Human rights in the Republic of Macedonia

Human rights in the Republic of Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and the U.N. Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and Convention against Torture, and the Macedonian Constitution guarantees basic human rights to all Macedonian citizens.

There do however continue to be problems with human rights. According to human rights organisations, in 2003 there were suspected extrajudicial executions, threats and intimidation against human rights activists and opposition journalists and allegations of torture by the police. [ [ Amnesty International - Summary - Macedonia] ] [ Human Rights Watch - Campaigns - Conflict in Macedonia] ]

The country also has issues with the human rights of ethnic minorities, such as Albanians, Bulgarians, Roma, Turks, Aromanians, Greeks and Vlachs.

Although Albanians have recently been allowed to study in Albanian, before graduating from university they are required to pass a test of their comprehension and use of the Macedonian language. [ Human Rights Watch - Macedonia] ]

According to Human Rights Watch, many former Yugoslav citizens remain "effectively stateless" as a result of a citizenship law drafted after Macedonia's secession from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Conflict between ethnic Albanian rebels and the Macedonian government has resulted in serious violations of human rights on both sides.

According to the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, the following human rights abuses have been reported: [ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005 (MHC)] ]
* Police abuse of suspects, particularly during initial arrest and detention
* Police harassment of ethnic minorities, particularly Roma
* Impunity and corruption in the police force
* Political pressure on the judiciary
* Societal violence and discrimination against women, children and ethnic minorities, particularly Roma
* Trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation
* Government interference with union activity

According to the [ Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2005]
* The Public administration continues to show elements of bureaucratic behavior, inefficiency, inaction and non-interest about the needs of the citizen, as well as lack of awareness about their rights. Because of that the citizen fulfill their rights with difficulties, untimely and through long administrative procedures faced with misuses of official authorization, incompetent and careless behavior with disrespect of the human dignity and the legal regulative and its inappropriate implementation.
* The court proceedings since many years are slow and inefficient that is partially a result of subjective weaknesses because of incompetent and careless behavior, lack of sufficient training of the court and administrative personnel, but as well from objective condition and possibilities in which the court system is functioning. Because of this the clients cannot fulfill their right of trial in a reasonable deadline.
* In the police proceedings it was determined violation of human rights with excessive use of means of coercion and misuse of other police authorization by police officials.
* The Sector for internal control and professional standards shows unprofessional attitude in fulfillment of the function internal control mechanism by covering the negative condition during the police procedure, which obstructs the work of the Ombudsman.
* The Penitentionary system is overburdened and is functioning with numerous problems because of the bad material condition, disorganized security situation, unprofessional management of the houses of correction and borstal institutions and can not secure dignified stay of the convicted persons which places that group of population in the margins of the society.
* Denationalization – return of the property to the former owners is stopped because of the selective approach of the Commission for solving in the administrative procedure at a second instance upon the cases in the field of denationalization and it brings to a question mark all the process.
* The administrative acts for demolishing of the illegal constructions are not executed, whereas at the small percent of execution that is done selectively.
* There is a lack of conscious and awareness for protecting the environment and the measures for its protection are not undertaken.
* There are gaps and illegal proceedings during the procedures for fulfillment of the right of working relation, especially while undertaking employees from state level to local level.
* The Commission for accommodation issue within the Government of Republic of Macedonia acts timely upon the requests of the citizen.
* The level of the social security is not in a satisfactory level and is facing difficulties, inconsistency and untimely in fulfillment of the rights from the social security, pension and disability insurance and the health insurance, as well as untimely, partiality and bribery proceeding of the commission for evaluating the working abilities.
* There are inadequate condition and unequal opportunities for dignified fulfillment of the rights for every child in the Republic of Macedonia, but the number of cases of violence towards children is increased.
* The law for higher education is inappropriately implemented during the obligation or realize from the study costs, whereas the student standard is unsatisfactory.
* The level of communication between the service providers and citizen – users is unprofessional, unsatisfactory, and there is a lack of appropriate regulative that would have secured appropriate protection and control over the monopoly on the market.
* The absence of special law for protection from discrimination does not give any opportunity to determine appearances of discrimination and to provide appropriate protection to victims of discrimination.
* Inconsistent implementation of the Principe of appropriate and equal representation of members of the communities.
* The cooperation with the Ombudsman in 2005 was at a higher level than the previous years, but there were cases of non-cooperation and non-implementation of referred recommendation that was an obstacle in the work. The non-cooperation was especially expressed from the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Sector for Internal Control and Professional standards because not delivering the information and data upon complaints that were referring to violation of the rights by exceeding the official authorization and the exceeded use of force.
* The Commission for solving the administrative proceedings in a second instance in the area of denationalization did not acted upon the recommendation of the Ombudsman; completely stopped the process of denationalization, fulfillment of the rights on this basis obstructed the work of the Ombudsman.
* Incorrect relation and non-cooperation was noticed as well in the second instance governmental commission that decides upon cases in the field of property - legal issues and allocation of working land, measuring, cadastre and including rights of real estate, from transport and communication, environment until Ministry of Education and science and Ministry of labor and social policy, Commission for denationalization within the ministry of Finance, sector for arranging and documenting the construction land within Ministry of transport and communication and the Sector for measuring and cadastre of the State bureau for geodetic matters.5

*Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia
*Gay rights in the Republic of Macedonia
*Ohrid Agreement


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