Corner Press release

World Day of Social Justice - the reforms in Macedonia lagging behind 20 February 2018

Social justice is the basic principle of peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among peoples. We advance social justice whenever we remove the barriers that people face due to their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Social justice is at the core of the United Nations mission in order to promote development and human dignity. The adoption of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Just Globalization is just one recent example of the dedication of the United Nations system to social justice. The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair results for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue and the basic principles and rights to work.

In the Republic of Macedonia, we have registered a large number of violations of the economic and social rights of citizens, which is due to the growing poverty in the country, the high level of unemployment, and the slow reforms in the area of social protection and health care. Persons with disabilities, Roma people, textile workers, women from rural areas are still some of the most vulnerable groups in our society that the government has failed to undertake substantial measures to improve their social status and economic standing. Education remains unavailable for many people from these groups, mainly due to the inaccessibility of educational facilities for people with disabilities and girls from rural areas, as well as due to the high rate of drop-out of students from vulnerable groups due to the poverty of their families and the practice of juvenile marriages.

Taking into account the current situation, the state should start with the reforms of the social and health care systems, alongside the education system, as soon as possible, in order to improve the equal access of citizens to all the goods and services provided by the state, thus improving their quality of life. Particular attention needs to be paid to the vulnerable groups, for which effective policies to improve their social status and economic standing should finally be applied. This certainly includes the employment policies for these persons and the protection mechanisms in cases of violation of their rights.

In the near future, a new deinstitutionalization strategy should be adopted, and the state should seriously commit to its implementation so that the most vulnerable persons accommodated in the institutions of the system can finally receive adequate non-institutional care.

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