The director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights, Suzana Paunović, spoke at the VIII annual conference of the Standing Conference of Roma Citizen’s Associations (SKRUG) – Roma League in Vrnjačka Banja, on 30 March 2015. On this occasion, Paunović noted that the Office for Human and Minority Rights is achieving continuous cooperation with Roma civil society organizations, the national council of the Roma national minority and takes part in the work of the Council for Improving the Status of Roma.
The Republic of Serbia, by accession to the Roma Decade and adoption of the national strategic framework for improving the status of the Roma community in 2005, clearly decided in favor of economic and social inclusion. The state took on the obligation to improve the status of the Roma national minority in cooperation with international partner organizations and the full participation of the Roma national minority, noted Paunović.
Numerous results, as well as the report by the European Commission on the progress of the Republic of Serbia, speak in favor of the dedication to improving the status of Roma. When speaking of the results achieved, it is clear that Serbia has good results in the sectors of education and healthcare, and it is important for the future period to create measures in the areas of employment and housing, and insist on their sustainability, assessed Paunović.
Paunović noted that the process of drafting the new Strategy for Improving the Status of Roma by 2025 created the initial basis. She emphasized that the initial basis was drafted through a widespread consultative process with local self-government units in Serbia, Roma civil society organizations, state institutions and bodies, as well as independent bodies, in order to gain insight into all the aspects of implementing policies that may contribute to improving the status of Roma in Serbia and create a basis that can help in drafting a quality document with clearly determined goals, measures and responsibilities for all participants.
The conference was attended by members of SKRUG, the president of the Council for Improving the Status of Roma, representatives of non-governmental organizations, Roma coordinators, pedagogic assistants, healthcare mediators, representatives of state institutions and bodies, international organizations.