Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year the focus of the UN is on sport as an activity through which awareness could be raised about dealing with racial discrimination. In today’s speech the UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated:
“We must join forces to end racism and sport can help us reach this goal. On this international day recommit to ending racial discrimination and realizing our vision of justice, equality and freedom from fear for all.”
In the Republic of Macedonia we are sorry to confirm that racial discrimination is directly or indirectly aimed at citizens who are members of the Roma community. These past two days we are witnesses of a case that indicates direct discrimination against Roma, and it is reflected in the position of a shopping mall to remove Roma employees from the food section. In a written correspondence between the shopping mall and those involved, as well as from the submitted complaint by the Helsinki Committee, a clear and unambiguous position is stated which can be viewed on two bases of discrimination: skin color and ethnicity which refer to the relatedness to racial discrimination in a wider context.
However, this is not the only case. The Committee has been collecting data and handling requests by citizens for some time now, members of the Roma community being labeled, targeted and unequally treated on border crossings and their unequal position in the education system of the Republic of Macedonia. The Helsinki Committee constantly works on prevention and protection of various social groups which are liable to discrimination. This is why on this day once again we emphasize our commitment and dedication to fight against the unequal status and treatment in the Republic of Macedonia aimed at completely eliminating racial discrimination.