Inclusion of the Roma in Croatia and Serbia: the institutional framework and its implementation

Type Journal Article - Challenges and perspectives of inclusive education
Title Inclusion of the Roma in Croatia and Serbia: the institutional framework and its implementation
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 119-136
The Roma minority is one of the most socially and economically endangered minorities
in both Croatia and Serbia. The Roma minority is facing problems in all public and
private spheres, such as the economic sphere3, labor market, healthcare, housing and
education. Data shows that poverty, unemployment and diseases are more prevalent
among the Roma population than the overall population (Burnett & Abdelbasit, 2014:
1). The obstacle to research on Roma communities in Europe is the lack of precise and
relevant data. This situation influences "the development, implementation, assessment
and transferability of evidence-based policies whose impact can be effectively evaluated"
(Guy, Liebich & Marushiakova, 2010: 24). What is more, the important indicators for
evaluation on policy program and institutional changes are still missing (Bennett, 2012:
12) as well as reliable information which could form the base for comparisons (Bennett,
2012: 46). Without these aspects, thorough and effective institutional mechanisms and
programs for inclusion of Roma children in educational system cannot be successfully
introduced and implemented. The reasons for the lack of exact data are following: "lack of
personal documentation and/or registration of Roma, mobility of many families in search
of seasonal work, and widespread unwillingness of Roma to declare themselves as such
in order to avoid persistent prejudices and stereotypes" (Stojanovic & Baucal, 2007: 496).
The aim of this paper is to indicate the status and institutional bases for inclusion of
Roma in preschool and primary school education in Serbia and Croatia, without neglectingthe sociological and political perspectives. Firstly, accessible data on the social and
educational position of Roma community in Serbia and Croatia will be analyzed in order
to present the context of the difficult social and living circumstances of Roma community
in these two countries. Secondly, the institutional bases of Roma inclusion are discussed.
We present the ways in which these perspectives have changed during the process of
approaching the EU and also their current level of implementation. For this purpose,
official documents are analyzed, such as legal documents and reports.

Related studies