and threatened him if he does not give us what we had honourably earned. When he heard that, he pulled out his pistol, raised it and said to us: “I will kill all of you Gypsies and nobody will find you here”. When we realized we were in danger, we left. After this event, I have been a sub-tenant in the house of a policeman whom I asked for advice, but he told me “Give it up, nothing will come of it in the end.”

        Statement given to the local consultant on 16.08.2003

      Other evidences of discrimination in finding employment

      Statement of Roma seasonal worker in agriculture from Aleksandrovo village

      On 15.08.2003 a Roma seasonal worker in agriculture - who wanted to remain anonymous – told that a non-Roma landowner from his village are taking him or another Roma for work in the fields, but if they go to another village the landowner does not want to receive Roma that are not from his village, only non-Roma even if he does not know them. It is the same with Roma who are coming from another village to his village.

        Statement given to the local consultant on 16.08.2003

      The Roma people interviewed reported that very often they do not receive any answers on their applications for jobs. For example a group of ten Roma from Novi Sad applied with help of members of Roma NGO Amarilis for job vacancies to the company “MB Rodic Pivara” who asked for a large number of manual employees. The ten Roma provided the required documentation but they did not receive any answer.
      By public employers

      Medical doctor Ms Juliana Arandjelovic from Nis103/access to employment

      Dr. Juliana Arandjelovic tried unsuccessfully to get a job since she graduated medicine in Nis in 1992. In the meantime she passed her professional exam and volunteered for specialization in physical medicine. As she could not get a job her mother Seada made a connection through Goran Nikolic, the member of the main board of the Socialistic Party of Serbia in Nis, and on his recommendation she went to talk to the manager of the health institute in Nis, Mr Vlasta Mitic, in June 1998. Mitic asked her more about her origin than about her professional qualifications and said that she could get a job if they opened a department in the Romany settlement “12 December”. After that Julijana did not ask whether she had got the job. On 2 August 1998 Goran Nikolic contacted Seada again and told her to go to the Health Institute with Julijana. Julijana went there with her mother Seada and her husband Nebojsa. The secretary told them that Julijana could get the job if she was willing to work 3 to 4 days a week in the villages near Nis and that she should supply some additional documentation. When they provided the supplementary documentation before 12 o’clock on the same day, unexpectedly the secretary told her that she should talk to the manager. Despite the secretary’s objection, she waited with her mother and husband in front of the door. When the manager appeared, he began shouting at them insulting them on nationalistic grounds. Several of Juliana’s colleagues in the corridor as well as Mitic secretary were witnessing this insulting.

      Dragan Rafailovic from Stubline village104 /discrimination at the workplace

      Since he got a steady job in 2001 in the joint-stock company “A.D. Dragan Markovic” Dragan Rafailovic from Stubline village near to Sabac is exposed to continued discrimination and chicaneries.
      The first serous incident was in 2000 during breakfast in the company’s canteen when the employee Zoran Babic, from whom Dragan asked for more food got the answer: “Look at this Gypsy, we can’t feed him, damn Hitler who didn’t killed you all”. Dragan went to the manager asking him to start a disciplinary process against Zoran Babic, but the manager said that he was not a witness of the situation so he does not want to deal with this problem. In spring 2003, because of lack of funds, the company decided to give payment to employees in meat. Assistant to the manager Ms Milija Mladenovic made a list of employers to receive such payment but without Dragan’s name on it. Dragan Rafailovic was the only employer who did not receive anything. After that Dragan went to the manager to complain about Milija Mladenovic’s action, but the manager said that Milija Mladenovic had made the decision on his behalf. Dragan also tried to achieve his right through the Trade Union, but they did not do much.
      On 25 December 2003 Dragan’s colleague Steva Sucic and Milija Mladenovic started to argue after which Dragan involved himself in the conversation. Then Milija Mladenovic said to Dragan ”You are just an Gypsy, I don’t have reasons to speak with you” then Dragan asked her ”You know who am I, you know my nation” and Milica Mladenovic said ”Yes, you are just a Gypsy”, Dragan asked her what is she and she told him ”I’m Serbian”.
      After this incident Dragan went to the manager Goran Dikic, explaining him the situation and asking him to start a disciplinary process concerning Milija Mladenovic and if he doesn’t do that he will lodge a complaint against the manager for lack of action. The manager told him that he was not present when the event was happening and that he did not want to discuss it.

      e. Jurisprudence

      This is discussed in other sections of this report. We were unable to locate a single case from a court or labour inspection where an employer in Serbia and Montenegro has been punished because of discrimination towards Roma in accessing employment or for discrimination at the work place.

      Conclusions on the knowledge base on discrimination of Roma in access to employment or at the workplace

      In the absence of court and other state statistical evidence of discrimination, information on the magnitude of discrimination against Roma in access to employment is restricted to NGO and human rights reports of cases of discrimination, answers of interviewed Roma job seekers and the experiences of the local consultant. From this we may conclude that discrimination against Roma at work is existing and that it is more present in private companies than in public companies. Furthermore, discrimination by small private employers is frequent, and can be classified as indirect discrimination. Since the selection process of employees is done only by employers and not by the employment agencies, employers can be considered responsible.

      The governments of Serbia and Montenegro do not themselves systematically monitor discrimination in general or specifically against Roma. The government of Serbia does not survey the situation of employment of Roma or their (under)representation in employment. Authorities of the Autonomous province of Vojvodina surveyed representation of national minorities in employment and this covers the whole population of Vojvodina including Roma who are living in this province. There are neither institutions nor government institutions which are dealing with discrimination in access to employment. Labour inspectorates that have the jurisdiction to deal with the termination of employment contracts, which are not in accordance with law and which could include termination on discrimination grounds, do not have any reported cases.

      2. Administrative Practices

      Roma job-seekers

      Interviewed Roma who are in the grey economy or working in a small business, reported that they would prefer to be self-employed and have their own enterprise. The majority of Roma with a middle degree of education said that they would rather find a steady job then to be self-employed. All unemployed interviewed Roma stated they would rather get a job in a state company or in a big private company because this would give the security of pension, health insurance and social benefits.

      Asking them about experiences with state employment agencies the interviewed Roma claimed they do not expect to find jobs through the employment agencies because there are no job offers for low skilled and unqualified workers. When such offers exist, pay is less than for those jobs offered through public advertisements.

      Regarding job seeking, those interviewed are more active in looking for employment through job advertisements in the newspapers and youth guilds then through the state employment agencies. One young Roma woman said: “It is better for me to find a job as a shop-girl in a private shoe store through an advertisement where the salary is 200 euros per month, than as cleaning lady in some company through the employment agency where the salary is 110 euros, as this is not sufficient for the basic needs of my family.” Asked why they are registered in employment agencies, they answered that this is necessary to obtain health and social insurance. In general Roma women from Muslim families are less active in looking for jobs than men from these families.

      Regarding the treatment of Roma by officers working in the employment agencies the Roma job seekers had different experiences. Some Roma complained that the officers of the employment agencies were often unpleasant towards them.
      One Roma man stated that there is no discrimination in the Employment Agencies, but there are no jobs on offer. He has been registered with the employment agency in Zrenjanin for 30 years and he received only a few offers during that time.

      In Montenegro the Roma expressed their job expectations as follows:

      Most of the Roma job seekers do not expect to find employment through the Institute for Employment for permanent work. They believe that it is easier to find a job on the black market but they are also aware that this kind of employment does not provide any security. Nevertheless they believe that the black market employment is better than nothing and also state that “they cannot choose, because they support their family.”

      Some of the interviewed Roma who are in the grey economy prefer to be self-employed and have their own enterprise but also they are not sure how they should achieve that. They do not have sufficient information on micro-credits, or they cannot apply for a loan for self-employment because they have no collateral and they are not aware of the steps self-employment entails.

      A small number of the Roma are aware of the possibilities or conditions they should meet to achieve their employment goals but they are more or less occupied by earning a livelihood for family survival.

      Employment Agency officers

      We observed that the employment officers do not pay sufficient attention to the problem of Roma unemployment. Unemployment in general is one of the main problems in Serbian society, but the issue of Roma access to employment is not a priority. One of the employers told us “You are investigating the employment situation of Roma?, but Serbs are also unemployed. What are we going to do about them?”

      The majority of interviewed employment officers reported that Roma are in practice less active in job seeking then others, and that they are more often rejecting job offers and vocational training programs then do non-Roma job-seekers. Upon asking what could be the reasons for this, the responses were different. Some mentioned low wages for unskilled workers and the option to earn more through the grey economy. One officer of the employment agency in Novi Sad said “The problem is in their heads, in the willingness to work”. Officers of Belgrade’s employment agency observed that Roma are rejecting vocational training because the time spent on training prevents them from earning money for their daily needs.

      The Employment Agencies also reported that sometimes – in providing information on available jobs - they have problems in finding Roma because of their daily mobility.

      The majority of the interviewed officers did not know about the existence of the Draft Strategy for Integration of Roma, but they are informed that the new law on employment prescribes: an active policy of employment, and that ethnic groups with a high unemployment rate have priority.
      When the officers were asked about discriminatory practice of employers and whether Roma have more difficulties in finding jobs than others - even if they have satisfied the required professional skills – the answers were: “I’m not sure” or “I do not know”, or “probably, but employers in the selection process will never say the real reasons for rejection”.
      Belgrade’s Employment Agency reported that they had cases in which employers “indirectly” told them, not to send “coloured” job-seekers, but this was rare. Other offices said that they did not have such cases.

      Whether or not Employment Agencies collect information on ethnic origin of unemployed persons remained unclear during this investigation. Some Employment Agencies do, others do not. According to the Law on Registrations in the Area of Employment105 which prescribes personal information of unemployment persons, which can be collected by the employment agencies, it is not a requirement that data on ethnic origin of the unemployed persons should be taken. Also, the interviewed employment agencies reported that they do not collect this type of data. According to a publication of the Secretariat for Labour, Employment and Gender Equality of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina “Information on Specific Categories of Unemployment Persons in AP Vojvodina “ some agencies in Vojvodina collect data on ethnic origin of registered persons, while others do not. For example, the employment agencies in Sombor, Zrenjanin and Sremska Mitrovica can provide this kind of data while employment agencies in Pancevo, Subotica and Kikinda cannot.
      According to a research carried out by Prof. Dr Gordana Vuksanovic “Structure and Development of Employment” done in 2002, the ethnic structure of unemployment persons in Vojvodina is registered, but the employment agencies collect ethnicity data on a case to case basis.

      During the 90-ies, when the Croatians of Vojvodina were trying to get Croatian citizenship, many people used as a proof of their ethnic origin their “work book” (this regulates social benefits, pensions and health insurance) where it is stated that they are Croatians. These work books were issued during the 60-ies and 70-ies and people are still using them. Today’s work book, which can be bought in the bookshop, does not contain the question on ethnic origin.

      Unemployment is one of the main problems in Montenegrin society. The Law on the Unique Methodology in Registrations in the Area of Labour and Forms of Applications and Reports do not require data collection based on ethnicity.

      There is no desegregated data on the base of ethnicity and therefore there is no possibility to assess whether the Roma access to employment is the same as for other minorities and/or majority population in Montenegro. There is no affirmative action on this issue although one officer of the Institute for Employment said that: “According to preparation of the Action Plan and their commitment to provide positive action for Roma they include now for Roma persons their ethnicity in the database on the basis of how the beneficiaries declare themselves, the judgement of the employee or the name of the person in question.”

      Even though the efforts of the Montenegrin Institute for Employment to provide assistance and take steps to provide affirmative action are very welcome, this method could be counter productive and against international standards. It might be advisable to discuss changes in the policy of data collection with all stakeholders and require inclusion of the ethnicity box in the questionnaire, keeping in mind that the Institute for Employment by Law cannot provide confidentiality of private information to third parties. Nevertheless collection of ethnic data could be a starting point for the assessment of the unemployment rate of Roma as well as other minorities in Montenegro and might create conditions for affirmative actions based on this data.

      The Institute for Employment reported that most of the Roma job-seekers are low skilled and unqualified workers (most of Roma job-seekers have only primary school) in comparison to other job–seekers. That position excludes them at the very beginning from a number of programs. The only available programme for the low skilled job-seekers and unqualified workers is the programme of Public works, and a number of Roma were employed in that program.

      At the end, however, employment depends on the Employers and the possibility for them to choose between Roma and others. The Institute for Employment cannot influence their decision. This is area not covered by any systematic research in Montenegro. Also the source of obstacles for Roma and other minorities to find employment has not been surveyed.

      Assertions

        Montenegrin

        Serb

        Bosnian

        Albanian

        Croat

        Roma

        American

        French

        Russian

        German

        English

        Italian

      That he is my colleague at work

      96,7

      93,7

      80,0

      63,3

      72,9

      61,8

      69,9

      74,1

      76,3

      72,4

      71,3

      78,1

      That he is my superior at work

      93,5

      88,3

      63,3

      48,9

      56,6

      45,8

      58,3

      61,4

      62,9

      58,9

      58,9

      63,6

      That he is teacher to my children

      92,7

      87,2

      57,9

      43,3

      51,7

      39,3

      50,5

      54,9

      56,2

      52,6

      53,5

      57,2

      This part of the scheme of Public Opinion in Montenegro - Value Orientations and Ethnical Distance made by CEDEM - Department for Empirical Researches show the distance towards Roma at the work place, and problems which Roma face when they are employed.

      Conclusion:
      Because systemic data is not collected by the state, analysis must rely on anecdotal individual evidence reported and provided in interviews. Such analysis leads us to conclude that discrimination against Roma in employment is widespread, but it cannot be documented how frequent or systemic it is. We do know that victims of such discrimination have little, if any, recourse and that, as such, discrimination in employment is rarely addressed or amended. Although a sensitive and controversial issue, authorities should include ethnically sensitive variables in the data collecting systems on registration of unemployed people, so as to be able to assist in designing appropriate employment policies for disadvantaged groups. This requires close cooperation of Roma representatives and Roma NGOs with government institutions in order to overcome mistrust against data collection by authorities.

      Chapter VII Access to vocational training

      In Serbia and Montenegro vocational training can be obtained only through the more technically oriented secondary schools, which take either 3-4 years. In these “middle” schools the orientation can be agricultural, technical, medical, or any other field and the training will provide a basis for employment at a middle level. The only way to reach higher or become more proficient in a certain skill is to go to university. For advanced/ specialized technical skills and management a more practical approach could be more appropriate rather than academic training. However, employees are paid according to their education level, rather than their work experience and skills.

      A large scale labour market survey has not been carried out by any government institution yet. So far, the main tasks of government, especially the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, as well as related institutions (Labour Inspectorate and Employment Agencies) are to work towards privatization of the many state companies, ensure programs for the laid off workers and combat “black” labour in companies and SME alike. These tasks are a logical consequence of new demands created by the transition phase from a planned economy to a market economy. However, the government addresses these issues in a problem-solving manner, but is not looking ahead and planning for an improved labour market approach where supply and demand are more in tune with each other. Therefore strengthening vocational training activities and bringing these more in line with requests from the labour market should be a priority.

      The role of the Labour Market Bureau, the Employment Agency at the national level is mainly educational, economic, assisting in social development. The bureau provides: 1. internships (12 months maximum – lower secondary education up to university education); 2. additional or re-training – this can be a formal (VET) 3-4 years (secondary) training or a shortened specialised version of 6 months by teachers from the secondary school; 3. in-service training (job specific); 4. primary education for adults (basic literacy classes).

      In Montenegro vocational training can be obtained through the secondary schools, which takes 3 to 4 years. In these schools the orientation can be technical, agricultural, medical, or any other field and it provides the education for basic employment. A four years secondary education gives access to university and higher education.

      The possibilities for employment after this school are not so extensive but this kind of education provides a basis and after a few years of experience persons with this kind of diploma can use programmes for self-employment.

      Workers University (Radnicki univerzitet)
      Radnicki university – a private and semi-private vocational training institute - offer training on various topics, addressing practical job-skills and provide certificates after a couple of months of training. The training can also be geared towards the needs of the trainee, such as lessons in the evening or weekend so that s/he can continue to earn an income during the day. For workers who need to upgrade their skills, or should be re-trained for another job, this is a much more feasible solution than entering a 3-4 years training with youngsters at a secondary school.

      For the Roma population - with high drop-out rates in education and many persons who only finished primary school – this type of vocational training can be a good solution. The training allows them to earn an income, is practical and does not require a longer term investment in time. However, the certificate from a Radnicki University does not have the same weight and importance when applying for a job as the requested “middle” school education. Radnicki University courses need to be paid, and even though the courses are relatively cheap (between 180-500 Euro for a 3 months course), the Roma who would apply for these courses can usually not afford this price.
      The Ministry for Human Rights and National Minorities has expressed an interest in the Radnicki University vocational training courses, especially for returnees, who might be involved in SME activities. The Ministry intends to lobby for recognition of the certificate and for reduction of the training fees.
      In Montenegro these type of vocational trainings are recognized by the Ministry of Education, but simultaneously the costs are the biggest obstacle in Roma attending.

      NGO vocational training efforts
      Since the political changes in Serbia and Montenegro in 2000, international NGOs, with local NGOs as partners, as well as some international agencies have tried to address the Roma employment issue through vocational training. Many courses on tailoring and hairdressing were provided when Roma women mentioned an interest in these skills, and that they could perform these “income-generating” activities in their house. No research has been done on the labour market needs for these professions and it is not surprising that of every 100 hairdressers trained perhaps one found a real job. However, one may assume that many of the trained Roma women will do occasional small jobs for free or within the grey economy circuit. Nevertheless, such courses are not providing real chances for Roma population and should be seen more as social activation programs than as skills training. Vocational training for men included tailoring, hairdressing, painting and construction classes, which show some more potential for real employment opportunities.

      ICRC in northern Montenegro is currently starting a new approach in vocational training for IDPs. ICRC has asked the Employment Agency, which jobs are underrepresented in the area and for which there is a demand. With the assistance of the Employment Agency, ICRC contacted the local secondary school and now specialized training courses are being developed to serve the needs of the community, for welders, waiters, vegetable nursing and assistant-cook positions. The vocational courses that are being developed are more focussed and require three months of training with 320 practical lessons and 40 theory lessons. Unfortunately IDPs are not allowed (by law) to be formally employed in Montenegro.

      As has ICRC in Montenegro, many NGOs and agencies recognize the need to provide training that responds to the labour market demands and as a result they are changing their approaches. Because of the existing limitations in the “officially recognized” vocational training institutes, the results depend on local initiatives of cooperation and the good will of some employers rather than on standardized procedures providing equal chances to all.

      Second-chance education
      Primary education for adults is within the competence of the Labour Bureau, not as one might expect with the Ministry of Education. As representatives of the Employment Agency stated, there is little interest in these classes, especially in literacy classes. However, private initiatives show that there is a clear need for literacy programs within the domicile Roma population and among Roma IDPs from Kosovo. In Novi Sad at the school providing primary education as a second-chance option to young adults (officially from 13 years of age up) more than half of the pupils are Roma, IDPs or domicile Roma. The school serves some 250 pupils and six years of primary education can be done in three years. However, the diploma this school offers does not carry the same weight and importance as the diploma from a regular primary school, even to the extent that pupils cannot stream into the regular secondary education system (“middle school”). The school is now considering establishing its own secondary level as well. One wonders however, if this is the path to progress. A more favourable solution would be to include this type of education in the regular education system, with recognition of the diploma, perhaps by creating a state exam.

      In Podgorica (Montenegro) Milun Bozovic workers’ university - a vocational training institute recognized by the Ministry of Education - organises a course for adults, while in Niksic there is also a course for 68 adult Roma to finish their primary education.106

      Training needs of Roma
      The Roma in Serbia and Montenegro have expressed a clear need for vocational training and or re-training. Results that can be measured from the above mentioned private initiatives in this field are so far very positive. Still, much more can be done to prepare this population for the future and make them understand the labour demands, especially in a transition economy.
      The Roma NGOs could investigate new vocational training initiatives, such as business training and preparing for self-employment, how to deal with the changes from informal to formal economy and so on. Only by following labour trends and trying to keep abreast of these trends will Roma have a chance to achieve equal opportunities in the labour market and be active players in the economy of the country.

      Policy measures
      Active measures should be taken by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policies. Second-chance education should become available at a level within easy reach of the population and should provide a recognized diploma. Vocational training should be obtainable through the Employment Agencies and should address the labour market demands and provide training in practical skills in a short period of time.
      The whole population of Serbia and Montenegro might benefit from such policy measures.
      The choice is within the ministries and government as a whole, but it is strongly recommended that education efforts (be they second-chance or vocational) occur within the education sphere of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education has already nearly finished a comprehensive Strategy on Roma Education, a promising document on the Ministry’s efforts towards integration of Roma population in a larger context.

      For the Roma population additional policies could be considered, such as subsidizing transportation costs to and from the vocational institute and required school materials as well as the training fee. One of the main reasons for Roma leaving primary school at an early age is their contribution to the family income, in various ways, thereby giving up their chances of a decent job with a steady income later on in life. Once the Roma youth or young adolescent realises this, he or she is usually already economically active in the family income and will not be encouraged to use his/her earnings for educational growth. Therefore subsidized vocational training or second-chance education will attract more Roma youth and gives them a fair chance.

      Current obstacles in access to vocational/second-chance education

      We need to verify if these recommendations apply also to Montenegro. Depending on the information you gather.

        High Fees – the private institutions which provide vocational training and second chance education need to sustain their institutes through fees paid by their clientele. By including these institutes in the regular educational system, the fees may be reduced.
        Educational level - Many vocational training institutes require at least a finished primary education level of their participants. Many Roma did not finish primary school, so this may create obstacles. Roma should therefore try to finish their primary education in a quicker way, depending on their needs (second-chance education in three years).
        Location of vocational training – the vocational training institutes tend to exist only in the larger cities, so travel expenses can be relatively high and an obstacle to enrolment.
        Study conditions - There may be a lack of conditions to study at home, as the living conditions for Roma are usually not optimal.
        Contribution to the family - Young adults frequently contribute out of necessity to the family income through paid labour.
        Prejudices against Roma and/or mainstreaming - Vocational training institutes and second-chance education institutes do not want to be seen as catering to the needs of Roma alone. They strive to create a delicate balance where Roma as well as majority population find their place. The official recognition of these institutes by the government would make it easier for them to operate and find a more natural equilibrium within the institute.
        Lack of strategic planning by Roma people – a relatively high number of Roma people resort to vocational training and second-chance education as the Roma population do not see much benefit in formal education. Later in life (during adolescence) some Roma youth do realise their missed chance and the consequent lack of job-opportunities and will try to obtain some educational/vocational diploma. It is hoped that these young people, who took the advantage of a second chance, will encourage their children to stay in primary school and will make them more aware of the benefits of formal education.

      Conclusion: Vocational training is under developed and inappropriate in a country going through economic transition. It depends largely on the private sector, where practical training is offered, but diplomas are not recognized by the state and are therefore not considered relevant in a job-application procedure. There is an urgent need to create an adequate policy on vocational training either within the Ministry of Education or within the competence of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy. The former – Ministry of Education – is preferred. The same applies for second-chance education, which is now to some extend within the competence of he Ministry of Labour, but should be envisaged within the foreseen Strategy on Roma Education. Subsidized training and or (individual) financial support for Roma to attend such training should be included in the policy.

      Chapter VIII Romani women

      Research has been done in the following regions: Belgrade, Nis, Kragujevac, Mladenovac, Krusevac, Vranje, Vranjska Banja, findings are based on statements and emotions as felt by the Roma women.

            Economically strengthened women
            become economically independent,

      and so capable to conquer their rights”

          Marija Aleksandrovic - Roma Woman from Vojvodina

      Roma women are double discriminated, on the one hand for their ethnic origin and on the other hand because they are women. The Roma woman is captured within the patriarchal principles of family and community. As a rule these principles are internalized, therefore, the picture she has of herself is the picture of the community’s perception of women. Her expectation regarding herself, aspirations and achievements are related to the expectations the community has of her: to be a good mother, an obedient wife and a good housekeeper, to marry a man selected by the family, to respect the rules of the patriarchal community…. Any deviation from these principles may lead to excommunication. And this is one of the biggest fears for a Roma woman. Uneducated and economically dependent, she does not have conditions to survive outside of the community. She has to fulfil her role under very hard conditions, mostly without hot water sometimes even without electricity and usually without the aid of a washing-machine. In such an environment she does not have time to think more than a day ahead, let alone about herself. The Roma woman is overwhelmed with various pressures put on her, which becomes most visible through her marriage in a community where” passivity” becomes a marriage obligation.

      It is necessary to emphasize that there is a big difference regarding the position of Roma women who are domicile and Roma IDP women from Kosovo. In the case of Roma women from Kosovo the existence of the patriarchal principles is much more intense, perhaps also caused by their Islamic faith. Most of them do not have finished elementary school, which is also the result of the political situation in Kosovo during the last 15 years (parallel system). In this period the majority of women from Kosovo decreased their social mobility because of fear that they will be raped if they go alone outside of the house. For Roma IDPs, the family purchasing is the role of the man. The woman is only allowed to work outside of community, after she has brought up the children and when the son’s wife joins the family. Domicile Roma women more often have elementary school then IDPs. They participate in the purchasing of goods for the family. If they work, they work mainly as street vendors, as cleaning ladies in private houses or in the municipal cleaning services… For a domicile young Roma woman it is allowed to educate herself to go out with friends, to be employed, but it is forbidden for her to have sexual relations before marriage, although even this taboo is disappearing lately. In general one could say that domicile Roma women from northern parts of Serbia are more emancipated than the Roma women from southern Serbia.107

      The role of Roma women within Roma culture

      As a rule a young woman will act against the Roma community rules, but she is pressed into adopting the principles and adhering to them. As such the older women in the community could be seen as very strong keepers of traditional principles – and it is these women who educate and force young woman to adopt the rules. This conflict between the young Roma women’s desires and the principles of the community is often seen as a theme in Roma music, songs and stories.

      The position of a young Roma girl is more difficult, as the older women have more rights within the family then the younger. A young Roma girl is obliged to help her mother and grandmother with the household chores: to cook, clean and one particular obligation is to take care of her younger brothers and sisters. Young family members are dependent on the oldest sister, so in this case she takes the role of the mother. Therefore a Roma girl does not have much time for children’s games. In addition studying becomes one more difficult obligation for her. Of the Roma children who are finishing elementary school in Belgrade only 10% are Roma girls, which is insignificant.108 It is alarming for, even in their unfavourable position during their short schooling, they are showing better results than the boys.

      As a Roma girl does not receive appreciation for her education results from her family, she is expecting to receive this from her teacher. Unfortunately, the aspirations and efforts from young Roma girls often are not understood or valued by their teachers and they are not easily accepted by school friends. In this kind of atmosphere and at the sensitive age of puberty, seeking for a (gender) identity, Roma girls very easily give up further schooling or education, as the expected support to persist does not come from the family, the Roma community nor from the teacher and the school.

      The relationship Roma women have with surrounding environment, majority population and public administration/institutions

        Roma woman face many “inside” and “outside” obstacles approaching public services and majority population. Roma women – as well as the whole of the Roma community - are in awe of the authorities but distrust them as well. They have a stereotyped view of the authorities and do not quite understand their role. This situation - due also to (previous) bad experiences - is vividly presented in the following statements “The doctor did not want to receive me because my health card is not valid”, or regarding prejudices and lack of knowledge “The doctor will harm me”.

      On the other side, office employees see Roma woman as uneducated and limited, women who will waste their time. This attitude can been seen in the following statement of a social worker from Nis, ”Because of Roma I have more work to do, I am paid very little, and they do not do anything.” 109

      Often potential employers reject Roma woman for jobs, especially for jobs related with food, and those which require direct contact with customers, with the following excuses: “She will reject my customers”. (See ANNEX II - statements from Ms E.M. and Ms Marija Aleksandrovic) E.g. If a Roma girl works as a cook in a hamburger fast food store, employers believe she will reject customers because customers think that she is dirty.

      Simultaneously, the disadvantaged position of Roma women on the labour market can sometimes make her more competitive. There are employers who like to employ Roma women for the following reasons: “If I give her [Roma woman] a job I will not have a need to tell the authorities that she works in my company and to pay tax for her”, or: “She is uneducated and does not have support, so I can easily manipulate her”, also: “She is satisfied with less then others”.110

        In this way the lack of knowledge of Roma women can easily led to abuse on the part of the employers, and is not recommendable.

      Main challenges/barriers for Romani women

      Bad health condition and problems of premature marriage are additional causes for the disadvantaged position of Roma women on the labour market. With thirteen or fourteen years of age, a young Roma woman is at the same time: mother, wife, sister in law, housekeeper and mistress. The heavy burden of these roles for a young woman inevitable leads to a decrease of her health condition. As she is uneducated, only manual jobs are available to her, but often she is not capable for them as she is immature and not very healthy or strong. The average lifespan for Roma is between 45 and 50 years of age, and this number is lower for Roma women.

        The representatives of Roma Women organisations prioritized the reasons for the unemployment situation of Roma women as follows: low level of education, patriarchal community, discrimination and/or low level of aspirations. The priorities were different amongst the Roma Women organisations, but common was:
        in the case of Roma Women IDPs the pressure of the patriarchal community and secondly the low level of education,
        for domicile Roma women the first obstacle is the low level of education, and discrimination and the pressure of the patriarchal community are sharing a second place.

      It is also important to note that women in general are discriminated in Serbian society. Therefore the disadvantaged position of Roma women on the labour market is even more poignant. Women are not equally represented in institutions, e.g. only 11% of members of Serbian Parliament are women. Regarding labour, women suffer more from open or hidden discrimination in the process of professional advancement (within the higher echelons the number of women is decreasing); they earn 15% less than a man in the same job; the percentage of women who are employers is only 30%; even when women have a higher (and better) educational level their unemployment rate is higher than for men (14,8% of the women with a university degree are unemployed, while for the men this percentage is 8,3%).111

      Conclusion: Even though the Roma women in the country have clearly a subordinate role in society, their situation is not as bad as the situation of Roma IDP women, who suffer more from a stricter patriarchal structure. As can be noticed from the examples on discrimination towards Roma women, they do not behave as victims, but rather brush off the insult and make the best of a bad situation. Some Roma women even “benefit” in a competitive sense from their low social status. However, this is should not be encouraged and needs to be seriously addressed by the government in a policy on gender issues. The fact that Roma girls show better results in educational levels should be acknowledged and supported by the appropriate authorities – one could think of including Roma girls in public administration, where Roma are under-represented in any case. However, for the Roma IDP women much change is still required, and it is hoped that the Roma Women NGOs will play a constructive role there.

      Chapter IX Romani youth

      Youth in general in Serbia and Montenegro
      During the last decade Serbia and Montenegro has grown isolated from other parts of the region and Europe, which particularly affected young people. For the majority of those who are young today, their childhood has been marked with feelings of insecurity and powerlessness.
      As a consequence of the various armed conflicts during the 90-ies and a lack of perspective 250.000112 young people left the country, predominantly those with high education.
      Often youngsters are focussed on, by state officials, especially in pre-election statements of political parties as “the power for the future”, but there is no comprehensive program and/or activities on youth which would open real possibilities and mechanisms through which they could be active actors in society. Reasons for this are the socio-economic crisis in the country but also a lack of awareness of the authorities regarding the problems of youth. On the other hand, only 5,6 % of the NGOs in Serbia include young people113 in their activities and programs.

      Mentality

      Measures towards young are not affirmative but restrictive like a prohibition for bars and pubs to work after midnight; and activities on youth are initiated on an ad hoc basis, by introducing activities like drugs prevention.
      This partial approach towards the problems of youth is the result of a “prohibitory” way of thinking in society, where measures are not aimed at solving the cause of the problem but at keeping the consequences (of the problem) under control. This does not allow for a free and creative environment in which young people can explore their possibilities, indeed it reinforces limitations and narrowness in which there is no place for young people to demonstrate their abilities and articulate their interests. Such an environment may motivate delinquency rather than prevent it.
      In a survey undertaken in 2002 by CRS (Catholic Relief Service) there are considerable differences in perception of youth problems by adults and youth itself. Young people consider that their basic problem is lack of conditions and space for organization of their activities and spending of free time, while parents and schools consider drugs the main youth problem.
      Youth and Employment
      In this kind of environment it seems almost inappropriate to investigate whether the labour market is targeting youth through special programs and/or are there special programs targeting Roma youth through employment programs. There is no survey or needs assessment done on Roma youth anywhere in the country.
      As there is a lack of possibilities to establish a family and to be economically independent 72%114 of the young people still live with their parents. Many of the young people go to the university just to avoid army service and possible participation in war conflicts in the region. University offers also a chance to wait for better times, so among youth in Serbia and Montenegro a phenomenon exists of stretching the youth age.
      For a young person with finished university degree it is not easy to find a job as many of the vacancies require at least three years of working experience.

      Having in mind that of the Roma population 62% are those younger than 25 years of age, or that 1/5 of the Roma population is aged between 14 and 25 years115 , it is clear that the problems which youth face in Serbia and Montenegro, are disproportionally affecting the Roma population.

      Competition or relationships

      There is another factor, which is hampering especially Roma youth employment. Serbia and Montenegro society is not a society of healthy competition but a society based on the blood-affiliate’s principle characterized by its patriarchal pattern where almost everything functions through the philosophy “helping relatives and compatriots through various connections”. Therefore young people usually only are finding jobs through the parents or relatives’ ”connections”. As Roma population is very rarely represented in the institutions, it is not easy for young Roma people to find job places as they cannot infiltrate these institutions through relatives or other connections.

      Conclusions: Life for Roma youth is not easy in Serbian and Montenegrin society today. However, young Roma are trying to move on with their lives, especially in the grey economy. There are initiatives, even though these are perhaps not in the most targeted and/or efficient (professional) way – Roma Student Union(s), Young Roma Researchers (MIR) and Amaryllis to mention a few organisations of young Roma activists or students. A select group of Young Roma also benefit – for the moment – of the inclusion of Serbia and Montenegro in the Roma Decade initiative. However, for the less highly educated Roma life is as much a struggle as it is for their parents and the rest of the community - mainly based on survival tactics rather than future planning. This is due to the limited job opportunities and having necessary “connections” - a system still prevailing in Serbia and Montenegro - whereby Roma are for sure not chosen for a job, if other candidates have the required connections and qualifications. The government authorities may consider investing in young Roma people, to include Roma youngsters on an internship base in institutions which should guarantee future employment. This will increase living conditions and social cohesion as well as raising of education levels of the Roma population at large. The majority society is “greying” and in future they will need capable young people to ensure proper care and an economically viable society to provide for this greying population.

      Chapter X Inter-sectoral relations

      Education levels of Roma

      The majority of the registered unemployed persons in the employment agencies are low-skilled workers. For example, in south Backa county which is one of the most developed areas in Northern Serbia, 34,5% from unemployed persons are unskilled workers and 31% are workers with first degree of professional level (up to one year of secondary education after primary school).

      The data from the 1991 census is showing that with an increase of education level, the economic activity of the population is rising. So, from the category “capable to work” only 27,7% of Roma without education have been active, 62% with elementary school, 80,6% with middle school and 86% with university degrees have been active.

      Vocational and second-chance education need to be addressed urgently by the relevant ministries, in so far as the opportunities offered are not responding to the labour market demands (see Chapter VII on Vocational Training).

      Housing

      a. location

      Environmental (living) conditions have an indirect impact on Roma employment in the sense that extremely bad living conditions produce a poverty culture, which fosters feelings of helplessness and low motivation toward social mobility. For people living in extremely bad conditions, the lack of facilities like: a telephone line, money for transportation, and distance to institutions are additional barriers in finding a job and sufficient reason to deteriorate the already weak perspectives these people have.
      A local community office as a place where citizens can establish communication with local authorities, but also directly participate in the organization of their own settlements exists in 23.1% of the Romany settlements, it is at a distance within 1 km for 27.6% of them, or at a distance of more than 1 km for 25.6% of the settlements. However, 21.4% of the registered settlements have no accessible local community office. Also 31% out of 593 Romani settlements in Serbia are in suburban parts.

      Simultaneously employment agencies have reported that in the process of informing the unemployed workers on job offers they often have problems when they are trying to inform Roma who live in the settlements. The majority of them does not have a telephone line, some settlements are not registered and without an address - and if they are registered it is not uncommon that a settlement with several streets is registered only as one street without numbers (e.g. every house in the Roma settlement Veliki rit in Novi Sad – approximately 2,000 Roma live there – the settlement is registered in the street name: Majke Jugovica bb)

      b. mobility

      In contrast to Roma in some West European Countries, Roma in Serbia and Montenegro are not a travelling people (not itinerant, but sedentary). Although in the past a division could be made between nomadic and sedentary Roma. The Roma groups who are called “Cergari” in Serbia and “Gabelji” in Montenegro were nomadic in the past, but this way of life has been abandoned long ago.
      Yet, we could say that Roma are more mobile then any other population and that this mobility is the result of seeking jobs or opportunities to work. This mobility usually has a seasonal character and it is connected to trading of agriculture products and seasonal wage work (unskilled) in agriculture or in building/construction. Most frequent is the mobility of Roma from southern Serbia to Vojvodina and Belgrade area, but interestingly enough also the other way around. Those Roma are coming with their whole family, they are living in their trucks (traders), or in barracks allocated near to the agriculture fields for the purpose to provide lodging to seasonal workers (unskilled wage workers), rented houses, with relatives and so on.
      There is also a trend of mobility amongst Roma from Vojvodina (especially from Banat area) who are going to Montenegro to work in construction, but in this case it is only the men who are going, not the whole family.

      Health
      The relatively high unemployment rate and the specific registration problems of IDPs may account for their poor health status. They do not visit the Health Centres as they have no health insurance (health book). Even those who are registered with the employment agencies do not benefit much from it. The costs of covering specific medical treatment are too high, even for non-Roma. The housing conditions where many Roma live have no basic infrastructure (water, sewage system, electricity and roads) and this also contributes to their poor health.
      Roma and even more specifically Roma women are registered with the Employment Agencies purely for reasons of obtaining health insurance and social benefits.
      Roma children are covered for Health Insurance until 26 years of age if they are enrolled in the educational system. However, a special vaccination program had to be carried out – going door-to-door to find eligible children in Belgrade and Nis - as Roma are not very well aware of health procedures, especially preventative health, and seem to lack a “health culture”. This may also account for the large number of (chronic) diseases and a very high mortality rate amongst Roma people.

      Social protection

      There is no comprehensive data on the poverty line amongst Roma population in Serbia and Montenegro. Although in 2002, the Government of Serbia carried out the biggest and most comprehensive poll ever on the living standards in Serbia with a sample of 6,886 households (totally 19,725 persons), the research did not sufficiently cover Roma, refugees and IDPs.116
      Even though the most vulnerable groups are not sufficiently covered, the results of the research show that in 2002 Serbia had around 800,000 poor inhabitants or 10,9%117 of total population who’s consumption by consumer’s unit118 has been less then 4,489 dinars or 72$ monthly, respectively 2,4$ daily, which the Government determined as the national poverty line119.

      Although, the research does not provide data on a Roma poverty line in particular, cross references from this research with other data on Roma population are able to drawn a rough picture of the poverty among Roma.

      The research has shown that the risk of poverty among population without finished elementary school is twice higher from the (total) population average. So, considering that 62% of Roma belong to the category of population without finished elementary school, we can recognize that this refers mostly to Roma. In other words Roma have a two times higher poverty risk as a result of their low level of education.
      Also, an estimation of the Roma poverty can be made by taking into account other indicators of the population’s living standards like the equipment of the family household. Therefore we might ask ourselves if there is anywhere in Europe a people or a region where:

        10% of the population have no access to electricity
        over 27% of the Roma settlements have no water-supply
        only 33% of the Roma households have washing-machines.

      Most frequent sources of income amongst Roma are: seasonal/daily paid work in building construction and in agriculture, the grey economy (various trades), “garbage mining” (collecting paper, cardboard, bottles, metal) social welfare/child allowance, remittances from relatives living abroad, humanitarian aid and so on.
      The social support to the poor population in Serbia has two basic programs: social welfare (“material protection of family”) and child allowance. In some areas, financed from the municipality budget, is also a so-called one time only assistance and periodical support.
      The character of social welfare in Serbia is: narrow coverage (every seventh poor inhabitant from the total number of 800,000 poor is a beneficiary of the social assistance program), targeting the most vulnerable population (not capable for work, children, and elderly), restrictive in normative solutions (requirements are: small property, unemployment status).

      The amount of social welfare in Serbia is determined by the difference between income of the family and the amount of the social security minimum. If a family does not have officially employed persons, the income of the family is calculated on a monthly wage for seasonal work in agriculture which is offered in each municipality (centers for social welfare are making consultations with collective farms regarding offers and fees). This means that a large number of social beneficiaries from this category does not receive social assistance during the summer period. An additional criteria is the required “property certificate” which should show that the family does not have property, land or house space which can be rented.

      The minimum amount of social security is calculated for every quarter of the year and represents
      16% - for one person;
      22% - for a family with two members;
      28% - for a family with three members;
      30% - for a family with four members;
      32% - for a family with more then four members,
      based on the average of earnings in the public economy of the country.

      For the first quarter of 2004 those amounts have been:
      3,023 dinars (43 euros) for one person,
      4,157 dinars (59 euros) for a family with two members,
      5,290 dinars (75 euros) for family three members,
      5,668 dinars (81 euros) for family with four members,
      6,046 dinars (86 euros) for family with more than four members.

      The amount of social assistance does not cover the basic living needs (minimum consumer standards) and in that sense cannot be a disincentive for looking for work. Nevertheless, one should not forget that in case of many poor Roma the needs are much less then for majority population. On the other hand, employees from the Centres for Social Welfare reported that for many of their beneficiaries the amount of social assistance is a secure basis and it is hoped that with additional earnings from the grey economy the beneficiaries can secure themselves a decent living. The employees from the Centres of Social Welfare explained through several examples how their beneficiaries have became more organised and effective in running their lives after they started to receive social assistance.

      Even though the amount of social assistance does not become a disincentive for looking for a job, it does have an impact on seeking work through the employment agencies. That is to say, many of the workers registered as unemployed are in reality engaged in some kind of job, usually in the grey economy. From every four officially registered unemployed workers three are working in the grey economy or ‘black’ as employers do not register them. Therefore from the 960,000 registered unemployed workers only 250,000 are really unemployed.

      A work place or job engagement through the employment agency surely includes additional benefits such as a pension and health insurance, but for poor low skilled workers to find a job through the employment agencies is not a realistic option in an economic sense. Because, on the one hand the earnings for low skilled workers offered through the employment agencies are relatively small compared with earnings in unregistered manual jobs in building/ construction, agriculture or in the grey economy - on the other hand, when a worker gets a job through the employment agency he loses the status of unemployment person and the possibility to receive social assistance, which is not much lower then the minimum wage (for the first six months of 2004 this has been 5,394 dinars or 78 euros).
      Employment agencies have reported that Roma often reject job offers. We may conclude that the reason might well be the above mentioned calculation of earnings.

      Conclusions: Insufficient support from one sector leads to restrictions in another sector. For instance low level of education prevents Roma from inclusion in public sector jobs, bad living/housing conditions prevents them from going to school, unhealthy environments can hamper both education and employment opportunities and without unemployment registration no access to health insurance is ensured. In addition social assistance is not sufficient for basic survival. This drives Roma into the informal sector for jobs and/or informal self-employment. More inter-sectoral coordination should take place at government level to ensure the proper design of comprehensive policy measures, taking into account the inter-dependency between the different sectors for solving the problems of Roma.

      Chapter XI Existing employment projects

      With the Law on Employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment the government of Serbia has promoted a series of measures in employment regarding vulnerable groups. So, this law introduces “active employment policy” which includes groups like IDPs, refugees, persons with disabilities, women, persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high, persons older than 50 or younger than 27 years of age, who have priority in being assisted in finding employment.

      In Montenegro no Government policy for Roma employment is being implemented at the moment. The only existing document dealing with this issue is the Action Plan on Roma Employment drafted and adopted by the Montenegrin government in the framework of the initiative of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, but this document needs to be expanded and used as the basis for a Strategy for employment of all vulnerable groups.

      Roma participation/access to (or lack of)

      In the above mentioned measures Roma are indirectly mentioned through the category of “persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high”. It is not clear whether there are any consultation/participation mechanisms in designing employment programs both for vulnerable and/or socially disadvantaged groups in general and for Roma-specifically. It seems Roma are not participating in the design of such programmes.

      State sponsored programmes (e.g. public works)

      UNDP and the National Employment Agency currently are implementing a public works project “Beautiful Serbia. In Nis they made a quota of 30% of Roma to be employed from the total number of the required force labour as construction workers However, the required quota could not be kept, as the Roma (and other low-skilled workers) did not show sufficient interest as they could earn substantially more in the informal economy, and be paid on a daily basis.
      Therefore, the government and international organisation should consider ways to ensure better conditions for the implementation of public works programs.
      In Montenegro the only program of the Institute for Employment that has Roma population as employees is the Publics Works program.

      The Roma NGO Pocetak from Niksic (Montenegro) provides temporary employment (by the hour) to 19 RAE IDPs and 2 domicile Roma. The Roma Pocetak has a contract with the Public Communal Service in Niksic which requires temporary labour. The employees are paid by Roma NGO Pocetak, while they work for the Communal Services in Niksic.

      Other public programs (e.g. initiatives to employ Roma in the administration, internships, fellowships, etc).

      At the moment one Roma is employed in the Ministry for Education, one in the Secretariat for Implementation of the Roma National Strategy, one in the Secretariat for Minorities of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

      With OSCE/ODIHR support, 6 Roma interns will be placed at the Registrar Offices in Nis, Vranje and Leskovac to support the re-registration of IDP Roma (to obtain personal documents) – there is funding until the end of the year. The Roma interns can do a state exam to become civil servants (education level: secondary). In September 2004 it is not clear whether these Roma are employed in the Registrar Offices.

      ADF managed to appoint 2 advisors for inter-ethnic relations, who work mostly on Roma issues in the province of Vojvodina. Caritas-Essen appointed two Roma Advisors in Serbia (Palilula-Belgrade municipality and Krusevac) and one Rom Advisor in Berane, Montenegro, who has not taken up his position yet (December 2004). AGEF Germany also appointed 2 Roma advisors in Serbia. These posts are actually funded by international donors and the continuation of these positions will depend very much on how useful the contribution of these Roma Advisors will turn out to be.

      There were plans by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights to hire 120 Roma to assist in the local self-government bodies (municipality level). However in June, the Roma Secretariat announced only 12 Roma people will be hired. According to the Roma National Council these 12 Roma people should carry out a research on social cards in 2005-2006. The funding for these positions is only secured until the end of 2004. A project has been drafted and has been submitted to the World Bank for funding. The World Bank has not responded yet (June 2004).

      In addition to the Roma employed in local self-government bodies the Minister also intends to employ 10 Roma in the larger municipalities as Roma Advisors. Their task will be to work on the implementation of the Draft Roma Strategy in close cooperation with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and the Roma National Council.

      The Roma National Council (RNC) intends to carry out a survey on 90,000 Roma families to determine a social card. When this will take place is unclear.

      Other programs by (international) NGOs/donors for Roma

      Local NGOs
      The program led by CAZAS for Roma youth as well as the Pro Youth organization have the objective to raise awareness about different issues amongst R[oma] population. One of the strategic programs implemented by the Pedagogical Centre – a local organisation - is focused on education of Roma.

      International NGOs/agencies & donors
      According to data that was collected, international organizations that deal with Roma population make large efforts to assist them to provide better living conditions, provide health programs, social assistance, free legal aid and other types of assistance focused on different Roma groups (elderly persons, women, youth, and persons with special needs).

      The organizations that provided humanitarian or social/legal assistance during 2004 are MPDL, HELP, IOM, CDC and IRD. Legal aid and support in returning to Kosovo is provided by ARC and ICMC. MRC and Forum SYD organized R[oma] population focus groups on different issues which are in their interest. The UN agencies when dealing with R[oma] are focussing on educational and humanitarian assistance mostly.

      Vocational trainings are part of the programmes of a number of international NGOs dealing with RAE IDPs such as: ICRC, MPDL and income generation projects are part of the HELP and COSV programme in Montenegro.

      USAID provided 6 micro grants for the 24 RAE beneficiaries to the amount of $6,571.00. In kind community contribution for this project was $9,073.05 Concerning other projects with no focus on RAE population USAID spent $1,508,080.51 with Community in kind contribution $1,148,024.17 which amongst other population benefited 3,473 RAE which shows that something over 1% of USAID support went to RAE population.

      OSCE is currently implementing a one year project (2004-2005) on Developing Roma Leadership Potential in Montenegro. The project includes a comprehensive programme of training and mentoring of a group of 20 young Roma in the professions of educators and journalists. In addition Roma NGO activists will be trained, also with entrepreneurial skills. As there is a clear market demand for these professions, most trainees are expected to find employment.

      Another market-driven approach was adopted by the international NGO HELP in their 2001-2002 project “Establishing a system for the collection of recyclable materials and increasing the recycling capacity”. Four collection points were established in Podgorica, where everybody could deliver recyclable materials and receive a reimbursement for this according to regulated prices. A group of 20 Roma IDPs received bicycles-cum-trailers for collection transport as well as a fixed salary for their services (125 Euro p/m) in cooperation with the Roma Association (Romska Demokratska Unija) and the recycling centre of the Public Utilities Centre was equipped. The encouraging results of this project assume that the collection system will be used on an increasing scale in the future. It is interesting that even though “waste” collection is often associated with Roma population, most of the recyclable materials were delivered to the collection points by local population, not necessarily Roma.

      Self employment programs

      Employment agency’s subsidies for self-employment
      The mentioned Law on Employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment prescribes subsidies for self employment (Article 45). How this Law should be implemented is described in the Rules on Procedure for Fulfilment of Right on Subsidies for self-employment120, and in the public announcement of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Policy which gives details of the subsidy amounts, inter alia, allocated to the following categories of people:

      140 000 YUD (around 2,000 euros) for persons with disabilities
      120 000 YUD for unemployed persons older then 50 age
      100 000 YUD for self-supporting mothers or both unemployed parents
      80 000 YUD for unemployed persons younger then 27 years of age
      70 000 YUD for other unemployed persons

      Although, Roma could benefit if they ask for the subsidy for the category of self-supporting mothers or both unemployed parents, there is, unfortunately, no mention of a category such as “persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high”.
      Many of Roma are self-employed in the informal economy and if they will not be supported they will not be able to adapt to the upcoming legalised economy (formal market). To be able for their self-employment or “business” to survive in a formal setting, Roma need tax-wavers, or gradual introduction of taxes, assistance with proper accounting, tellers, etc. This adaptation to a formal market means quite an investment for small “businesses” (such as those people working on the flea market, selling door to door, or in the street) which are mainly able to survive because of the market demand. These street-sellers cannot double their prices from one day to the next, as they will not find any customers. The transition from informal to formal market therefore should include an investment from the government (subsidies/tax-wavers or gradual tax introduction) and from the Roma an investment in time and energy to gradually change their business, perhaps change their products and to learn about (tax) procedures, accounting and providing appropriate bills to their customers.
      The government has already foreseen subsidies to employers who employ people from the category “persons belonging to ethnic minorities, whose unemployment rate is especially high” – why can the government not allocate special self-employment subsidies for this category of people as well?
      Also, the subsidy for self-employment program as being implemented through the Employment Agencies prescribes that subsidies can be assigned to ”starting small and medium businesses, guilds, agricultural farms …”. This subsidy will be granted to businesses comprising more than one unemployed person - the subsidy, however, will be only paid to one person. Therefore, also one unemployed person considering self-employment should be eligible.

      Taking into consideration that the “Rules on of Using the Funds of National Employment Agency” is in preparation, there is a good chance that the above mentioned recommendations will be included.

      Credits, Program supporting loans

    The economic environment in SaM is not very favourable for starting a business and/or small and medium enterprise. Even though the Government and Agency for SME have invested a great deal of efforts regarding this matter, the bank’s conditions for credits and loans are not favourable for the majority of the population. This specifically refers to Roma, even though very capable in leading small businesses in practise, due to their limited education, are not able to meet most of the requirements of the bank such as a comprehensive business plan or collateral.

      Even though some (international) NGOs have implemented grants or micro-credit programs in the past, targeting mostly IDPs and refugees (including Roma), at the moment there is no loan/credits program in SaM for vulnerable groups.

      Nevertheless, there are some rare examples of loans programs not targeting vulnerable population, but through their favourable conditions for credits allocation are indirectly accessible to Roma. This is the case for Opportunity International (Bank) in Vojvodina (unfortunately not in Montenegro) which gives small credits up to 2,000 euros without mortgage (collateral), without comprehensive business plan and with acceptable interest rate. This program also allows funding when the beneficiary does not have a registered small business. However, the funding in this program is very limited and might not be sufficient for starting a business.

      From September 2004 a Guarantee Fund will be established by the Regional Agency for Development of SME “Alma Mons” in Novi Sad, which targets refugees, IDPs, minorities and women. The amount of loans for starting a business will be up to 3,000 euros while for already registered business up to 10,000 euros. Even interest rate and other conditions could stimulate Roma self-employment because of the limited opportunities elsewhere.

      In Montenegro the local NGO Alter Modus is implementing a program in the area of microfinance for SME. In the last year they have provided loans for 42 R[oma] clients; 41 domicile Roma and 1 IDP with total amount of 92,640 €. The amounts vary from 500-7,300€.
      The general impression of the Alter Modus Credit Officers is “that R[oma] are excellent clients: honest, hard-working and trustworthy. Their businesses sometimes run into problems (just as it is the case with other clients) but even then they try their best to work things out and repay their loans”.121

      Incentives for employers who employ vulnerable groups

      Article 34 of the Law on Employment and Insurance in the Case of Unemployment and Article 57 of the Rules on Conditions and Procedure of Fulfilment of Rights of persons Who are Seeking for Employment122 prescribes that employers who employ persons from one of the category mentioned in article 31 (refugees, IDPs, people with disabilities, employment of persons belonging to ethnic minorities whose unemployment rate is especially high…) have the right to subsidies for health, social, and pension security. The Employment Agency in Sombor informs that these subsidies will be reimbursed not in total but to the amount of 30% for the period of one year. Also if an employer wants to receive this subsidy he needs to employ unemployed persons for a period three times longer than the time the person was registered as unemployed with the Employment Agency. It remains to bee seen whether this will be a sufficient incentive for employers.

      Chapter XII Good practices/Case studies

      Successful programs

      Vocational Training

      Broadening Horizons for Roma Youth and Young Adults Project – 2003
      Project implemented by CARE SaM, DUR-Roma NGO, Public University “Bozidar Adzija” Belgrade.
      The project included more than vocational training alone and focused on: education, employment and self-confidence.
      From over 144 young Roma (between 16 and 30 years of age) who applied to the project, 50 people were selected through an interview procedure. After the selection procedure 3 groups were formed, who were given a two-months series of workshops on CV writing, job interviews, and special knowledge for professional orientation. Beneficiaries were assisted in developing self-confidence, communication skills and a sense of responsibility, as well as to overcome prejudice and discrimination.
      Then the beneficiaries individually signed contracts with the Public University, which proved highly beneficial to their motivation. The vocational courses would start in another 2 months, so there was time to make visits/excursions to different employment places and find out what skills are required and how different organizations function. On a weekly basis visits were made to governmental, private and non-governmental organizations, such as Pink TV, the Police, a beauty salon, the Belgrade Zoo and UNICEF. Besides being an excellent means to motivate these young people for employment, it also provided more understanding for the issues young Roma people face in their job search. The vocational training was provided in the following professions: auto mechanic, auto electrician and vehicle painter, house-painter, bricklayer and tiler, lock-smith, plumber, cook, waiter and baker, hairdresser, barber and make-up artist and dressmaking. Some beneficiaries also attended PC literacy courses.
      Because of the constant monitoring by the implementing organizations (Care and DUR), as well as the group-work or peer pressure, all participants finished their course. Basic materials were provided to start self-employment; others are job-searching and or advocating with the government on the relevance of projects like this. Providing vocational training alone is not enough, it should be complemented with job-searching skills and confidence building measures to provide a real chance for future employment. 70% of the trained Roma found a job.

      Informal to formal business

      Nis “Piaca” regulation of informal into semi-formal small trade
      In Nis the municipality started already with the transition from informal to semi-formal small business ventures. The market salesman has to pay for his market stall – a one year contribution in the form of “pashaul” tax. At the end of the year the amount will be adjusted to the real earnings of the market salesman. Municipality employees collect the tax.
      Danish Refugee Council (DRC) provided the market salesmen with tellers, which provide bills on which also the tax is mentioned. This way it is expected that at least 70% of the business transactions will be made in a formal way.
      The municipality could employ a number of additional people this way, such as the tax collectors, but also security officers, who make the market a save place without pick-pockets.

      This initiative can be considered successful as it is already planning ahead (taking into account future needs), it is a public/private mix (DRC and Municipality as well as market salesmen) and included salesmen from Roma communities as well as mainstream society (mainstreaming). The initiative creates some stability for the market salesman, safety for the clients and good business opportunities as the police will not come to harass the salesman or interfere in the market procedures. Business opportunities have improved this way. Also the municipality of Nis was able to provide formal employment to quite some people through this project. Besides, sooner rather than later this practice will be introduced all over the country and the sooner one gets used to it, the better.

      Unsuccessful programs/initiatives

      Case 1:

      Project “Ugly Duck”

      This project, with a total budget of 3,750 euros, consisted of breeding of 300 geese, close to a Roma settlement in Backi Monostor in a location provided by the city municipality.
      The project idea was elaborated on an existing activity of one Roma person who was breeding goose and had already a purchaser for the (geese) down.

      According to the goose breeding plan within one year from a flock of mother geese of 300 (basic number of geese with whom they should start business) 14,300 euros would be gained (4,000 small gooses x 2,5 euros, 300 kg of feather x 6 euros, 300 old gooses to slaughter x 7 euros, 100 kg of goose liver x 4 euros) and the flock of geese increased from 300 to 500 mother geese. Feather, small geese, old geese and liver should be delivered to the Agricultural Guild of Union of the Roma Association of Vojvodina, which would have the obligation to purchase all the products.

      This guild would sell the products through already existing connections of guild members in the feather business. The meat and small geese should been sold on the domestic market, while feathers (as a raw material for the pillow production) and goose liver to the Western European market. The profit from the sale of the products, the guild and the Roma NGO would use for expanding the geese breeding among Roma in the form of home fattening in the whole of Vojvodina in the timeframe of three years.

      Unfortunately the project failed because of an ill-prepared budget. For example, it was planned to employ 10 young Roma, but the budget did not contain fees for them, so when the geese came to the village there was a problem as to who will take care of them. Also the budget calculation on corn for the animals was not made correctly, so there was not sufficient food for the geese.
      The good elements within this project are that the project tries to capitalize on what Roma are already doing, also that young Roma from the settlement are targeted and that Roma would be employed within a short period of time on the basis of self-employment. Also the fact that a municipality location could be used for the goose breeding, shows the level of support given by the municipality.

      Case 2:

      Public works program in Nis “Beautifully Serbia”

      This project consisted of vocational training in building/construction and temporary employment in public works for unemployed persons registered with the Nis Employment Agency. On request of the donor, the Employment Agency made a quota of 30% of Roma from the total number of people to be engaged in project. It turned out that this quota could not be reached since Roma did not show sufficient interest in this project. It needs to be stressed that the interest by unemployed persons in general was very modest. A plausible reason for this could be that the monthly salary for a job in this project of 120 euros was much lower than a salary for the same job in construction in the grey economy, where in one working day one can earn up to 15 euros.

      Case 3:

      SME Business Start-up Training for refugees, IDPs and Roma

    This initiative aimed at refugees, IDP’s and Roma provided from March until December 2003, ten training sessions in the following topics: establishment of businesses and enterprises, conducting business planning, professionally interact with banks, development of action plans and taking necessary steps in realization of business ideas for presentation to banks for financing.
    Besides this SME training, also a procedure on loans was presented by various banks.

      A total of 180 participants from Novi Sad, Vrbas and Becej municipalities have finished this three-day-training session and received a certificate upon successful completion of the training. SME consultants have followed up and worked with each participant in the development of their business idea.
      Up to January 2004, 32 new businesses have been established by the participants, such as a tailor shop, a transportation service (trucking), grocery shops, mushroom production, live stock breeding, milk production, goat keeping, and several of them started green house vegetable production. Also 50 new jobs were created and 28 beneficiaries are in the preparatory and planning phase to start business.

      Even though this project targeted Roma, only several participants from the total number of 180 finished the course. Reason for this is – as was explained by the donor - that the Union of Roma Associations from Vojvodina, who was the partner for this project, had at the time internal changes within the organization, so very few Roma applied for this course. As this initiative seems very successful it is a pity the Roma could not benefit from this due to internal troubles.

      Chapter XIII Recommendations

      Conclusions

      The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy should devise a clear Employment Strategy including all vulnerable groups and thereby mainstreaming Roma issues. In order to measure the impact of such a strategy clear indicators need to be developed as well as ethnically sensitive data collection. The process should be monitored on a regular basis (monthly) to be able to measure progress, but also be flexible so that, if necessary, adaptations can be made.

      For Roma the following issues should be taken into account:

            Weak Socio-economic status of Roma job-seekers and Roma communities
            Lack of connections within majority population for obtaining employment through the “connections” network (family and friends)
            Low level of special government programs targeting Roma in order to change their position in society
            Discrimination is a daily fact of life for every Roma man, woman and child
            More efforts towards positive media coverage of Roma
            The general low level of education of Roma population
            Limited access to free legal advice for Roma
            Limited capacity and effectiveness of Roma NGOs
            Instable cohesion or networking (forming alliances) between the different Roma groups in order to move ahead (and have capacity to combat fierce competition)

      RECOMMENDATIONS – pre-conditions for adoption & implementation of legal instruments in Serbia proper.

      Recommendations

      Long-term
      (one year)

      Short-term
      (6 months)

      Should be addressed by

      M&E and/or other support

      Adoption of Roma National Strategy –
      Serbia

      X

       

      Serbian Parliament / Roma National Council (RNC)

      OSCE, CoE, UNHCR, WB

      Implementation of Roma National Strategy - Serbia

      X

      X

      RNC, Fed. Min.of Human Rights & National Minorities

      OSCE, CoE, WB, UNICEF, UNHCR, Roma NGOs

      Anti-Discrimination Law should be adopted*

      X

       

      Min of Justice, Roma and general HR NGOs, RNC

      HR NGOs

      PRSP – should be implemented

      X

      X

      Parliament/Council of Ministers + PRSP, RNC

      OSCE, CoE, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP

      NB - All measures defined should be accompanied by appropriate changes in legislation.

      RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING ROMA EMPLOYMENT – listed per responsible authority/agency

      Stakeholder

      Recommendation

      Short-term
      (1 year)

      Long-term
      (1-3 years)

      Indicators

      M&E and/or support

       

      Local/municipal authorities

      Develop a Roma Employment Strategy – include NGOs*

      X

      X

      Increase of 25 % of Roma employment – after 3 years 50%

      R-NGOs, RNC,
      CoE, ILO, WB, UNDP, (EU)EAR,
      Employment Agencies

       

      Appoint a Roma Advisor (RA), with a job-description

      X

      X

      Year 1 - 15 RAs in place
      Year 3 – 75
      RAs in place

      R-NGOs, RNC,
      CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, Fed. Min. of Hr+NM

       

      Use DevInfo for collecting ethnically disaggregated data on R. Employment*

      X

       

      Year 1 – 5 municipalities can present this data
      Year 3 – 50 municipalities

      R-NGOs, RNC,UNICEF, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU

      Council of Ministers

      Establish an inter-ministerial coordination unit on Public Administration & Employment – include Roma employment issues*

      X

      X

      Year 1 – establish the inter-ministerial coordination unit
      Year 2 – Effective measures in place regarding equality issues in Public Administration
      Year 3-5 – Roma Employment and other issues to be discussed in inter-ministerial coordination unit/Roma representatives included

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU

      Council of Ministers
      Fed. Min of HR+NM

      Create a “value of difference” – (mentality change) Roma can & should contribute to society equally with majority population

      X

      X

      Year 1 – campaign on Roma equality & positive statements by government officials in media
      Year 2-5 – civil servants are trained in equality/equity issues, esp. towards Roma

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min of Justice
      Min of Labour
      Media

      Establish a “Standards in Advertisement Authority” to prevent discriminatory employment adds in the media

      X

      X

      Year 1 – establish “Standards in Advertisement Authority” – fines for media outlets publishing discriminatory adds
      Year 2 – publish stats/data on results

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min. of Labour

      Develop a comprehensive Roma Employment Policy

      X

      X

      Year 1 – develop a policy paper
      Year 2-3 – verify inputs from local authorities (see above)
      Year 3 – adopt R Employment policy

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      Develop an Employment Strategy*

      X

      X

      Year 1 – develop a comprehensive Employment Strategy
      Year 2 – required legislative changes
      Year 3 – adopt this Strategy

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      Develop New Labour legislation – include Roma Employment Strategy

       

      X

      Year 2 – include R Employment policy & amendments in new Labour legislation
      Year 3 – adopt legislation

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      A quota system for employment of national minorities in public administration should be established – proportional participation

       

      X

      Year 2 – include proportional participation of national minorities in Labour legislation

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      Reinforcement of article 8 and 21 of the Law on Employment and security in case of unemployment

      X

       

      Year 1 – maintain stats/data on institutions who follow these 2 articles – data on negative sanctions

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      Allocate self-employment subsidies to “persons belonging to minorities with high unemployment rates”, i.e. Roma.
      Allocate special subsidy amounts in cases of cooperation and partnership of unemployed persons

      X

       

      Year 1 – Instruct EAs to allocate subsidies to Roma – EAs to inform R-NGOs and collect data on Roma applicants (subsidy-receivers)

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min. of Labour

      Republican Agency for SME

      Min. of Finance

      SME should be encouraged by:
      Simplifying procedures for starters;
      Tax-exemption of minority groups;
      Facilitate establishing private SME agencies;
      Training for Roma on self-employment/SME

      X

      X

      Year 1 – 50 Roma trained on self-employment/SME
      Year 2 – amend law on procedures for SME/self-employment starters, including tax-exemptions;
      100 Roma trained;
      1-5 private SME agencies established;
      Year 3 – 150 Roma trained; 5-10 private SME agencies established

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min. of Labour

      Min. of Finance

      Increase taxes for unemployment to 2% of gross income

       

      X

      Year 2 – taxes increased to 2% - EAs will have established a fund for employment projects

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min. of Labour/
      Montenegro

      Amend the Law on Labour to allow IDPs/ Refugees to work*

      X

       

      Year 1 – IDPs allowed to work and find employment/register with EAs

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO, UNHCR

      Min. of Economic Development

      Create a strategy for Economic Development for SaM – include economic potential of Roma population – EU recommends Economic Planning unit*

       

      X

      Year 2-3 – Develop a comprehensive Strategy on Economic Development for SaM
      Year 3-4 – Adopt this Strategy

      R-NGOs RNC,, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min. of Education

      Min of Labour

      Cooperation on Roma education issues – vocational training & second chance education*

      X

       

      Year 1 – establish an inter-ministerial working group on Roma & general adult education issues

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO, UNICEF

      Min. of Education

      Access to primary education for all children

      X

       

      Year 1 – establish criteria for enrolment that are inclusive, not exclusive;
      Adopt Roma Education Action Plan
      Year 2 – implement Roma Education Action Plan

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, UNICEF

       

      Institutionalize short-term (6 mths) vocational training courses*

      X

       

      Year 1 – establish officially recognized short-term vocational training courses

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO,

       

      Create second chance education & in-stream possibilities within mainstream education

      X

       

      Year 1 - establish officially recognized second change education tuition – diploma should be valid for in-stream in regular secondary education system

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO, UNICEF

      Min. of Education

      Min. of local self-government & public administration

      Provide scholarships for Roma students – after graduation these students should work in state companies/
      public admin.

      X

      X

      Year 1 – pilot of 10 scholarships
      Year 5 – 10 Roma students employed with job-guarantee in state companies/public administration

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

      Min of Justice

      Ombudsman’s Office at State (Serbia) level*

      X

       

      Year 1 – establish the Ombudsman’s Office

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO, UNICEF

                 

      Council of Ministers

      Government to work with Roma in a participatory way (partnership)

      X

      X

      Year 1 – establishing working group on Roma Employment
      Year 2 – developing working groups on other urgent Roma issues
      Year 3 – government/Roma partnership structure is in place

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO, UNICEF

                 

      Private employers

      Employers to define fair & equal employment opportunities

      X

       

      Year 1 – Data available from private employers on the ethnic mix of their work force

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

                 

      Roma representatives & R-NGOs

      More coordination between R-NGOs on future of Roma communities and their needs

      X

      X

      Year 1 – established coordination mechanism on quarterly base
      Year 2 – ongoing coordination without outside support

      RNC, Fed. RNC, Min of HR+NM, OSCE, WB

       

      To guide the process of economic transition – assist in re-qualification, vocational training and collecting data on R. employment

      X

      X

      Year 1 – develop information exchange with EAs + Min of Labour;
      Collect data on R. (un)employment;
      Awareness raising on requirements for employment
      Year 2 – mobilize Roma to be (re) trained and use all mechanisms available to find employment; assist in organising (vocation/re) training courses

      EAs, Min. of Labour, Min of Education, (I)NGOs, UN agencies, WB, OSCE

       

      To establish private Employment Agencies, providing jobs for Roma

      X

      X

      Year 1 – Establish 1 private Employment Agency for Roma (pilot)
      Year 2 – Establish more private EAs for Roma if successful

      Min. of Labour, local authorities, EAs, ILO, UNDP, EU/EAR

       

      Establish cooperatives, guilds, or Trade Unions for specific types of work

      X

       

      Year 1 – Establish a Trade Union for paper-collecting to bargain for better prices and working standards

      Min of Labour, EAs, ILO, UNDP, EU

       

      Promote higher qualification and educational levels for Roma

      X

      X

      Year 1 – collect data on Roma enrolled in pre-school; primary 1-4 level, primary 4-8 level, secondary and university level
      Year 2-5 – increase the number of Roma in all educational levels with 20%
      Year 5-10 – increase the number of Roma up to 25%; check education results of Roma pupils

      Min of Education,
      Statistical Offices, UNICEF, OSCE, CoE, (I) NGOs & UN agencies

       

      Anti-discrimination monitoring on legal issues

      X

      X

      Year 1 – legal training for R-NGOs
      Year 2 – R-NGOs each deal with 10 cases per year
      Year 3 – R-NGOs establish a network on anti-discrimination issues

      Min. of Justice, UN OHCHR, (I)HR-NGOs, OSCE, CoE, UN agencies

       

      Promotion of Roma to declare themselves Roma and register as Roma – to enable affirmative action to solve the Roma issues

      X

      X

      Year 1 – Promotion campaign on “declaration to be Roma”
      Year 2-5 – data collecting to lobby for affirmative action

      UN OHCHR, (I)HR-NGOs, OSCE, CoE, UN agencies

      RNC, R-NGOs
      Fed. Min. of HR+NM

      To create a positive climate for a quota system for national minorities in employment

      X

      X

      Year 1 – Gradual increase & inclusion of Roma and national minorities in govt. institutions – 1% in year 1 – advertise the positive impact this has
      Year 2 – proportional quota according to available data and estimates

      OSCE, CoE, UN agencies, Min of Labour, EAs, Labour Inspectorates, Min of local self-government and public administration, local authorities

                 

      EU/Western-European countries – bilateral agreements

      Council of Ministers to negotiate with EU on temporary (3-6 mths) work permits in EU-countries – incl. proportional quota for Roma

       

      X

      Year 2 – If negotiations materialize, including proportional quota, Fed. Min of HR+NM to vouch for Roma return to SaM

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

       

      To stop returning Roma IDPs from Western-Europe to SaM – SaM’s capacity is over-stretched (see also UNHCR August Reports 2004)

      X

       

      Year 1 – see a halt of the return process of Roma IDPs to SaM from Western-European countries

      R-NGOs, RNC,CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, UNHCR

       

      To recommend to foreign investors to include Roma in proportional quota as work force in new business ventures

      X

       

      Year 1 – Embassies will recommend to foreign investors to include Roma in new business ventures
      Year 2 – Roma will find jobs in new foreign investments/business ventures

      R-NGOs, RNC, CoE, OSCE, WB, EU, ILO

                 

      (I)NGOs, UN agencies, CoE, OSCE

      Provide capacity-building for equal participation of R-NGOs through specific trainings

      X

      X

      Year 1 – Organise 10 trainings on topics like political participation, public administration, advocacy/lobby, civic representation, democracy, etc.
      Year 2 – 10 more trainings & follow-up
      Year 3-5 – monitor results

      R-NGOs, Fed. Min. of HR+NM RNC,, local authorities, Min of local self-government & public administration

      * According to the EU short-term and long-term priorities of the Annual Report on Serbia and Montenegro for the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp) in 2004.123

      Recommendations for government institutions
      It should be noted that the government is ultimately responsible for all the recommendations above. (I)NGOS and Agencies can only support – it depends on the government’s commitment and acceptance of these recommendations – if yes, they should be held accountable.

      Another important observation is that all recommendations from this Report refer to Roma issues. However these issues apply to most other disadvantaged groups. Therefore one may assume that these issues emerge due to failing government system(s) that are not sufficiently geared towards the needs of the people.

      1. Work on the issue of (Roma) employment on the local level first and then bring it to the central government. The local authorities are more flexible and creative and – as in Nis – can take concrete measures for Roma employment.

      2. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour should make vocational and second change education more easily accessible for Roma (short and practical vocational training courses and proper second chance education – 2 school years in one year – officially recognized). Also there should be in-stream possibilities for children who have lost some years in primary school or for those that could only start school when they are already older than 7 years.

      3. There are genuine structural flaws in the whole government system, not just for Roma, but for all sorts of categories of people – the whole government system should become more adjusted to the people’s needs, rather than the government’s bureaucracy. For instance all youth (not only Roma youth) have a problem in finding jobs, as usually public administration requires a state exam and private employers require a minimum of 3 years experience and only a few students will be able to obtain an internship. As regarding women employment, most women are underpaid and even if they carry out the same employment as men their work is not valued equally. Of course in the case of Roma women this kind of “exploitation” is even worse.
      Moreover, the education system is only supporting children that are well prepared and cannot handle children that are behind because of illness or other problems. The health system is connected with the educational system and parents employment, preventing free access to those not within the system. There is no genuine safety net for categories of people, who for whatever reason cannot be part of the system. As far as anti-discrimination is concerned not even one court case was initiated (reliable statistics are not available).

      4. Roma have expressed a wish for concrete partnership with the government.

      5. In order to avoid abuses of affirmative actions, a quota system for employment of national minorities in public administration should be introduced, based on proportional participation of minorities. Sanctions for employers who do not respect the quota system should also be introduced.

      6. Create the “Value of difference”, whereby Roma are no longer victims, but people, who can contribute to society equally with majority population.

      7. A strategy for the Development of the Economy should be developed by SaM Authorities.

      8. Establish “Standards in Advertisements Authority” to prevent discriminatory employment adds in newspapers or r/tv – punish (fine) the Media for publishing discriminatory employment adds.

      9. Government should establish mechanisms for reinforcements of article 8 Law on Employment and security in the case of unemployment and article 12 of Labour Law (discrimination in access to employment and in work), and article 21 of the Employment and security in the case of unemployment (compensation on discrimination). Positive incentives, institutions dealing with the issue, negative sanctions and mechanisms of compensation should be established and clearly prescribed.

      10. The small and medium entrepreneurship should be encouraged.

      11. UNICEF is the lead UN agency for the development of the information system (DevInfo), which allows countries to record and monitor development indicators. This is already established at state member level (Serbia and Montenegro) in key ministries and the two statistical offices. In 2004 it is being developed for municipal use. There are pilot municipalities in Serbia, Sjenica, Pirot and Kragujevac and two in Montenegro, Bar and Bijelo Polje.
      Municipalities can use this for data presentation and it can be useful for tracking what is happening and make information more readily available for local use.

      12. Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy should also allocate self-employment subsidies for category of “persons belonging to minorities with high unemployment rate”. These subsidies should be delivered by Employment Agencies. Also business cooperation and partnership of unemployed persons should be supported and special subsidy amounts for such cases prescribed.
      13. Contribution to taxes for unemployment should increase to at least 2% of the gross income, so that EAs can create a fund for employment projects.

      14. Anti-discrimination legislation should be presented including the reversal of burden of proof institute, mechanism and bodies for monitoring and protection of victims of discrimination in accordance with ECRI’s ( European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance) recommendations and the EU short-term and long-term priorities of the Annual Report on Serbia and Montenegro for the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp) in 2004.

        The Draft Strategy for Integration of Roma should be adopted;
        The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, the Roma National Council and World Bank should create more comprehensive action plans where all measures defined should be accompanied by appropriate changes in legislation and clearly mentions the main actors in the implementation process. It should be taken into account that the country will find itself in the process of accession to the EU, which will demand the creation of human rights, social, economical and labour market environment of the country in accordance with European standards.
        Labour Inspection should play a more important role (have more reinforcement mechanisms) in the protection of victims of discrimination in employment.
        Include more Roma in public administration in order to bridge the gap between majority and Roma population from both sides (Government-Roma communities)
        The Ministry of Labour needs to devise a (general) comprehensive Strategy on employment, which either mainstreams Roma or includes them as a vulnerable special category;
        Roma should be mentioned if and where possible as a specially vulnerable group to be targeted for employment opportunities;
        In the - to be amended - Rules on Using the Funds of National Employment Agency Roma should be mentioned as a special group, this would be appropriate for increased support to self-employment of Roma;
        Discrimination of Roma needs to be acknowledged and addressed by the government as it is prevailing in all aspects of life, in school, health care, housing and employment;
        The draft Roma Education Action Plan needs to be adopted urgently to show some concrete efforts on the implementation of the draft Strategy on Roma integration.
        The current Education Action Plan should include the vocational training program. Affirmative action should be followed in order to prepare Roma for legalisation of their small businesses and education in business plan development. For low skilled Roma employees, education in new skills and technologies should be provided in order to decrease the number of those who will be laid off in the privatisation process. For redundant Roma it is necessary to provide education on joint entrepreneurship on the basis of the (re)compensations for their unemployment (business starter education for associations/cooperatives).
        Romani youth - especially older teenagers who never went to school - should be able to go to vocational training and or second chance education (preferably with some stipend to support their family, during their absence from work);
        A Strategy on Gender issues should be developed (as in Vojvodina), also related to employment of women, Romani women issues should be included;
        More coordination is needed between line ministries such as Ministry of Labour, Health and Education to coordinate efforts to increase access of Roma to these institutions;
        The registration of Roma and all other children upon birth (birth certificate) should be free of charge and be a simple procedure – registration of still unregistered persons should be carried out urgently as an affirmative action as it blocks access to all government services and forces people to live on the margins – Roma NGOs can assist the government in carrying out this task;
        The government should focus on the elaboration and implementation of the Strategy on Roma issues and subsequent Action Plans in close cooperation with the Roma National Council, the World Bank Roma Decade initiative and relevant experts. Action plans on Roma issues which are currently being developed within the Roma National Strategy should be more comprehensive. All measures defined should be accompanied by appropriate changes in legislation and with clear definitions of the main actors in the implementation process. It should be taken into account that the country will find itself in the process of accession to the EU, which will demand the creation of human rights, social, economical and labour market environment of the country in accordance with European standards.

      Recommendation to local Employment Agencies

        Initiate cooperation with Roma NGOs at local level to respond to the employment needs of Roma population;
        As affirmative action employ Roma as Employment Mediators in the Employment Offices (both parties will benefit);
        Support (create realistic incentives for) companies/businesses that employ Roma;
        There is need for more knowledge and pro-active approach to Roma regarding low interest credits and favourable conditions for Roma starters – by banks and EAs;
        Support self-employment and income generating projects from Employment Agency funding available at local level;
        Work towards a realistic transition from informal to formal economy;
        Focus on employment of youth with the inclusion of Roma youth;
        Focus on fair employment for Roma women – combat or prevent exploitation.

      Recommendation to (private) Employers:

      Employers to define fair (equal) employment opportunities – see International Companies (around Nis there are a few) who adhere to a fair representation of workers in their companies (i.e. gender balance, inclusion of disabled, minority groups, etc.)

      To Roma representatives and Roma NGOs:

      1. Roma should not go back to traditional occupations which disappeared, but be prepared for the labour market demands of the 21th century and move forward in parallel with majority population. Old Roma occupations which survived new market demands should be revitalized and prepared for transition and post transition market demands.

      2. Roma representatives, business people and or Roma NGOs to establish private Employment Agencies to provide Roma with jobs.

      3. Roma groups of workers/communities should work on establishing cooperatives. Roma can protect their specific market by establishing guilds or Trade Unions (not based on ethnicity, but on the type of work: the Roma-worker versus the Roma ethno-class), to bargain for better prices and standards.

      4. Roma should work at obtaining better qualifications (attend regular education system).

      5. Anti-discrimination monitoring on legal issues should be within the competence of the (Roma) NGOs.

      6. At census and when registering for official purposes, it is recommendable if Roma declare themselves Roma, in order to have reliable data on the magnitude of the specific Roma problems, such as Roma Employment.

      7. Roma National Council, Roma NGOs and Federal Ministry for Human and Minorities Rights should work on creating positive climate amongst the public to accept a quota system for national minorities in employment.

      8. Roma NGOs should play important role in the promotion of a selective approach toward tradition, where just provisional achievements and positive experiences from the past should be kept, while those values and models of behaviour which stifles the improvement of the quality of life and community progress should be abandoned.

        There is a need for cooperation between Roma NGOs at SaM level and to have more partnership with other (Roma/non-Roma) NGOs;
        Roma NGOs should focus on Roma employment and the foreseen transition phase – education for self-employed business men/women and SME consultancies, legal and micro-credit advice for start-ups
        Focus activities on the elaboration of the Strategy on Roma issues in SaM in cooperation with the government and the Roma National Council – provide constructive inputs to Action Plans;
        Roma NGOs should seek cooperation with Employment Agencies, to increase Roma inclusion in employment projects;
        Roma NGOs should work on inclusion of Roma in the transition process from informal to formal economy – increase the knowledge of their communities about the consequences if the informal workers fail to comply;

      Recommendations to EU/Western-European countries or their Embassies

      1. Roma would like to see permission given to Serbian and Montenegrin citizens to work for 3-6 months in EU countries. Roma should be included in this based on proportional quota. The Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and European community can vouch for the SaM citizens to return to Serbia and Montenegro after the mentioned period.
      EU countries if they provide temporary working-permits to SaM citizens should include proportional quota for Roma.

      2. UNHCR expressed concern about the very difficult situation of Roma IDPs, both in Serbia and Montenegro. Out of 50,000 IDPs only 20,000 are registered. The majority of them are severely marginalized, as they have reduced rights to education or public services. In Serbia they are allowed to work, in Montenegro this is – by law - not the case. However, in both republics these IDPs are trying to obtain some income through the grey economy, thereby being subject to all sorts of exploitation and abuse.
      Recommend third countries (in Western-Europe) to stop returning Roma IDPs to SaM as the country has no capacity to receive them (no jobs, no social security available).

      3. Embassies are in contact with potential (foreign) investors and can request quota/proportional representation of the (potential) workforce – and on-the-job training possibilities can be requested, especially for Roma.

      Recommendation for (I) NGOs, UN agencies and OSCE/CoE

      International NGO’s/Agencies should provide capacity-building of Roma NGO’s through organising specific trainings geared towards equal participation of Roma.

      Specific Recommendations for Montenegro

        Discuss the issue of collection of desegregated data by ethnicity among the different stakeholders (Roma, the Institute for Employment, Government institutions, other minority groups) to encourage targeted activities

        Change the policy of data collection and enable Institutions to use desegregated data for preparation of programs / not only for Roma population but also for other citizens, particularly minorities in order to better target vulnerable groups in future
        Conduct a research on capacity and interest in the area of employment of Roma population. This research should be done on a representative number of Roma but also in all the offices of the Employment Bureaus
        Encourage education of Roma for specific professions relevant for their community, such as police and public administration. After all Roma have a right to proportional representation.
        Conduct a special research on Roma women and children who are double discriminated in access to education and consequently also in the access to employment
        Address the issue of child labour
        Elaborate the Roma Action Plan on Employment into a full-scale Strategy for employment of vulnerable groups with focus on minorities and especially on Roma population with inclusion of the relevant institutions and NGOs
        Amend legislation to allow “affirmative action”
        Development of Active Employment Programs, especially for Roma, including education, overcoming discrimination and simplifying procedures for micro-credits and other measures for self-employment
        Roma should be more (pro-)active in looking for micro-credits and employment opportunities
        To provide free legal aid and access to judicial protection for victims of discrimination
        Joint action of government agencies and NGOs to assist Roma to obtain proper documentation (birth certificates, citizenship documents, Licna Carta, Workbook, Health Book, etc.) as a pre-condition for access to employment
        Encourage NGOs dealing with human/minority rights to prepare projects on anti-discrimination education as well as labour rights
        Urge the Ministry for national and ethnic groups rights protection to take:

          o steps for adoption of Law on minorities with anti-discrimination provision on non citizens;
          o active role in the process and to provide financial support to Roma NGOs to prepare strategic projects for joint action in area of awareness raising on minority rights and anti-discrimination policy in order to support employment programs.

        Draft and adopt a law on Anti-Discrimination
        Revise the National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees, IDPs and returnees in Montenegro, while preparing an adequate legal framework for these groups, especially in their access to socio-economic rights
        Set-up adequate coordination mechanisms between central and local self-government regarding the specific issues of refugees, IDPs and returnees
        Ministry of Education and/or Ministry of Labour to provide scholarships for Roma vocational/second chance education – eventually requested from the Roma Roma Education Fund
        Training support in establishing monitoring mechanisms for implementation of the Decade Action Plans and additional legal instruments is required.

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        UN OHCHR & ERRC: Memorandum – THE PROTECTION OF ROMA RIGHTS IN SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO, April, 2003
        UNDP report : SITUATION OF ROMA IN FRY (SaM) COMPARING WITH ROMA SITUATION IN SEE
        Vojin Milic –SOCIAL STUCTURE AND MOBILITY IN YUGOSLAVIA, Philosophical Faculty in Novi Sad , Novi Sad 1996

      Legal regulations:

        - THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION CHARTER - Official Gazette of the Serbia and Montenegro, No 1/2003
        - THE SERBIAN CONSTITUTION LAW - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No1/90
        - THE MONTENEGRO’S CONSTITUTION LAW - Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, No 48/92
        - CHARTER ON HUMAN AND MINORITIES RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS - Official Gazette of the Serbia and Montenegro, No.6/2003
        - THE FEDERAL LABOUR LAW - Official Gazette of the FR Yugoslavia, No 29/96
        - THE SERBIAN LABOUR LAW - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 70/2001
        - SERBIAN LABOUR LAW FOR STATE INSTITUTIONS - Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia, No. 48/91, 66/91, 44/98, 49/99, 34/2001
        - THE SERBIAN LAW ON EMPLOYMENT AND INSURANCE IN CASE OF UNEMPLOYMENT - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia , No. 71/2003
        - RULLES ON CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURE FOR FULLFILMENT OF RIGHTS OF
        UNEMPLOYMENT PERSONS - Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98
        - RULLES ON PROCEDURE OF FULLFILMENT RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PERSONS WHO ARE SEEKING FOR EMPLOYMENT- Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia No 61/04
        - RULLES ON PROCEDURE FOR FULLFILMENT OF RIGHT ON SUBSIDIES FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT -Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia , No 07/04
        - THE LAW ON REGISTRATIONS IN LABOUR - Official Gazette of the FRY, No 46/96
        - THE RESOLUTION ON UNIQUE METHODOLOGY IN REGISTRATION PROCEDURE IN AREA OF LABOUR AND FORMS OF APPLICATIONS AND REPORTS - Official Gazette of the FRY, No. 40/97
        - LAW ON CONDITIONS OF ESTABLISHMENT OF LABOUR RELATION FOR FOREIGNERS -
        Official Gazette of SFRY , No. 11/78, 64/89, and Official Gazette of FRY , No 42/92, 24/94, 28/96
        - THE STATUTE OF THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY - Official Gazette of the Republic of
        Serbia, No. 8/2004
        - LAW ON STANDARDS OF USING OF THE FUNDS OF THE REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE FOR
        LABOUR - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98

      - LAW ON STRIKE- Official Gazette of the FRY, No 29/96

        - THE LAW ON STATE GOVERNANCE - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 20/1992
        - THE LAW ON PUBLIC SERVICES - Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 42/1992
        - LAW ON SOCIAL PROTECTION AND SOCIAL SECURATION OF CITIZENS - Official Gazette of the
        Republic of Serbia, No.36/91
        - THE LAW ON THE PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF NATIONAL MINORITIES - Official Gazette of the FRY 2002
        - THE SERBIAN LAW ON REFUGEES- Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia, No. 18/92

      Bibliography – Montenegro

        - Needs Assessment Study for the Roma Education Fund, MONTENEGRO, Saša Milić, PhD, 2004
        - Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Montenegro, 2002-2003
        - National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro, October 2004.
        - Survey of Local Self-Government regarding the development of a National Strategy for resolving the issues of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro, Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognoses, 2004
        - EC Stabilisation and Association Report 2004, Serbia and Montenegro {COM(2004) 206 final}
        - UNHCR, The Possibility of Applying the Internal Flight or Relocation Alternative within Serbia and Montenegro to Certain Persons Originating from Kosovo and Belonging to Ethnic Minorities There, August 2004
        - CEDEM Department for Empirical Researches Public Opinion in Montenegro - Value Orientations and Ethnical Distance, 2004
        - The ISSP survey on household expenditure of Roma, refugees and IDPs, October 2003 and ISSP&WB Research on Poverty and Living Standards in Montenegro, June 2003;
        - Regulation of the work of non resident persons, Official Gazette Montenegro No 4/97
        - Statute of the Montenegrin Employment Agency, Official Gazette Montenegro, 43/2002
        - The Law on Civil servants and Public officials, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, 27/04-15
        - The Law on the Unique Methodology in Registrations in the Area of Labour and Forms of Applications and Reports, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro 69/03-24
        - The Labour Law, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro 43/03-1; 79/04-31
        - The Law on Employment, Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro No 05/2, 79/04

      Chapter XV ANNEXES

      ANNEX I - Right to Employment for IDPs and Refugees

      IDP documents/identity cards124
      The last registration was carried out in the middle of 2003. No new IDPs, who came from Kosovo after March 2004 violence, have been registered.

      In 1992 a Decree was adopted (Official Gazette RCG, 20/92) regarding temporary acceptance, protection and registration of the displaced persons resolving their status and defining competences for several authorities, i.e. Commissariat for Refugees (MCDP) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
      The Ministry is responsible for issuing documents/refugees identity cards.
      MCDP is responsible for coordinating the assistance to refugees and IDPs and issues identity cards for IDPs.

      Regarding the issuing of IDP identity cards there are clearly some inconsistencies described in the Strategy, which are depriving IDPs of some basic (human) rights.

      The [ex-Kosovo] Registrar Offices - regional offices of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia - are in 7 towns in Serbia, where these [IDPs] “personal documents” should be issued. Therefore the Republic of Montenegro does not issue those documents to IDPs that reside in Montenegro. However, relevant authorities of the Republic of Serbia and UNMIK administration issue withdrawal of permanent residence to the IDPs from Kosovo for Montenegro. This creates an obligation to the Montenegrin authorities that register permanent residence for those persons and issue documents for citizens of Montenegro. With this, such persons “are resolving” their status and are becoming citizens of Republic of Montenegro. (Strategy, p. 20)

      This would suggest that MCDP does not issue IDP identity cards with any legal value, but that IDPs have two options, either register in one of the 7 towns in Serbia or ask UNMIK withdrawal of permanent residence from Kosovo, so that they can become Montenegrin citizens. The last option seems to eliminate the right of return to the IDPs’ place of origin.

      Employment of Refugees/IDPs125

      In 2002 with the passing of the new Employment Law, the status of IDPs became the same as the position of residents. IDPs could find employment without exception; working booklets were issues to IDPs at the level of municipality by the Secretariat of Labour or Secretariat of Social Services (depending on municipality which institution). Highest number in Bar (1,059) and lowest in Plav (1). A total of 2,654 work books were issued since 1991.

      This new Employment Law defines an unemployed person as a person between the age 15-65, who is registered with the Employment Fund and actively seeking employment; or as a person who is a foreign citizen or person without citizenship but has permission for permanent stay and work in Montenegro. However, displaced persons can be employed in Montenegro. The new Employment Law allowing work of foreigners was adopted in mid February 2004 (and comes into force 6 months later).

      The new Employment Law on work of foreigners states: Foreigners can work if they have a permission for permanent residence that is for temporary stay in Republic and if they get a work permit (Article 2.) (Strategy, p. 36)

      The above seems to apply first and foremost to foreigners, not to citizens of ex-Yugoslavia, i.e. IDPs from Kosovo.

      In principle it could be argued that IDPs, still being citizens of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro should be entitled to all citizens’ rights of the whole country. However, the Republic of Montenegro does not acknowledge these rights to IDPs (from Kosovo) and refers IDPs to Serbia for their pension, employment and social entitlements as their provisions are in Serbian Republican Law.

      In the beginning of May 2003, the Government of Montenegro adopted a decree of employing non-resident persons. According to this decree, a tax system for employers, who engage non-residents in Montenegro in activities in which profit is made, was determined. The employer has to submit an application to the Employment Fund, explaining why he wants to hire a non-resident. If the request is approved, employer has to pay 2,5 Euro for each day of work engaged by the non-resident (1.25 Euro if the non-resident is engaged in agricultural activity). The employer also has the responsibility to pay the minimum guaranteed salary to employees which is 60 Euro per month, as well as other taxes if they are applicable (tax is not paid for first 600 Euro of salary). With regard to expenses of treatment, the employer has the obligation to cover them only if an employee gets injured at work.

      The final goal of adopting this Decree was to reduce grey economy through legalization of working conditions.

      As a result of the implementation of this decree, some refugees and IDPs lost their jobs, while some employers decided that the tax they have to pay should be deducted from the salary of employees, which in turn reduced the already low earnings of displaced persons. (Strategy p. 36)

      As stated above workbooks and work permits can be obtained, but procedures are extremely cumbersome, especially in relation to the temporary residence permit IDPs are granted – if at all - as well as the difficulties for IDPs to obtain their official documents from the (ex-Kosovo) registry offices in Southern Serbia.

      UNHCR126 summarizes all of the above as follows:
      “The Decree of Montenegro on Displaced Persons dated July 1992 regulates the rights and obligations of both refugees and IDPs. It offers very limited access to civil as well as socio-economic rights for both categories. Further, as a rule, they are not able to receive permanent resident permits. As a result, they do not have access to the labour market and they have very limited access to health care. The Decree on Employment of Non-Residents of 2003 further restricts access by IDPs to the grey area of economy, as additional taxes are imposed on employers who hire non-permanent residents of Montenegro.”

      According to a Survey of Local Self-Government127 suggestions were asked for improving regulations, the local self-government representatives suggest toRevise the regulation on employment of non-residents”.

      From the Survey of Local Self-Government the general impression on gets is that the Local Self-Government representatives feel they are powerless without support from central government and relevant institutions and do not have the financial means to provide adequate protection to refugees and IDPs. In order to assist Refugees and IDPs with issues related to employment, amendments to the Labour Law are needed (see statement of local authorities representatives above).

      Conclusion:
      Montenegro does not have an appropriate legislative framework regulating the status of IDPs whereby all basic human and socio-economic rights are ensured. Regarding the efforts made in drafting the National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro it is advisable to advocate for appropriate legislation defining the rights of IDPs, refugees and returnees at Republican level.
      Better cooperation of central government with local self-government and adequate (financial) support is a prerequisite to improve the conditions of refugees, IDPs and returnees.

      ANNEX II (Chapter VIII Romani Women)

      Statement from Ms Marija Aleksandrovic (31) from Zabalj

      I finished a vocational course for assistant-cook in 1995 in Novi Sad hoping that I will find a job very easily, and did not expected that I will have difficulties because of my skin colour.

      I bought an advertisement newspaper where I found an ideal vacancy for assistant-cook in one restaurant in Novi Sad. I called the restaurant and an appointment was made. The phone conversation with the employer was very pleasant. He told me that I fulfilled the required conditions and he encouraged me to visit him.

      When I came at the appointed time, when he saw me, he expressed a totally different approach towards me compared to the phone conversation. He measured me “from head to heels”, and in a cold manner told me that he had already chosen an employee. Then I told him that on the phone he told me to come and that everything would be arranged, but he kept on saying that he already found someone else.

      As I realized the reason for the rejection, the next time I applied by phone for a job - in order to avoid similar unpleasant situations and additional costs - I told the employer that I am a Roma woman. The response was that this did not matter, but they never offered me a job.

      I have looked for a job one year and then I realized that I will never find a job in the kitchen, because people do not want to see how a Roma woman prepares food (because they believe that she is dirty). Proof for that I am able to provide through another experience from the Restaurant “Saran” in Novi Sad where I worked during my school practical training. There I noticed that the chief of the kitchen insisted that I am working shorter hours because ” there is not so much to learn, everything is simple”, and that while I was working he was closing the small doors through which the costumers are able to see the cooks.

      Statement given to the local consultant on 22 March 2004.

      Statement of E.M. (23) from Belgrade

      I am a hairdresser. I have been working in many hairdressers’ salons, but only as an employee on training position, which is not paid. When the time comes for permanent employment they are telling me that there is no job available. Sometimes the owners of the hairdressers’ salons have told me that customers are telling them that they do not want that I wash their hair.

      Statement given to the Roma Woman Centre “Bibija” in Belgrade.

      ANNEX III

      Commission of the European Communities – Stabilisation and Association process (SAp)

      As a pre-phase towards the EC’s accession process, the Commission has been invited to submit the first set of European Partnerships to the European Council for approval with the aim to further intensify relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans. In this framework the Commission launched a “Working Paper” on Serbia and Montenegro, the Stabilisation and Association Report 2004 {COM(2004) 206 final}. In this document the priorities for Serbia and Montenegro are reviewed and progress documented and recommendations for improvement given.

      The report mentions that economic stability has been preserved. However, the pace of the structural reforms has slowed considerably, mainly due to the political disputes that have hampered the functioning of the institutions.

      Regarding human rights and protection of minorities it mentions the adoption of a new Charter on Human and Minority Rights (February 2003), which has the force of a constitutional law. In 2002 a state law regulating minority rights was adopted, but this law de facto only applies in Serbia, as Montenegro is preparing its on legislation. After almost no cooperation between the state and Montenegrin authorities, this changed in October 2003 with the establishment of a sub-office of the State Ministry for Human and Minority Rights in Podgorica. The report is positive about the achievements of this ministry, which managed to continue to do good work while understaffed.

      The report comments on the establishment of Ombudsman offices. At the state level no Ombudsman office is foreseen. In Serbia the adoption of the Ombudsman office is pending, while in Vojvodina, at provincial level, an Ombudsman’s office has been established. The Vojvodina office, however, is hampered by the lack of an Ombudsman’s office at republican level. In Montenegro an Ombudsman’s Office has been established, which is confronted with financial and infrastructural problems.

      On labour rights the report mentions the adoption of new employment laws. It comments though that the implementation of the legislation is difficult. In the SAp report, listing the short and medium term priorities both republics are urged to “develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to promote employment and combat unemployment, in particular with regard to vocational training and labour market reforms …”

      In the section on minority rights and refugees, the continued work on Roma integration is mentioned. The Roma Secretariat is referred to as a special directorate in the State Ministry of Human and Minority Rights. While the activities of the Roma Secretariat are mentioned positively the report continues as follows: “In spite of these valuable efforts, the vulnerable situation of the Roma community persists and it continues to face discrimination and practical problems notably concerning housing.”
      For both republics an outstanding issue is the under-representation of minorities in public services and in Parliament.
      Interestingly, the report notes that regarding refugee status and deregistration there are “administrative practices and bureaucratic procedures affecting the ability to obtain personal documents, establish residence and access social and health services”. The issue of the specific difficulties IDPs are faced with in trying to register or obtain personal documentation is not discussed. In the SAp report, listing the short and medium term priorities both republics are required to “amend legislation to repeal all discriminatory provisions [for refugees, displaced persons and minorities]” as a short term priority. As a medium-term priority both republics are urged to “ensure full respect of their human rights, including access to health services, and easy access to personal documents…” Perhaps the 2004 annual SAp report focussed only on short-term priorities, even though this is not mentioned.

      Unemployment is described as a structural problem for both republics. The official data provided is considered unreliable and for Serbia 15% instead of 30% is considered a more realistic figure. In Montenegro through the introduction of legalisation of existing jobs, a rise of employment of some 20,000 persons could be observed, while the number of unemployed fell below 70,000 persons in 2003.

      The report states that “according to the World Bank, material poverty affected 10% of the population in Serbia and Montenegro in mid-2002 (consumption below the poverty line of 60 Euro per month per person). Moreover, Serbia experienced also extreme poverty with 2% of the population unable to afford even the basic food basket.”

      Regarding Industry and SMEs the report notes the following: “While traditional industry still suffers from chronic under-investment and insufficient commercial banking capacity and is still undergoing ownership transformation through privatisation, governments are trying to create a user-friendly environment for the development of SMEs by simplifying administrative procedures and reducing related costs.”

      In Serbia, the government adopted in January 2003 a Strategy for development of SMEs in the period 2003-2008. With regard to the legislative activities, three important laws have been drafted – Business Registration Law, Law on the Agency for Business Registers, Bankruptcy Law – and submitted to parliament, but are currently blocked there.
      Serbia is advancing with pilot project on entrepreneurship in secondary education and has carried out a country-wide awareness campaign to create a positive image for creating and running companies. The banking sector is not fully geared to SMEs but various banks are now setting up separate SME departments. A microfinance bank has been established and in May 2003 a guarantee fund was created which started issuing its first guarantees in October 2003.

      In Montenegro, a set of new laws related to business registration and operation (including SMEs) has been adopted by which the registration procedure is shortened and costs reduced. However, there are still problems with obtaining an operating licence. Six new regional/local business centres are increasingly operational and a seventh one is planned. In Montenegro there are various pilot schemes on entrepreneurship education and skills development in small companies but there is a need for mainstreaming and rationalisation. Montenegro has started looking seriously at opening up an initial series of clusters, technology parks and incubators, confirmed in the targets set under the European Charter for Small Enterprises.

      In order to provide access to employment for Roma population some of the SAp priorities for Serbia and Montenegro should be considered pre-conditions. Therefore in the recommendations of this report certain SAp priorities are described as key-recommendations.

      ANNEX IV

      Employment Action Plan for Roma in Serbia

      Priority Area

      Goal

      Targets

      Indicator

      Monitoring program

      Data: availability and needs

      Costs

      Time line

      Employment
      SME

      Improve entrepreneurship of Roma

      1) Self-employment

        - Training for start-ups: how to run ones own business, develop business plan, apply for bank credit and loans
        - Support funding for SMEs, Private Employment Agencies, on-stop-shops, cooperatives, guilds

      2) Financial support by NEA, Agency for SME Development, Development Fund, Guarantee Fund) - Micro-credits with low interest rates and long grace periods

      1 100 Roma started their own business annually

      2) 100 Roma started their own business annually

      1) National employment Agency (NEA) & NGO

      -

      Annual report / statistical report

      2) NGOs

        - EXISTING: NEA is in charge of monitoring of newly established SMEs by previously unemployed Roma; for other Roma, local authority is in charge of such statistics
        - NEEDED: monitoring by other agencies, partners and stakeholders

        1) 120.000,00

        2) 600.000,00

        2015

      Employment
      SME/private firms

      Prepare Roma for transition and post –transition period and new demands of the market
      - Employed Roma
      Redundant Roma in companies which will be privatised/ restructured
      - Grey economy and unregistered business
      - Revitalisation of old Roma occupations

        - Lifelong learning
        - Training in new technologies and skills
        - Improve policy framework for more favourable business environment (tax reductions, simplifications of the business registration process)
        - Training Roma redundant workers in establishing cooperatives – Government should prescribe subsidy amounts based on the number of redundancy compensations (i.e. 5 redundant workers in one cooperative should receive 5 x subsidy for 1 redundant worker)

      - Training for Roma engaged in old occupations on new market demands; improvement of productive process; new technologies and ways to make their products and services more competitive on market; procedure of registration of business and dealing with basic financial bookkeeping.

      - % of Roma hold their current jobs in privatised companies

        - X of re-employed Roma (every 6 months) after being trained in skills currently demanded on the labour market

      - % of Roma engaged in grey economy and self-employed Roma register their businesses (annually)

        - % of Roma redundant workers start cooperatives – with subsidies based on number of redundancy compensations

      - X Roma engaged in traditional occupations improve they skills , production technology and register they crafts.

      NEA & NGO
      -
      Each 6 months / annually

        - EXISTING: NEA maintains database for trainings
        - NEEDED: database for re-employed and for Roma newly registered businesses

        60.000,00

        2015

      Employment

      Increase employability of Roma

          - Unemployed
          - Disabled
          - Women
          - Youth

        1) Trainings for knowledge and skills officially recognized such as construction, manufacturing, services and agriculture

      2) subsidies for health , social insurances, pension and insurance in the case of unemploment for employers who hire Roma (for 2 years period)

      1) 500 Roma annually trained ( 30 % women)

      2) 1000 Roma employed by program of subsidies to employer

      NEA & NGO
      -
      annually

       

      1) 36.000,00

      2) 857.000,00

      2015

      Employment/
      Public works

      Introduce unemployed Roma into the jobs world (program of public works)

      Increase the employment of Roma in public works programs (Roma for their own communities, and Roma for other local communities and municipalities)

      X of Roma included in the programs of public works and trained hands-on

      NEA & NGO
      -
      Each 6 months / annually

       

      228.600,00

      2008

      Employment/motivation

      Increase motivation for active job search

        1) Opening of a certain number of Job clubs in predominantly Roma communities (aiming at re-socialization, active job search, learning how to write a CV, etc.)

      2) Trainings for active job search

      1) 200-300 of Roma included in Job clubs annually
      2) 1000 of Roma attended trainings for active job search annually

      NEA & NGO
      -
      Each month / annually

       

      17.000,00

      2008

      Employment
      In local/state institutions

      Decrease disparity between the Roma share in total population and representation in local/state institutions

      1) Employ Roma in public (local/state) institutions in accordance with the population percentage
      2) Affirmative action by state authorities

      - X Roma employed by local/state institutions – serving their community and (local) government’s needs
      - X number of government civil servants’ tasks have been decreased (benefit/positive outcome of “bridging activity”) because of inclusion of Roma civil servants
      - Roma equally represented as other ethnic groups in structures of state institutions – according to their population percentage/share

      NEA & NGO
      -
      annually

         

      2006.

      Employment/legislation

      Integration of Roma within the existing labour market and society at large

      Mainstreaming Roma into general employment policy

      Equal accessibility to employment for Roma

      1) Creation and adoption of appropriate legislative framework

      - Allocate self-employment subsidies to category of “persons belonging to minorities with high unemployment rate”, i.e. Roma.
      - Allocate special subsidy amounts for cases of cooperation and partnership of unemployed persons
      - Creation and adoption of appropriate anti-discrimination legislation*
      - Establishment of mechanism and bodies for monitoring and court protection of victims including Ombudsman office *
      - Reinforcements of article 8 Law on Employment and Insurance in the case of unemployment and article 12 of Labour Law (discrimination in access to employment and in work), and article 21 of the Employment and security in the case of unemployment (compensation on discrimination)
      - Establish a “Standards in Advertisement Authority” to prevent discriminatory employment adds in the media and
      - Reinforcement of Article 102 of the Law on Employment and Insurance in the case of unemployment (prohibition of discriminatory conditions in advertisements for jobs)

      * In accordance with:
      - ECRI’s (European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance) recommendations
      - EU short-term and long- term priorities of the Annual Report on Serbia 2004 and Montenegro for the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAp)

      - X increase of domestic financial recources for EA’s implementation of programs of „active policy measures“
      - X unemployed Roma self-employed through subsidies for self-employment of „persons belonging to minorities with high unemployment rate”
      - Roma labour force integrated into the labour market of the country(qualitative analisys)
      - X sucesfull court proceedings

           

      2006

      2008

      2008

      2008

      2008

      2005

      2005

      Employment/
      organisation

      Strengthening “worker’s ” identity and consciousness of Roma

      1) Training and campaign for Roma in worker’s rights, associating in organisations of tradesmen, Trade Union’s organizing and bargaining for better conditions and good prices, lobbying on the market…

      2) Training in registration of tradesmen associations, Trade Unions, Guilds…

      - Roma job seekers and workers more competitive on the labor market(qualitativeananalysis)
      - X Trade Unions, Guilds and/or Tradesmen Associations established annually
      - Roma self-employed, tradesmen, guilds offer more competative products and prices and on market.

             

      Employment
      Information exchange

      Accessible information to Roma on employment and existing economic empowerment opportunities

      -Information campaign on different type of assistance by employment agencies
      - Cooperation/exchange of information on Employment issues, between R-NGOs and EAs

               
                     

          Stated amount of financial means is in Euros and on a yearly basis.

      Financial needs for:

            - One year is approximately = 1.378.600,00 EURO

            - Decade 2005 – 2015. is approximately = 11.609.600,00 EURO

1 DPRS for Montenegro, 2002-2003, p.19

2 Newspaper “Novosti” issues on 27.05.2003

3 Statistical office of Serbia -Announcement ZP14, No 237, LIV, 19 Nov. 2004

4 Minister of Trade, Tourism and Services –Newspaper “Dnevnik” 10 July 2004

5 Roma shall be understood in a broad meaning, including Roma-related groups such as Ashkali, Egyptians,

6 The Employment Agencies are generally referred to as “the bureau” (literal translation from Serbian). It is a government institution - one functioning as an umbrella organisation at republican level in Belgrade, with branches in the municipalities falling under the jurisdiction of the local authorities. In Montenegro the National Bureau in Podgorica is called the “Institute for Employment” with local branches called Employment Bureaus. Serbia and Montenegro do not have private (commercial) Employment Agencies yet.

7 Statistical office of Serbia -annunciation 295 year LII, 24.12.2002, pp. 6-7

8 Dr Aleksandra Mitrovic, Gradimir Zajic- Roma in Serbia, Institute for criminological and sociological research and Center for antiwar action, Belgrade, 1998, p. 20

9 Goran Basic-Gypsies/Roma in Past and Present, Proceedings of scientific conference held from 16 to 17 December 1996,

10 Bogdan Djurovic-ibid, p. 91

11 Household Survey of Roma, Ashkaelia, Egyptians, Refugees and Internal Displacement People, UNDP, Montenegro, 2003, p. 16

12 Official census of the population, households, accommodations in 2003, Statistics Institute of Montenegro, September 2004 – PRSP, Government of the Republic of Montenegro, 2003 - Survey of Roma, Ashkaelia, Egyptians, Refugees and Internal Displacement People, UNDP, Montenegro, 2003

13 Romany Settlements, Living Condition and Possibilities of Integration of the Roma in Serbia – Research by dr Bozidar Jaksic and m.a. Goran Basic, Ethnicity Research Center, Ministry of Human and Minority rights, OXFAM, 2002,

14 Ibid, p. 15

15 More in: Mirko Barjaktarevic-Roma in Today’s Yugoslavia, Repertory of the Philosophical Faculty, XI-, Belgrade 1970.

16 Dr. Aleksandra Mitrovic, Gradimir Zajic- Roma in Serbia, Center for antiwar action and Institute for criminological and sociological research and, 1998, p 20-21

17 PRSP for Serbia, page 84

18 DPRS for Montenegro, 2002-2003, p. 19

19 Newspaper “Novosti”, issue on 27.05.2003

20 DPRS Montenegro, 2002-2003, p.18

21 Ibid, pp. 19-20

22 Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma in Serbia and Montenegro-Discussion paper,

23 Roma in Serbia-Center for antiwar action, Institute for criminological and sociological research, Belgrade,

24 UNDP report: Situation of Roma in FRY (SaM) comparing with Roma situation in SEE.

25 Statistical office of Serbia -Announcement ZP14, No 237, LIV, 19 Nov. 2004

26 Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs-Newspaper “Blic” 04 February 2004.

27 Minister of Trade, Tourism and Services –Newspaper “Dnevnik” 10 July 2004

28 DPRS Montenegro, 2002-2003, p. 20

29 ibid, p. 9

30 ibid, p. 5

31 Romany Settlements, Living Condition and Possibilities of Integration of the Roma in Serbia – Research by

32 Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma in Serbia -Discussion paper, p. 46

33 Needs Assessment Study for the Roma Education Fund, MONTENEGRO, Saša Milić, PhD

34 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Montenegro, 2002-2003, p. 7 – states 30.4% unemployment among IDPs instead of 39.4%

35 More in: Jasminka Markovic-Occupations and way of earning of Roma from Kraljevo (1945-1990)- Social Changes and

36 see Jasminka Markovic-Avocations and ways of earning of Roma in Kraljevo, Social Changes and Position of

37 Ibid, page 129-139

38 National Strategy for Resolving the Issues of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro, October 2004. p. 17

39 According to one research undertaken by Roma Woman Center “ BIBIJA in 10 Belgrade Roma settlements:

40 Needs Assessment Study for the Roma Education Fund, MONTENEGRO, Saša Milić, PhD

41 DPRS, 2002-2003, p.48

42 Ibid, p. 50

43 DPRS, 2002-2003, p. 51

44 Dr Gradimir Zajic-The changes in Labor Market and status and Perspectives of the Roma-, Proceedings of

45 DPRS, 2002-2003, p. 9

46 Dr Dragan Kokovic-Peculiarities of the Romanies Way of Life, Facta Universitatis, Series Philosophy and

47 Dr Gradimir Zajic-The changes in Labour Market and status and Perspectives of the Roma-, Proceedings of

48 Dr Gradimir Zajic-The changes in Labour Market and status and Perspectives of the Roma-, Proceedings of

49 UNDP survey, 2004

50 Dr Dragoljub Djordjevic-Protestantization of Roma in Serbia, Prepared as s part of the project '' Romani

51 Dr Milan Tripkovic, Dr Dragan Kokovic, Basic Sociology with Elements of Sociology of Culture,

52 UNHCR, The Possibility of Applying the Internal Flight or Relocation Alternative within Serbia and

53 ICRC-The Vulnerability Assessment of Internally Displaced Persons in Serbia and Montenegro, International

54 ICRC-The Vulnerability Assessment of Internally Displaced Persons in Serbia and Montenegro, International

55 Romany Settlements , Living Condition and Possibilities of Integration of the Roma in Serbia –, Ethnicity

56 UNHCR, The Possibility of Applying the Internal Flight or Relocation Alternative within Serbia and Montenegro to Certain Persons Originating from Kosovo and Belonging to Ethnic Minorities There, August 2004, page 3

57 Roma who migrated to Western Europe for different reasons during the 1990s, and includes rejected asylum-

58 For more information on the specific problems of IDPs: Analysis of the Situation of Internally Displaced

59 European Commission Staff Working paper, Serbia and Montenegro, Stabilisation and Association Report

60 ICRC-The Vulnerability Assessment of Internally Displaced Persons in Serbia and Montenegro, International

61 Ibid

62 Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma in Serbia, Discussion Paper, 2002, page 59.

63 In the last years quite some research and conferences have been organised focussed on this issue, but no real

64 Draft Strategy for Integration and Empowerment of the Roma in Serbia, Discussion Paper,

65 Ibid , page 60

66 EC Stabilisation and Association Report 2004, Serbia and Montenegro {COM(2004) 206 final}

67 Needs Assessment Study for the Roma Education Fund, MONTENEGRO, Saša Milić, PhD, p. 12

68 Source: The ISSP survey on household expenditure of Roma, refugees and IDPs, October 2003 and ISSP&WB Research on Poverty and Living Standards in Montenegro, June 2003

69 www.worldbank.org/roma

70 European Commission Staff Working paper, Serbia and Montenegro, Stabilisation and Association Report

71 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 70/2001

72 In case of termination of their employment

73 Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia, No. 18/92

74 Official Gazette Montenegro No/94;4/97

75 Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia, No. 48/91, 66/91, 44/98, 49/99, 34/2001

76 Official Gazette of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, No. 6/2003

77 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia , No. 71/2003

78 Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 8/2004

79 Official gazette of the FRY, No. 40/97

80 Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98

81 Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98

82 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 20/1992

83 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 42/1992

84 Official Gazette Montengro,43/2002 of 15.8.2002

85 Official Gazette of SFRY , No. 11/78, 64/89, and Official Gazette of FRY, No 42/92, 24/94, 28/96

86 Ostoja Milosavljevic, Zeljko Albaneze-Comment on Labour Law, Business Bureau, Belgrade, 2001, p. 22

87 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 20/1992

88 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 42/1992

89 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 8/2004

90 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98

91 Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 35/97, 39/97, 52/97, 22/98

92 Official Gazette of the FRY, No. 40/97

93 Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, 21.04.2004

94 Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro No. 43/2002

95

96