access to education, training and employment of ethnic minorities in

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ACCESS TO EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT OF
ETHNIC MINORITIES IN THE WESTERN BALKANS
COUNTRY REPORT CROATIA
Author: Antonija Petričušić, M.A.
“Only the educated are free.”
Epictetus
(Greek philosopher, cca. 55-135 A.D.)
Europäische Akademie Bozen / Accademia Europea Bolzano (EURAC)
Drususallee 1 / viale Druso 1
I - 39100 Bozen / Bolzano
List of Abbreviations
CARDS
CES
CHC
CNES
CLNM
CoE
ECRI
ECRML
ERRC
EU
EUR
ESDP
FCNM
HDZ
HRD
ILO
NGO
MoELE
MoSES
OSCE
PPS
REF
ROP
SDSS
SAA
SME
UN
UNESCO
UNTAES
Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation
Croatian Employment Service
Croatian Helsinki Committee
Croatian National Educational Standard
Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities
Council of Europe
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages
European Roma Rights Center
European Union
Euro
Education Sector Development Plan
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Croatian Democratic Union
Human Resource Development
International Labour Organization
Non-governmental Organization
Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship
Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
Purchasing power standard
Roma Education Fund
Regional Operational Programme
Independent Democratic Serbian Party
Stabilization and Association Agreement
Small and medium enterprise
United Nations
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western
Sirmium
2
Executive summary
The legal framework for minority protection has improved significantly with the adoption of
the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities in 2002. The Law sets the
domestic legal framework for minority rights and, together with several related laws,
establishes a high level of normative prerequisites for the protection of minority rights. It is
generally perceived that the position of minorities has improved and that minorities are able
to execute their rights to a great extent. Usual complaints for the non-implementation of
prescribed minority rights refer to a lack of financial resources. Both in the field of education,
where units of regional self-governments (counties) are responsible for the management of
schools, and in the field of employment of minorities in areas of return (known also as areas
of special state concern) this justification is quite habitually used.
The tradition of education in languages of the national minorities has been rooted in the
Croatian educational system. For that reason, Hungarians, Italians, Czechs, Slovaks,
Ukrainians and Ruthenians in general do not criticize existing educational models for
minorities. In addition, the education for pupils of Serb ethnic background has been improved
in the last five years and some new minority educational programmes have been initiated.
Nevertheless, there are still examples of hesitance at local level to provide pupils from the
Serb minority with education in their language (e.g. for the education in the minority
language of the Serb minority in Knin) and to integrate them into a mainstream educational
system (e.g. the example of separate classes for Roma in Međimurje). The other problems that
burden the educational process of most of minorities are the inadequate training of teachers
and the lack of teaching materials in minority languages. In addition, the physical separation
between Croat and Serb/Roma pupils in some schools remains an issue of concern.
The general unemployment rate remains high in Croatia (app. 14% compared to 8.5% EU
average) and the economic underdevelopment of areas of return inhabited by national
minorities (Serbs mostly dwell in such areas, but also Roma, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians,
Ukrainians and Ruthenians) affects both the majority population and the minorities.
Nevertheless, discriminatory practices towards Serbs have been documented in some areas of
return, since there are no Serb employees in the local bodies of state administration. The
issue of employment discrimination needs further investigation and monitoring since equal
access to employment opportunities for all minorities, including returnees, is essential if
Croatia is serious about an effective return programme that is sustainable and democratic.
Statistical data presented in this report were collected from the Central Bureau of Statistics,
the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, the Croatian Employment Service and from a
number of minority and non-governmental organizations involved in educational and
employment initiatives. Nevertheless, accurate statistical data on the number of minority
employees in state administration and public institutions and the exact number of Roma in
Croatia are still missing. Because of this, it is impossible to monitor the implementation of the
Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities regarding proportional representation
of minorities in the state administration and it is impossible to plan policies for the
improvement of measures for the socio-economic inclusion of Roma.
3
1. Introduction
The Republic of Croatia is a country of approximately 4.5 million inhabitants. The Croatian
Constitution lists in its preamble as Croatian minorities the Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians,
Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians and Ruthenians and the other ethnic
minority communities that are citizens of Croatia.1 Apart from this constitutionally mentioned
ethnic communities, members of several other ethic groups are recognized as minority
communities: Albanians, Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Poles, Roma,
Romanians, Slovenes, Turks, Vlahs and Jews. A census conducted in Croatia in April 2001
reported that around 90% of the country’s inhabitants are of Croatian ethnic origin. The
results of the census further reported that 7.47% of population belong to national minorities,
which is half of the total number of the minority population in 1991.2
The protection of minority rights in Croatia is comprehensively assured by the Constitutional
Law on the Rights of National Minorities (CLNM)3 that was adopted in December 2002.
The country has ratified the majority of international human and minority rights instruments4
which, once ratified, form part of the internal legal order of Croatia and are in higher rank
compared to domestic legislation.5
Croatia is applying for membership in the European Union (EU). The country signed a
Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU on 29 October 2001. The
Government submitted the application for EU membership on 21 February 2003. The
European Commission (EC) issued its Opinion on Croatia’s EU membership application on
20 April 2004 and recommended that EU accession negotiations be opened. Minority
protection has been an issue of concern when the EC prepared the Opinion. The Opinion
found that the principles of equality and non-discrimination, protection of the national
identity, social integration, freedom to establish educational institutions, educational
programmes and curriculum and the provision of adequate teacher training appear to be
incorporated in the Croatian legislation. In its Opinion, the Commission considered that
Croatia needs to take measures to ensure that the rights of minorities, in particular of the Serb
1
Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 41/2001. On the contrary, the CLNM does not include
an explicit list of minorities.
2
For the exact ethnic structure of Croatia see Table 1. in appendices to this report. Croatian Bureau of Statistics
(2001). Results of the 2001 Census of Population, http://www.dzs.hr/Hrv/Popis%202001/popis20001.htm
3
Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities in the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 155/2002.
The CLNM replaced the Constitutional law on Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights of Ethnic and
National Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia, which was the legal basis for the minority
protection in the country for more than ten years, Official Gazette 34/1992. Art. 5 of the CLNM defines a
‘national minority’ as “a group of Croatian citizens whose members have been traditionally settled in the
territory of the Republic of Croatia, and who have ethnic, linguistic, cultural and/or religious characteristics
which are different from those of other citizens, and who are guided by the wish for the preservation of those
characteristics.”
4
Croatia has ratified the Council of Europe (CoE) European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms and its protocols, the European Social Charter and the Additional Protocol Providing for a System of
Collective Complaints, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the European
Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, and the United Nations (UN) International Convention on
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the UNESCO Convention against
Discrimination in Education, the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious
and Linguistic Minorities and the ILO Convention No. 111.Furthermore, Croatia has concluded bilateral
agreements on the protection of national minorities with Serbia and Montenegro, Italy and Hungary.
5
Art. 140 of the Constitution.
4
minority, are fully respected. Croatia was furthermore advised to speed up the implementation
of the CLNM and to accelerate efforts to facilitate the return of Serb refugees from Serbia and
Bosnia and Herzegovina.6 The European Council decided in June 2004 to grant Croatia the
status of an EU accession country and the negotiations were opened in November 2005.
Ethnic Composition and Territorial Distribution of Minority Groups
There are several regions where minority populations are mostly concentrated. The Italian
minority inhabits the western coastal part of the country, dwelling in a great number in the
Istrian peninsula that administratively forms the Istria County but also in the Primorje-Gorski
Kotar County. The Italian minority numbers roughly 20.000 members. In those municipalities
and cities in which Italians make one third of the population, the Italian language is the
second official language.
The biggest of the autochthonous minority groups, the Serbs, have traditionally constituted a
majority in the Krajina region surrounding the south western city of Knin (Zadar-Knin
County) and made a significant portion of the population in the Eastern part of Croatia (the
Osijek-Baranja County and the Vukovar-Srijem County). Nowadays, the largest number of
Serbs lives in the Counties of Vukovar-Srijem, Osijek-Baranja, Sisak-Moslavina and
Karlovac. A certain number of the Serb minority dwells also in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar
County, Lika-Senj County and in the City of Zagreb. The latest census witnessed a sharp drop
of the Serb population, reporting that approximately 202.000 of them dwell nowadays in
Croatia. The Serbs used to make up 12% of population in the 1991 census, but their share in
the population has been drastically reduced to 4.5% in the 2001 census. Their number
dropped due to the exodus of the Serb population in the beginning of 1990s, when smaller
numbers of Serbs left Croatia straight after the country’s declaration of independence in 1991.
The biggest exodus took place in 1995, following two military actions undertaken by the
Croat government to re-integrate the occupied territory in the spring and summer of 1995.
The are estimations that approximately 300.000 Serbs left Croatia in 1990s. The majority of
them became refugees in neighbouring Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even though the
government has been reiterating that the country will accept the return of ethnic-Serb refugees
who were driven out of their homes in 1995, to date merely 123.000 Croatian citizens of
Serbian nationality returned, constituting 40% of the total number of Serb refugees.7
Returnees are deterred by a number of factors including uncleared minefields in some areas,
questions about their eligibility to receive state benefits, and the possibility of some being
indicted for war crimes. The process of return of refugees is moreover hampered by the lack
of employment opportunities in the areas of return. The general level of security in Croatia
has improved. Nevertheless, ethnically motivated incidents are still taking place in the areas
of return.8
About 15.000 Albanians dwelling in Croatia originate mostly from nowadays Republic of
Macedonia and the province of Kosovo. They are distributed throughout the country, but the
Opinion of the European Commission on Croatia’s EU membership application.
Official data of UNHCR, 27 December 2005.
8
For a list of examples of ethnically motivated crimes see section ‘Security situation / Ethnically motivated
incidents’ in the Shadow report on the implementation of the Framework Convention of Council of Europe on
Protection of Minorities in Republic of Croatia, prepared by the Center for Peace, Legal Advice and
Psychosocial Assistance, Vukovar and Community of Serbs, Rijeka, at http://www.vsnmri.org/izvjesce_2_engl_7.htm.
6
7
5
biggest number dwells in the City of Zagreb, in the coastal regions such as the County of
Primorje-Gorski Kotar and in Istria. Approximately 20.000 persons declared themselves as
members of the Bosniak minority in the last census. The majority of the Bosniaks in Croatia
had been declared as Muslims in the previous census while they opted for the term Bosniak in
the latest census, after the Bosniak ethnicity has been ascertained in neighbouring Bosnia and
Herzegovina. Most Bosniaks live in the City of Zagreb, in the County of Istria and PrimorjeGorski Kotar. 13.173 members of the Slovenian national minority were registered in the
Republic of Croatia in 2001. Most Slovenians live in the City of Zagreb, in the County of
Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Osijek-Baranja. 4.270 members of the Macedonian national
minority were registered in the 2001 census, with a majority of them living in the City of
Zagreb. Members of the Bosniak, Macedonian and Albanian minorities reside in bigger cities,
since they have come to Croatia in great numbers in the last fifty years as a result of economic
immigrations.
Circa 10.000 Czechs and Slovaks inhabit cities in the Podravina region (Bjelovar-Bilogora
County). Slovaks are also found in the Osijek-Baranja County. Approximately 16.000
Hungarians dwell in several towns and villages in the eastern region of the country, bordering
the Serbian region Vojvodina, which as well has a significant number of inhabitants of
Hungarian ethnic origin. Most Hungarians live in the County of Osijek-Baranja, VukovarSrijem and Bjelovar-Bilogora. Members of the Ukrainian and Ruthenian minorities live in the
Vukovar-Srijem County. The largest number of Ruthenian's lives in the County of VukovarSrijem and Osijek-Baranja. Most Ukrainians live in the County of Vukovar-Srijem, Zagreb
and Slavonski Brod -Posavina.
There are almost 10.000 registered Croatian Roma who predominantly dwell in several cities
in the continental part of Croatia. The largest number of registered Roma lives in the County
of Međimurje, in the City of Zagreb and the County of Osijek-Baranja. However, a great
number of Roma tends not to report their ethnic origin in the census, therefore the official
number is very likely wrong. The NGOs dealing with Roma estimate that there might be
40.000 Roma members in Croatia. Unofficial data, for example, say that there are about 9,000
Roma living in Zagreb. Data collected by NGOs estimate, that around 6000 Roma (or slightly
more than 30% of the entire Roma population) live in 16 mostly non-urban settlements in the
town of Čakovec, situated in the North Western Međimurje County. This group of Roma
predominantly faces segregation due to their language difference and their lack of knowledge
of the official language. Roma in Eastern Slavonia are more proficient in the official language
and therefore are able to integrate easier. As there is no standardised Roma language, it is not
used for teaching and pupils from the Roma population are included in the regular educational
system in the Croatian language.
2,902 members of the German national minority and 247 members of the Austrian national
minority were registered in the Republic of Croatia in 2001. Most Germans live in the County
of Osijek-Baranja, Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia. Most Austrians live in the City of Zagreb, the
County of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria. 576 members of the Jewish national minority
were registered in the Republic of Croatia in 2001. Most Jews live in the City of Zagreb, in
the County of Split-Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar.9
Participation of minorities in state authorities and public sector
9
Official data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population, at http://www.dzs.hr/Popisper
cent202001/popis20001.htm.
6
The CLNM guarantees to members of national minorities the right to be represented in the
Croatian Parliament (Sabor). In accordance with the Electoral Law, out of 152 members of
Parliament, eight are elected into Parliament as minority representatives.10
A special legal framework is in place regarding the rights of the Serb minority in the Danube
region; this was established by the Erdut Agreement, a legal basis for the peaceful
reintegration of the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Sirmium into the
constitutional and juridical system of the Republic of Croatia, which was signed in 1995, and
the Government Letter of Intent of 1997. The Erdut Agreement granted assurances for
minority representation, among them “the right of Serbs in Eastern Slavonia to be represented
in local self-government, the right to have Serb sub-prefects in both counties of Eastern
Slavonia and proportional representation in local health, police and judiciary.” The
Agreement additionally foresaw four assistant ministers’ position for members of the Serb
minority. In accordance with the agreement, the Serb minority is entitled to assistant minister
positions in the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Culture and the
Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. 11 Most of the rights guaranteed under the Erdut
Agreement are transposed into the CLNM. Nevertheless, some specific rights that arise from
the Letter of Intent, such as proportional representation in the police force and the judiciary
and rights to minority schools still have a legal ground in this document.
The Agreement on Cooperation of the ruling HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) with the
SDSS (Independent Democratic Serbian Party) signed in December 2003, in advance to a
vote of confidence to Ivo Sanader’s Government, assured four additional assistant minister
positions for the Serb minority; in the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship,
the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and in the Ministry of the
Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development.12 Nevertheless, the current government has failed
to implement the coalition agreement with the Serb representatives in the Parliament and
therefore has not nominated deputy ministers of Serb origin in the Ministry of Labour,
Economy and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Health and Social Care in the two years
of its government. Similar agreements were signed with the representatives of the Bosniak
minority and the Italian minority MPs.13
2. Access to education and training
Literacy of Croatian population
10
Law on the Election of Representatives to the National Parliament, Official Gazette 116/99, 109/00, 53/03 and
69/03-consolidated version.
11
Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Sirmium signed in Erdut on 12
November 1995. The Agreement requested the UN Security Council to establish a transitional administration to
govern the region during the transitional period of 12 months and to authorize an international force to maintain
peace and security during that period and to otherwise assist in the implementation of the Agreement.
12
Sporazum o suradnji buduće Vlade Republike Hrvatske i zastupnika Samostalne Demokratske Srpske Stranke
u Hrvatskom Saboru (Agreement on Cooperation between the New Government and the Independent Serbian
Democratic Party in the Croatian Parliament), at http://www.sdf.hr/korisno/sporazum.html
13
Those two minorities were not provided with any positions in the state administration but they contain a
number of points essential to each of these ethnic groups, reflecting the different concerns that they have. For
example, Bosniaks were assured that a certain number of members of the Bosniak minority, who had lost their
status rights in 1990s, could acquire citizenship.
7
The percentage of illiterates dropped from 3% in 1991 to 1.8% in 2001 of the total
population. The 2001 census registered that 2.9 % of the entire population older than fifteen
are illiterate (12.693 men and 57,084 women). Most illiterates are found amongst the
population over 65 years of age and 80% of those are women, which is a consequence of their
insufficient participation in the education in the past. Census results indicate that men up to
30 years of age form a slightly larger group of illiterates, but after the age of 30 the number of
illiterate women grows so that at the age of 65 there are more illiterate women. Illiteracy
among Roma minority members is drastically higher. According to the recently undertaken
UNDP study, 14% of the Croatian Roma are illiterate which actually would be a much
smaller number that generally perceived.14 Contrary to this data, a survey conducted by the
Centre for Education and Counselling Women in one of the Roma settlements in Zagreb
found out, that the illiteracy rate of Roma was 80-90%.15 The 2001 census reported that
15.7% of the population has incomplete elementary education, with 21.8% of the population
having completed only elementary education and 40.1% of those completing secondary
education.16
Overall institutional system of education
The existing educational system consists of pre-school education17, primary and compulsory
education18, secondary education19, higher education and life-long learning programmes. In
2004 there were 503 kindergartens registered in Croatia, with about 32% of the total number
of children aged 1-6 (approximately 110.000) attending day care programmes. Only
elementary education is compulsory. The official data report that there are 2.141 elementary
school institutions in which 393.421 pupils are enrolled.20 The Constitution and the Law on
Primary Education oblige parents as well as the society as a whole to assure that children
enrol in schools and that adequate conditions are provided for a solid education. Nevertheless,
the fines for those parents who do not take care that their children complete elementary school
are ridiculously low (approximately 300 kuna, equivalent to EUR 40). The greatest majority
of elementary school pupils (98%) successfully finish primary school and 94% of them
continue their education in secondary schools. Secondary education is a continuation of
primary school and is characterized by several types of schools: grammar schools or
gimnazija, vocational (technical and related schools or tehničke škole; craft schools or
obrtničke škole and industrial and related schools or industrijske škole) and art schools or
umjetničke škole) with the maximum duration of four years. The greatest problem of
elementary and secondary education is insufficient differentiation. In 665 institutions of
secondary education level there are 195.340 students attending various programmes. 21 After
the completion of secondary education, pupils take a school-leaving exam (matura), which
enables them to enrol at the university. Education at tertiary level is conducted at faculties,
UNDP (2005). Report ‘Faces of poverty, faces of hope. Vulnerability profiles of Roma population in Decade
of Roma Inclusion countries Vulnerable’. See Table 3.
15
Centre for Education and Counseling Women (CESI) (2000). Rights and Status of Roma Women in Countries
in Transition, Zagreb.
16
Central Bureau of Statistics (2003).
17
Law on Care and Education for Children of Pre-school Age, Official Gazette 10/97.
18
Law on Elementary Education, Official Gazette 59/90 and 27/93.
19
Law on Secondary Education, Official Gazette 19/92, 27/93 and 50/95.
20
Central Bureau of Statistics (2005). Statistical Information, herainafter: Statistical Information 2005.
21
Ibid. See also Croatian Chamber of Economy (2005). Educational System in the Republic of Croatia,
http://www.hgk.hr/komora/eng/eng.htm
14
8
polytechnics, academies of arts and schools of higher education. They compose the
universities of Zagreb, Split, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Rijeka. There are 102 faculties in
which 126.322 students are enrolled.22 Private universities and two-year colleges can be
founded with the consent of the MoSES after obtaining an opinion of the National Council of
Higher Education.
A low share of the population participates in education after the entry into the world of work,
i.e. in the lifelong learning programmes. This is clearly visible in the age group over 34,
where the share of participants in any kind of educational programs is almost negligible.
Formally, adult education comprises formal (primary and secondary) and informal schooling
that is performed in about 260 different institutions (mostly known as open universities).23
Elementary and secondary education for adults can be provided by secondary schools and
other legal persons that have been granted permission by the MoSES.24 Adult education is
performed in regular classes, in the form of consultations and instructions or through distance
learning. Since the end of the 1980s there is a visible trend of increasingly more women
enrolling in schools for adult education.25 A report of the domestic think-tank, the Institute of
Public Finance, indicates that the whole labour force in Croatia is not sufficiently qualified or
perhaps inappropriately qualified for the needs of a modern market economy. They suggest
reforms in the educational and job-training programs for the whole population.26
Studying minority languages, religion, history and culture
Minorities have the right to education in their language from pre-school onwards (up to
secondary education).27 Members of national minorities exercise their constitutional right to
education by means of three basic models and special forms of schooling. All of those models
and educational forms are offered in the standard educational system of the Republic of
Croatia. The criteria for the selection of certain educational models are primarily based on the
request of the national minority associations asking for the establishment of separate minority
classes or programmes and depends on the size of a minority class. Model A is foreseen for
bigger groups of pupuils of a single minority group, and B and C for those minorities that are
not numerous in a given area. Each request by a member of a national minority to organize
any form of instruction is processed and generally positively resolved in all cases when the
22
Statistical Information 2005.
Internet portal ‘Edukacija.hr’ is a private initiative that gathered and listed number of educational activities for
adults, at http://www.edukacija.hr/.
24
Regulation on Adults’ Education, Official Gazette 21/98 and Law on Open Universities, Official Gazette
54/97.
25
Second and Third Periodic Report of Croatia to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against
Women, available on the Internet, at http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=CEDAW/C/CRO/23&Lang=E
26
Predrag Bejaković and Joseph Lowther (Eds.) (2005). The competitiveness of Croatia’s human resources,
Institute of Public Finance, Zagreb.
27
Languages of instruction can be placed into two groups: so-called territorial or minority languages, and nonterritorial, based on the European Convention on Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) and the country’s
Decision to ratify the Convention. In accordance to the Decision regional or minority languages of instruction
are: Italian, Serbian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Ruthenian and Ukrainian. Non-regional or minority languages
of instruction are German, Hebrew and Roma. The territories in which languages are used in various forms of
education are: Istria County – Italian; Primorje-Gorski Kotar County – Italian, Serbian; Bjelovar-Bilogora
County – Czech, Slovak; Osijek-Baranja County – Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak; Vukovar-Srijem County –
Serbian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Lika-Senj County – Serbian and City of Zagreb – Serbian
and Albanian. Non-regional or minority languages of instruction are German, Hebrew and Roma. See Second
Periodical Report by Croatia on the implementation of the FCNM (2004).
23
9
professional instruction can be secured. This particularly pertains to instruction fostering
language and culture.
In areas where minorities constitute a relative majority of the population and where there is a
demand, separate schools or classes are established in which instruction is held in the
minority language. This model of education is known as Model A, in which all instruction is
held in the minority language and script with mandatory learning of the Croatian language. As
a rule, Model A is implemented in special institutions, but it can be implemented in standard
Croatian-language institutions with special classrooms. Hungarians in Osijek and several
other towns as well as Czechs and Serbs in Eastern Slavonia are instructed in this model as
well as Italians in Istria. In those places where there is an insufficient number of minority
pupils that would allow for the establishment of Model A, parents may request separate
classes for their children to learn about minority culture, history and literature. Model B
foresees bilingual instruction, meaning that the instruction is carried out in Croatian and in the
national minority language and script. The natural sciences are taught in Croatian, while the
social or national curriculum is covered in the national minority language. This form of
instruction is implemented in Croatian-language institutions but in special classrooms. Such a
model of education is nowadays assured exclusively for the German minority in Osijek,
where the elementary education has been established that is partially executed in German
language.28 Model C fosters language and culture in a special curriculum implemented in five
school hours each week with the remaining instruction in Croatian. The programme
encompasses instruction on the language and literature of the national minority, its history,
geography, music and arts. The curriculum is verified by the MoSES at the proposal of
members of the relevant minority group. In Model B minority education classes are generally
held as extracurricular activities. Therefore are minority students curriculum is more
demanding compared to majority students. A problem that arises from such a kind of
education is that teachers, who teach minority classes have to lecture in several schools in
order to accomplish full working hours and get a full employment. Model C is implemented
for classes in Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Albanian and Serbian. None of the 3
education models for members of national minorities can be applied to the Roma minority,
because their language has not been standardised in Croatia. Apart from the three
abovementioned models of minority education, there are three additional forms of schooling.
The one that offers instruction in which the national minority language is learned as a
language of the local community (executed by Italians in Istria), the other special
educational forms are executed through organization of summer and winter schools
(organized for Ruthenians, Ukrainians and Roma), correspondent/consultative instruction
(this form is executed by the Serbs) and finally, there are special programmes to
incorporate Roma pupils in the educational system.29
Data on the enrolment of minority students on all levels from kindergartens to universities
28
Second Periodical Report on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (2003) reports that
Model B was implemented for Czech, Hungarian, German, Austrian and Serb national minorities. At the
interview with Mirko Marković we got informed that Model B is nowadays implemented only for the German
minority.
29
Second Periodical Report on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, p. 17.
10
The total number of pupils of all minorities encompassed in all forms of instruction is
approximately 11,000 (not including the Roma population), of which 9,000 are participating
in Model A, 800 in Model B, and approximately 1,250 in Model C.30
Due to the severity of the social exclusion of Roma, there are more data on the participation
of Roma in education. Authorities in Croatia estimate that approximately one third of Roma
children have never taken part in any form of educational activities. The ratio of Roma
students is low already at the elementary level of education. It is estimated that only 10% of
Roma children start primary education. Only 7% of Roma pupils (or two hundred pupils)
enrol in secondary schools and only 3.5% finish it (in comparison, at the state level 85% of
youngsters enrol in secondary schools). The number of Roma in tertiary education is almost
inexistent, since there are only 14 students attending Croatian universities who declare
themselves as members of the Roma minority. In the school year 2002/03, when the National
Programme for Roma was drafted, there were approximately 1.900 Roma students in all
educational programmes.
Legal-institutional differences for minority students
The tradition of education in minority languages in Croatia has long roots. Namely, the
Italian, Czech, Hungarian, Slovak, Ruthenian and Ukrainian languages were in official use
and education was carried out for members of those minorities before the country became
independent in 1991. The right of national minorities to education in their own language and
script is exercised pursuant to the Constitution, the CLNM and the Law on Education in
Languages and Scripts of National Minorities31 passed in 2000. This Law, together with
the Law on the Use of Minority Languages32 regulates in detail the education of members
od the minorities in primary and secondary schools. The CLNM foresees also the possibility
to establish school institutions with education in the language and script of a national minority
for a smaller number of pupils than the number which is stipulated for state school
institutions, and in this way promotes education in the minority language. At operational level
this measure is promoted by the MoSES since it allows the establishment of minority classes
that encompass only five children.33 The curriculum in the language and script of a national
minority contains subjects related to a specific aspect of a national minority (the mother
tongue, literature, history, geography and cultural achievements). However, all pupils
educated in the languages and scripts of national minorities are obliged to learn the Croatian
language and Latin script. Teachers conducting education in the language and script of a
national minority mainly originate from members of that national minority and are supposed
to have an excellent command of the minority language and script. Teachers who do not
originate from the national minority may be allowed to conduct education for minority pupils
as long as they have an excellent command of the minority language and script.
Kindergarten programmes for minorities
There are four registered programmes established and managed by national minority
associations; one by the Jewish community and three by the Roma communities. The reported
data indicate that there are 1.834 children of pre-school age belonging to national minorities
30
Second Periodical Report by Croatia on the implementation of the FCNM (2004).
Law on Education in Language and Script of National Minorities, Official Gazette 115/02.
32
Law on the Use of Languages and Script of National Minorities, Official Gazette 115/02.
33
Interview with Mirko Marković, assistant minister on minority issues MoSES.
31
11
that attend kindergartens. Children belonging to national minorities attend preschool
education in ten out of twenty-one of the country’s territorial units (counties, in Croatian
županija).34 The available data indicate that only 10% of Roma children are included into
preschool programs, which very often are short three-months programs.35 There are several of
pre-school education programmes intended specially for a pre-schooling preparation of Roma
children, financed by the government and conducted by Roma associations.36 Several Roma
associations (e.g. in Međimurje, Baranja, Istria, the town of Karlovac) have established preschool education programmes that prepare Roma children for the educational process.
Elementary and secondary education of minorities
An educational institution with tuition in a language and script of a national minority can be a
public institution, funded by the state budget, or a private school, established by any legal or
natural person under the same conditions that apply to the establishment of any educational
institution. Private minority schools are run by the Jewish religious community in Zagreb, the
Muslim religious community in Zagreb, the Serb national minority in Zagreb, the Hungarian
national minority in Osijek and the Italian national minority in Istria. Besides the usual
subjects, minority-language schools have a wider curriculum to protect and promote minority
identity, including: culture, mother tongue education, geography, history and literature. The
contents of the curricula intended for minorities are defined by the MoSES, according to the
proposals submitted by the Government Office for Minorities. The number of pupils in
minority-language classes is significantly lower than in Croat-language schools. Elementary
education in state schools for minorities is performed in the three models of education in
minority language in Serbian, Italian, Hungarian, Albanian, Ruthenian, Czech, Slovak,
Ukrainian, Hebrew, Bosniak and Albanian. The high school system includes several
specialised secondary schools which offer bilingual education in Czech, Hungarian, Serbian
and Italian language. There is also a Bosniak/Muslim religious high school in Zagreb.
Tertiary education of minorities
In accordance with the CLNM, institutions of higher education are required to conduct the
education of teachers in minority languages and script, enabling them to teach in those
subjects relevant to the national minority, i.e. literature, history, geography and culture.
Universities organize the training of teachers teaching in the minority languages and script, in
subjects relevant to the mother tongue, such as literature, history, geography and cultural
creativity of a given national minority. The tertiary education for minorities is limited to the
study of minority languages (the studies of Czech, Slovak and Italian is available at university
level) and history (studies of Hungarian and Ukrainian history are offered). The study of
Serbian literature is also available, but not the study of the language as a separate subject at
university and higher education level. The existing teachers training should be expanded to
other subjects and the country should develop a coherent strategy for minority teacher
training. Nevertheless, tertiary education in the mother tongue should not be restricted to
teacher training as it is now. For that reason, a majority of minority members who have
Ivanković, Marija (2004). Predškolski odgoj i naobrazba u Republici Hrvatskoj u 2004. godini,
http://public.mzos.hr/Download/2004/05/05/PRODGOJ_U_2004.pdf
35
Open Society Institute Croatia (2005). Roma education pilot-project Beli Manastir, report of the evaluation
and monitoring team for the academic year 2004/2005.
36
“Zlatna Kobra”, Association of the Roma in Istria and Association of the Roma in Čakovec. Interview with
Bajro Bajric, head of the association called Roma for Roma in Croatia.
34
12
attended gymnasia decide to continue their education in their kin states. They are generously
supported by some kin states to continue there their University education, since they are,
when compared to nationals of kin states, offered more favourable conditions in enrolment
exams and scholarships that finance their education (this is the case in Serbia and
Montenegro, Hungary and Italy).
Cases of possible ‘institutional discrimination’
Full rights with respect to educational autonomy for ethnic Serbs and other national minorities
in Eastern Slavonia were promoted by the 1995 Erdut Agreement. Separate minority
education facilities (from kindergarten to high school level) exist in Hungarian-language
schools and in separate primary and secondary schools in the Serb language and Cyrillic
script in Eastern Slavonia. A secondary school in the Serb language has also been established
in Zagreb, and there are elementary schools in Rijeka that have classes in the Serb language.
There are Italian language kindergartens and primary and secondary schools in Istria.
Ruthenians, Slovaks, Czechs, Ukrainians, Germans, Albanians are also offered education in
their languages. Nevertheless, not an entire curriculum is taught in the languages of those
minority groups since those minorities are not as numerous.
Roma
The participation of the Roma minority in education is extremely low. Only 17% of Roma
aged 12 and above have at least incomplete secondary education. Poor access to education
among the Roma minority particularly hits Roma women. Drop out rates at the second part of
elementary and in secondary education are more frequent among Roma girls. The majority of
Roma girls interrupt their schooling because of marriage. Many of them are not able to finish
education due to pressure exerted by family and community conditioned by traditional
perceptions limiting the role of the woman to the family sphere.37
There were several cases of minority segregation in Međimurje, when Roma children were
placed in separate classes and segregated.38 According to the data of the MoSES, in the school
year 2000/2001 around 500 Roma children attend special separated classes. Poor Croatian
language skills are often referred to by the authorities as an excuse for the segregation of
Roma children within the Croatian educational system. In addition, the teaching in such
classes was significantly reduced in scope and volume as compared to the officially
prescribed teaching plan and indeed the quality of education delivered in the non-Roma
classes.39
Official statistics show that in the Međimurje County almost 60% of all Roma pupils attend
separate Roma-only classes.40 The drop out rate of Roma pupils is strikingly high. For
example, in the four primary schools in the Medimurje county, Roma children accounted for
37
Roma Rights, Rights and Traditions, Quarterly Journal of the European Roma Rights Centre, Vol.2. 2005.
Roma only classes have been registered in local schools of Macinec, Kuršanec, Orehovica, Mala Subotica,
Podturen and Pribislavec.
39
Application to the European Court for Human Rights, material presented by Lovorka Kušan, attorney-at-law,
legal representative of fifteen Roma minority students in elementary schools in Međimurje County.
40
Ibid. pp. 6. Prejudices towards Roma in Međimurje are best explained by the words of the official head of the
County (župan) Mr. Branko Levačić. When he was interrogated at the first instance hearing in a court case
against segregation and discrimination of Roma pupils in Međimurje schools, he stated that “honestly speaking
he would not send his child to a school with a large proportion of Roma students and would instead exercise his
constitutional right to enrol his child into another school where he/she would receive a better education”.
38
13
73.0 percent of the total number of pupils in the first year, only 17.3 percent of the total
number of pupils in the seventh year, and 8.9 percent of the total number of pupils in the
eighth year.41 The discriminatory practice in Međimurje led to a legal complaint of 15
discriminated pupils, represented by the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) and the
Croatian Helsinki Committee (CHC), to the European Court for Human Rights in 2002. The
applicants claim that in those schools first grade Roma pupils have again been racially
excluded, using their alleged Croatian language problems once more as an excuse for doing
so despite the fact that all of the applicants attended two years of extensive pre-school
training. Even though the legal representatives of the applicants have warned the competent
authorities, they failed to undertake appropriate measures. The defendant of the applicants
informed that the European Court for Human Rights is due to take a decision soon.42
Since the assurance of minority education depends on the initiative of the Roma associations,
in the absence of such an initiative up to now, no classes in Roma language have been set. An
even greater problem for the establishment of such classes lies in the absence of qualified
teachers coming from the Roma minority. The National Programme for the Roma endorses
the idea of separate first grade Roma-only classes for those Roma students who have not
attended pre-school and are not proficient in the Croatian language. Such classes are not set
up in order to foster teaching in or of Roma language or other elements of Roma culture, but
rather to assist the children to obtain basic Croatian language and other skills, so that they can
meet the demands of the educational system. Croatia has been criticized because of this
measure by the Advisory Committee which considers that remedial first-grade classes should
not be conceived a priori as Roma classes, but as classes to which individuals are placed on
the basis of their skills and needs, regardless of their ethnicity. The Advisory Committee
additionally considers that in those cases where such placing is found necessary, it should be
for a limited period only.43
Serbs
In the case of the minorities in the Danube Region of Eastern Slavonia, certain education
rights were enshrined in the 1997 Letter of Intent, following the peaceful reintegration of the
Danube Region upon the end of the UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia,
Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES). In accordance with the Erdut Agreement, all
schools that existed under the occupation were allowed to continue. The Serb cultural
association ‘Prosvjeta’ promoted instruction in Serbian since 1995, when work on the creation
of curricula for the Serb language and culture in accordance with Croatian laws began.
Representatives of the Serb minority underline the importance of the employment of qualified
teachers originating from the Serb minority and adequate teacher training connected to it.
Even though members of the Serb minority are entitled to set up minority education classes in
accordance with Model A in the town of Knin, situated in Šibenik-Knin County, this right has
not been assured because of the reluctance of the school principal to establish classes for the
Serb national minority.44 In Eastern Slavonia, division between regular educational activities
41
Letter of the Office of Education, Culture, Information, Sport and Technical Culture of Medimurje County,
December 7, 2001, Class 602-01/01-01/86 reg. No. 2190-03-02/01-02. Cited in European Roma Rights Center
(2005). Shadow Report on the Republic of Croatia’s combined second and third periodic reports to the
Committee
on
Elimination
of
Discrimination
against
Women,
at
http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N03/582/64/PDF/N0358264.pdf?OpenElement .
42
Interview with Lovorka Kušan.
43
Second Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Croatia, http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/minorities/
44
Interview with Mirko Marković, assistant minister on minority issues in the MoSES.
14
and those intended for the Serb pupils resulted in a lack of contacts between majority pupils
and pupils of the Serb minority. In Vukovar, for example, students with instruction,
respectively, in Serbian and Croat, while formally attending the same school, are in some
instances educated in separate facilities. This for sure does not contribute to the integration of
Serb pupils and, in spite of the determination of parents of both ethnic communities to foster
the status quo, such a current arrangement might develop segregation. The Nansen Dialogue
Centre from Osijek conducted in 2005 a research on the satisfaction of parents with their
children’s primary education in Vukovar. 256 parents of elementary school children were
interviewed. Contrary to the positions of the Serb and Croatian political leaders who advocate
separate schooling, i.e. educational Model A for the Serb children, the research established
that 71.5% of the interviewed parents believe that the educational Model C is the most
desirable one (55.7% Croats, 29.5% Serbs, 1.6% other minorities and 13.1% ethnically
unaffiliated). According to the answers given, it allows for the abolition of the factual
segregation between the two communities and facilitates education at the tertiary level of the
Serb pupils). 5.5% of parents of both ethnic backgrounds were in favour of the Model A
(64.3% Croats, 7.1% Serbs, 21.4% other minorities and 7.1% ethnically unaffiliated) and
7.8% prefer Model B (among respondents 10% were Croats and 90% Serbs).45
Specificities of curricula and textbooks with respect to the existence of minorities, their
languages and cultures
Primary school textbooks are translated and printed for the Serbian, Italian, Hungarian and
Czech minorities. It is expected that elementary school textbooks will soon be published for
teaching in Ruthenian and Ukrainian languages. Secondary school textbooks are generally
imported from kin states to cover the national curricula. Textbooks from kin state and Croatia
are used to cover the natural sciences. The draft Law on School Textbooks has foreseen the
participation of teachers of minority related subjects in commissions for the selection of the
textbooks for minority subjects.46
Teaching of history has not been uniform till the beginning of the 2005/06 school year. All
children, regardless of their nationality, starting from the 2004/05 school year study unified
history. Namely, students belonging to the Serb minority in Eastern Slavonia were exempted
from history lessons covering the period from 1990 on. This was prescribed in the Erdut
agreement, which foresaw then a moratorium of recent history teaching, lasting for 10 years.
After this period expired, history is taught on the basis of new history books that have been
harmonised with the Croatian National Educational Standard.47
Nansen Dialogue Centre (2005). Ispitivanje odnosa roditelja prema kvaliteti osnovnog školovanja njihove
djece u Vukovaru, at http://www.ndcosijek.hr/.
46
Ibid.
47
Today’s teachers can by all means use other sources of information in addition to students’ books when
teaching the topics relating to the Homeland War. They may ask pupils to talk about these events with their
parents or relatives and to write an essay in the form of an interview about their memories. Similar approaches
are often seen in literature classes when teachers organise meetings with novelists or poets. Likewise, physical
education teachers invite sportsmen to classes in order to speak about their achievements when they wish to
introduce positive values of sports to their pupils.
45
15
3. Access to the labour market
Economic development in general
Before the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia, after Slovenia, was the most
prosperous and industrialized republic, with a per capita output about one-third above the
Yugoslav average. Like the majority of transition economies, the country has experienced
prolonged periods of high unemployment rates and a decline in the growth rates at the
beginning of the 1990s. The early transition period was marked by a stabilization program
launched in 1993, that eliminated hyperinflation and stabilized prices, as well as the exchange
rate. The economy emerged from a mild recession in 2000 with tourism, banking, and public
investments leading the way. Unemployment has been remaining high since the country’s
independence in 1991. Economic development and reduction of unemployment are among the
strategic policy goals of the current government, as it was the case with the former ruling
coalition that led the country from 2000 to the end of 2003.
The employment rate of the working-age population increased from 53.2% to 54.3%, while
the unemployment ratio decreased from 14.4% to 13.8% during 2004, due to a moderate
employment growth in 2004. Almost 50% of all unemployed were long-term unemployed
(i.e. for longer than 12 months), down from around 53% a year before. 48 Structural factors
slow down the further decline of the relatively high unemployment rate. The Eurobarometer
survey found that the majority of Croatian citizens consider unemployment a major obstacle
society is facing (76% of Croatia respondents think so, while at EU level 50% of
Eurobarometer respondents detect unemployment as the major obstacle in society).49
Legislation
Labour experts have been claiming that the stringent protection legislation contributes to high
unemployment, as the Croatian employment protection legislation is among the most rigid in
Europe: termination of working contract is difficult and costly, and flexible forms of
employment are limited.50 The Labour Law51 was significantly reformed in 2003
introducing a more flexible labour market. Art.2 of the Labour Law prohibits unequal
treatment of job seekers or workers, among others, also on the basis of gender, marital status
and family duties, and binds employers to pay equal wages for equal work and providing
work of equal value to women and men. The Law regulates direct and indirect discrimination,
and all measures regarding special protection and assistance for special groups of workers.
Especially, the protection given to pregnant women and women who realise some of the
rights on maternity protection will not be considered discriminatory. Also, it is important to
emphasise that the burden of proof in legal disputes is transferred to the employer. The
provisions of the Labour Law are aligned with EU anti-discrimination directives, and if fully
implemented, they could be a useful tool in combating discrimination in the field of
employment. However, discriminatory practice still exists and it is difficult to get protection
in such cases, because legislative provisions often lack effective implementation mechanism.
Workers of all ethnic backgrounds experience labour law violations because they are not paid
48
Government of Croatia (2004). National Action Plan for Employment for the period 2005-2008, at
http://www.vlada.hr/Download/2004/12/02/54-011.pdf
49
Standard Eurobarometer 63, September 2005,
http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb63/eb63_en.htm
50
Jan Rutkowski (2003). Analysis of and Proposals of the Labour Law Change of the Employment Protection
Legislation Index, Financial Theory and Practice, No. 4.
51
Labour Law, Official Gazette 114/03.
16
for their work or the wages are nor regularly paid. There are employers who do not pay
contributions to pension funds and for health insurance or they reduce it. The number of
45.000 unsolved court cases in 2004 related to violation of labour law (in which 75% of
employees sued employers for payment debts) demonstrate the low level of workers’
protection.52
The activities of the Croatian Employment Service (CES, Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje)
are governed by the Law on Employment Mediation and Entitlements during
Unemployment53. They include employment mediation in the country and abroad, vocational
guidance, training for the purpose of increasing the employment of the labour force, insurance
against unemployment, and actions taken on the labour market fostering the geographical and
occupational mobility of the labour force, as well as new employment and self-employment.
Even though field offices of the CES exist in all cities throughout the country, the entire
system is highly centralized: local branches of the CES do not have competence to take
decisions; they make proposals to the central bureau and must obtain approvals before
initiating any employment-related activity. The CES is also in charge of generating the
statistics of employment and unemployment trends. The statistical data report that out of
1,542.000 of employed persons in 2004, 245.000 of them were employed in agriculture,
463.000 were employed in industries and 835.000 were employed in services.54
Minorities are furthermore guaranteed the right to representation in the state administration
and judicial bodies (Art.20), what is furthermore elaborated in the Law on the State
Administration System. This Law stipulates that the members of national minorities are
ensured the representation in ministries and state administrative organizations at the state
level, taking into account their total share in the population.55 The CLNM refers to “bodies of
state administration” that are defined in Art.3 of the Law on State Administration as
ministries, state administrative organizations and offices of the state administration. However,
a significant amount of the public sector employment is provided by “public institutions”
defined under the Law on Institutions. In practice, public employment in “public
institutions” is exempted from the CLNM’s minority representation guarantee, since
minorities are not guaranteed the right to proportional employment in public institutions such
as schools, universities and hospitals. The OSCE Mission warned in its report on the
implementation of the CLNM in 2003 that the implementation of the proportional
representation guarantee should also be voluntarily extended to employment in public
institutions.56 This recommendation has not been implemented in the last two years.
Minority representation in courts, particularly in those of higher instance is very low. The
Serb political representatives are regularly claiming that members of the Serb national
minority are not yet adequately represented in the judiciary, the police and the public
administration. Representatives of other minorities are not publicly proclaiming the low
representation rate of their minority members in the state institutions. According to the
information provided by the Government, 94.4% of all court personnel are Croats, while 5.6%
52
Serbian Democratic Forum (2005). Overview of access to rights in Croatia: the main impediments for
refugees/returnees to access their basic rights, at http://www.sdf.hr/
53
Law on Employment Mediation and Entitlements during Unemployment, Official Gazette 32/02, 86/02 and
114/03.
54
Statistical Information 2005.
55
Art. 8 of the Law on the State Administration System, Official Gazette 75/93, 48/99, 15/2000 and 59/2001.
56
OSCE Mission to Croatia (2003). Background Report on the Implementation of the Constitutional Law on the
Rights of National Minorities (CLNM) and Related Legislation, at http://www.osce.org/croatia/
17
are members of national minorities, out of which 2.6% are Serbs (in comparison with a
proportion of 4.5% of the population) and 3.0% are members other minorities (in comparison
with proportion of 2.9% in the population.). There were cases when Serb candidates were the
only ones for judicial vacancies or candidates for the chief of the local firemen brigade, but
the announcements were annulled.57 The latest OSCE Status Report has noted a limited
progress in resolving the issue of under-representation of persons belonging to national
minorities in the state administration and the judiciary. In order to apply the legislative
guarantee of the proportional representation of minorities in the public sector, certain legal
amendments have been undertaken, such as amendments to the Law on Public Officials and
the Law on Courts in order to assure proportional representation of minorities in the state
administration and in courts to ensure preferential treatment to minority applicants to posts
advertised in bodies of state administration.58 However, in order to ensure effective
implementation of the right of minorities to proportional representation in all bodies of state
administration, two other pieces of legislation have to be passed (i.e. the Law on the State
Judicial Council and the Law on the State Prosecutor’s Office). 59 Apart from the
representation at the state level, minorities have to be represented in local government bodies,
provided that, according to the census, the minority reaches a specified percentage in the local
population.60 Members of national minorities are additionally entitled to elect their
representatives for the councils and representatives of national minorities in self-government
units. The councils have a mere consultative role to the local governments, but they were
established with the aim to improve, preserve and protect the position of national minorities at
units of local and regional self-government (municipalities, cities and counties).61
Regional distribution of labour markets
The Croatian labour market is inactive across the whole country, meaning there are no
distinctive regions, where job flows and restructuring would be more intensive. The research
conducted on job turnover by region turns out that job creation as well as job destruction rates
are low throughout the country and there is no single region with a dynamic labour market
and a high job turnover.62 However, regional income differences remained high. According to
2002 data, the GDP per capita (PPP) of the least developed county (Vukovar-Sirmium) stood
at only 33% of the wealthiest county (City of Zagreb) and at 58% of the weighted average of
all counties. Regional differences in unemployment follow a similar pattern with the poorest
county Vukovar-Srijem registering the highest official unemployment rate of 34.2% and the
county of Istria (the second wealthiest in PPP terms, after the City of Zagreb) the lowest
57
B. Z., the only candidate for the Municipality court in Korenica has not been appointed to the position due to
the opposition by a State Judicial Council member, explaining that “a military occupation judge” and “someone
who has supported the occupation and has participated in genocide” can not be judge. Namely, the candidate was
the president of the Municipality court in Korenica during the occupation, and afterwards public defender in
Vukovar, before the peaceful reintegration (source: Novi list, June 26, 2004) cited in Serbian Democratic Forum
Shadow Report, http://www.sdf.hr/izvjestaji/index.html. Interview with Darinka Janjanin, head of the City
Council of Serb National Minority in Rijeka.
58
Law on State Officials, Official Gazette 92/05 and Law on Courts, Official Gazette 155/05.
59
OSCE Mission to Croatia (2005), Status report No. 17 on Croatia’s progress in meeting international
commitments.
60
Law on Local Elections, Official Gazette 33/01, 45/03.
61
Art. 23 of the CLNM.
62
Although the job creation and job destruction rates do vary by region, the variability is limited, ranging from
modest to very low values See Valerija Botrić, Regional differences in unemployment: the case of Croatia,
http://www.eizg.hr/hr/publikacije-fs/survey/6-chapter4.pdf.
18
(8.8%). However, experts agree that the main obstacle to regional analysis of labour markets
in Croatia is the lack of adequate statistical data.63
Even though economic underdevelopment of areas inhabited by national minorities (Serbs
mostly dwell in such areas, but also Roma, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Ukrainians and
Ruthenians in the Eastern Slavonia) affect the majority as well as the minorities, persons
belonging to national minorities are often in a particularly difficult situation as they are also
affected by discrimination in the field of employment. In those areas the rate of
unemployment is much higher than the average and job possibilities are very restricted.
Limited possibilities for employment in state and local administration and public institutions
also influence the low rate of minorities in the public sector. Nevertheless, Serbs and Roma
are still discriminated and their access to jobs in the public services is almost impossible, as
already mentioned above. For example, there are no members of the Roma minority
employed in the public sector or in the state administration at all levels of government. With
the recently introduced institution of teaching assistants, some Roma are employed in
education.
In the second report on the implementation of the FCNM, the Government has expressed its
awareness of difficulties that still exist, and that are primarily the consequence of certain
economic difficulties which affect all Croatian citizens, including members of the national
minorities. This especially regards to the exercise of national minority rights in the wardevastated areas (employment, reconstruction), faster return of refugees and improving of the
living conditions of Roma.64 Since war-devastated areas have high unemployment rates, the
local governments claim that this unfavourable treatment towards minority applicants occurs
as a consequence of the bad economic situation in areas of return.
Discriminatory Practices in the Labour Market towards Minorities
Quality statistical data on minority access to employment are missing. When asked for
statistics on minority representation in public institutions, including schools, the officials’
answers go into two directions. One of the answers provided was that some state bodies were
not entitled to register information on the ethnicity of its employees, or that it was impossible
to get those statistics, because there is no central registry which would contain information on
all persons employed in state administration and in public institutions. The government
officials and representatives of the Croatian Chamber of Economy also explained, that the
lack of relevant statistical data is due to the provisions of the Law on Data Protection65 that
prevents to gather and/or disseminate statistical data on the ethnic background of
employees.66 This kind of statistics for sure will be difficult to collect for the private sector,
but the central registry of civil servants, which will include their ethnic affiliation, is supposed
to be set up and managed by the State Directorate for Administration. Being continually
warned for the non-implementation of the CLNM provision on the proportional representation
Jelena Šišinački, Ivana Rasić,Valerija Botrić. Comparative analysis of regional unemployment and RGDP in
Croatia and selected transition countries, http://www.ersa.org/ersaconfs/ersa04/PDF/132.pdf.
64
Second Periodical Report by Croatia on the implementation of the Framework convention for the protection of
national minorities (2004).
65
Law on Personal Data Protection, Official Gazette 103/03.
66
Interviews with Vesna Štefica, assistant manager at the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Dorica Nikolić, State
secretary in the Ministry of Economy Labor and Entrepreneurship and with Irena Bačelić from the Croatian
Employment Service, office in Zagreb.
63
19
of minorities in the state administration, the Government has drafted a new Law on State
Officials and introduced amendments to the Law on Courts.
Discrimination of minority public employees
The office of the ombudsman informed that complaints for discriminatory practices of state
institutions towards minorities are scarce. In 2005, there were no more than a dozen of such,
the most significant relating to the inability getting promotion in the Croatian Army for
members of the Serb and Montenegrin minority.67 Since the office of the ombudsman takes
into consideration only complains against the public sector, there is no possibility for
members of a national minority to file a complaint against a private entrepreneur, in case a
worker has benn discriminated because of his ethnic affiliation.
Minority returnees
Returnees by all means face discrimination upon returning to former places of residence, first
of all through the negative perception by the majority. Croatians who are not supporting the
return of Serb refugess expressed their fear that the return of the Serbs will increase
additionally the large unemployment rate in those areas devastated by the war (28% of
respondents said so).68 The unemployment rate in Eastern Slavonia (one of the two areas of
return) is 40%, while among the Roma population it accounts up to 90% in the same region.69
In most areas of return, virtually no Serbs are employed in health centres, schools, child-care
centres, post offices, courts, police, power-supply companies, customs services, or the local
administration. Discriminatory employment practices towards the Serb minority were found
in Knin and Vukovar as well as in Dvor, Benkovac, Korenica, Gvozd, Vojnić and Hrvatska
Kostajnica, all towns in the area of return.70
Women
Long-term unemployment leads to poverty and contributes to the development of social
exclusion, which in turn reinforces marginalization at the labour market. 71 Unemployment is
seriously affecting women. For example, out of 300.645 persons who were registered as
unemployed in October 2005, 178.372 are women (58%). Unemployment rates for men are
significantly lower than for women. Persons between 15 and 24 years recorded the highest
Interview with Jurica Malčić, ombudsman.
The other reasons given by those who do not support the refugee return are that they belief that the return of
the Serbs would increase the negative tendencies in those parts (44%). They also fear that the Serb returnees will
start the war again (33%). Cited in the Open Society Institute Croatia, Openness of Society 2005.
69
Interview with Jagoda Novak, Open Society Institute.
70
The Serbian Democratic Forum reported that there are no Serbs employed in the police and the court in
Vojnić, although Serb returnees outnumbered local Croats and Croat settlers by 3,500 to 2,500. Judicial
vacancies have remained unfilled in some instances in which Serbs were the only candidates considered by the
State Judicial Council (e.g. in Dvor, Gvozd, Vojnić and Hrvatska Kostajnica). In 2003 66 judges were hired and
65 of them were ethnic Croats whereas no Serb candidate has been elected. All 23 State Attorneys elected in that
year were ethnic Croats. Information obtained in the International Helsinki Committee, Annual Report on
Croatia (2002); in the Minority Rights Group International (2003). Minorites in Croatia, in the Human Rights
Watch (2003). Broken Promises – Impediments to Refugee Return to the Republic of Croatia. Also interview
with Darinka Janjanin.
71
UNDP Vulnerability Study, Section on Croatia, at http://vulnerability.undp.sk/DOCUMENTS/croatia.pdf.
Contrary to this some Croatian scholars claim that the detrimental process of social exclusion is not (yet) present
in Croatia. See Branimir Šverko, Mirta Galešić, Darja Maslić-Seršić (2004). Aktivnosti i financijsko stanje
nezaposlenih u Hrvatskoj. Ima li osnova za tezu o socijalnoj isključenosti dugotrajno nezaposlenih osoba?
(Activities and Financial Status of Unemployed Persons in Croatia. Is there an Indication of Social Exclusion of
the Long-Term Unemployed Persons?), Revija za socijalnu politiku, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 283-298.
67
68
20
unemployment rates (almost 30% for men and almost 40% for women). 72 The reason for this
gender imbalance can be traced on the traditional political culture of Croatian society.
Furthermore, a generally accepted attitude still distinguishes between ‘female’ and ‘male’
jobs.73
Roma
Since Roma often lack formal education, it is difficult for them to get access to the labour
market. For example, out of 1.300 Roma registered with the Croatian Employment Service in
2002, only 41 of them had completed high school. Because of unresolved status questions
(i.e. citizenship and legal residence permits), around 25% of Roma can not obtain papers
necessary to acquire social benefits and to register at the Croatian Employment Service. The
Council of Europe reports that only 1.8% of Roma are permanently employed, followed by
6.5% of Roma who work occasionally. Employed Roma are mostly unqualified workers or
collectors of scrap iron and other materials. The majority of Roma women work illegally,
reselling different articles on the markets or in the streets. 74 There are more than 32.000
Roma recepients of social welfare, meaning that more than 705 of Roma households in
Croatia receive some kind of social welfare.75
4. Policies and measures
Activities of state institutions
The National Programme for Roma was adopted in October 2003. It includes a range of
measures for improving the position of this national minority and for the protection of the
Roma in the educational system. The authorities seem to have become more sensitive to the
problems of Roma children in education, in particular, and have launched new initiatives (e.g.
establishment of programmes at the pre-school level, which are aimed at improving the
situation and attendance of Roma children in schools; training teachers in Roma culture and
training young Roma as assistants in schools). Additional measures foreseen by the National
Programme for Roma put responsibility on state institutions to provide scholarships for Roma
high school and university students. The National Programme for Roma plans the inclusion of
Roma youth and adults in the continuous educational programmes in accordance with the
principle of long-lasting education. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Programme
requires considerable funds which for the first two years have not been properly assured. 76 In
72
Statistical Information 2005.
The legal framework for the prohibition of the discrimination in the areas of employment and labour of
women is prescribed by the Criminal Law, the Family Law, the Law on Gender Equality and the Antidiscrimination Law. In 2001 the National Policy for the Promotion of Gender Equality and its Implementation
Programme were adopted.
74
The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) prepared in 2005 a comprehensive report on the situation of Roma
women in Croatia that was severely criticized by the government. The ERRC report underlined that Roma
women in Croatia are subjected to disproportionately lower access to all human rights and are more vulnerable
than the majority female population of the country. The report concluded that the marginalisation of Roma
women in Croatia constitutes an example of intersectional discrimination, on the basis inter alia of gender and
ethnicity. See European Roma Rights Center (2005). Shadow Report on the Republic of Croatia’s combined
second and third periodic reports to the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
75
Interview with Dorica Nikolić, state secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Care.
76
An increase in the state support for Roma in 2006 had been foreseen however. While the funds assured in
2005 for the implementation of National Programme for Roma goals amounted 2.76 million kuna in 2005, they
will rise to 11.9 million kuna in 2006.
73
21
the first year of the Programme’s implementation, no additional funds had been assured for
education. In 2005 the state budget has assured only 50.000 kuna for educational activities
foreseen in the Programme, which is not enough to cover all activities covered by the
Programme.77 The Government prescribed in Head X of the National Programme goals, that
should be undertaken in order to fight the extremely high unemployment rate among Roma.
The measures foreseen relate to the achievement of greater employment of Roma;
employment of Roma in public works; inclusion of Roma in vocational employment
programmes; employment of Roma as employment counsellors and co-financing employment
of Roma.
Apart from launching the National Programme for the Roma in 2003, the Croatian
Government has joined the Decade of Roma Inclusion which will last from 2005 to 2015.78
The objective of this multilateral initiative is to take steps to speed up and scale up social
inclusion and the economic status of Roma by setting a limited number of quantitative
national goals for improvements in education, employment, health, and housing and the
establishment of the necessary information base to measure the progress towards these goals.
It is estimated that 60 million kuna will be spent for the implementation of the goals foreseen
by the Decade. The greatest portion of this amount will be raised from donations and preaccession funds.79 The amount assured in the state budget in 2005 for the Decade was 2.8
million kuna.80 The Roma Education Fund (REF) is a financial perspective of the Decade that
should provide funding to raise the educational status and performance of the Roma. The
MoSES is currently preparing an application for the funding from the REF, planning to
involve Roma and other NGOs in the implementation of the future project to be financed by
the REF.
The Government attempts to address the lack of economic opportunities in the areas of return
and economically underdeveloped regions through favourable arrangements for entrepreneurs
in the so-called Areas of Special State Concern.81 The measures are not however containing
any measures of positive discrimination of minority representatives.
The labour market policy is determined by the government and implemented by the
competent ministries. The MoSES has initiated a set of programs that promote finding the
first employment. Of these six programmes, only one could be considered to favour minority
members. This is the one relating to the (additional) acquisition of qualifications in vocational
skills.82 In addition to this, the MoSES provides the administrative, technical and financial
support for the participation of Croatia in several EU programmes. One of the principal aims
of the Croatian participation in these programmes is to underpin the integration of the
77
Jadranka Huljev, adviser in the MoSES.
The Decade of Roma Inclusion grew out of the June 2003 conference "Roma in an Expanding Europe:
Challenges for the Future" hosted by th government of Hungary. The Open Society Institute, the World Bank,
and the European Commission organized the conference with the support of UNDP, the Council of Europe
Development Bank, and the governments of Finland and Sweden. At this high-level conference, prime ministers
and senior government officials from eight countries--Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia,
Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovakia--made a political commitment to close the gap in welfare and
living conditions between Roma and non-Roma and to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion.
79
The EU will assist the action plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion with EUR 2.6 million in 2006 and
another five million in 2007.
80
Interview with Milena Klajner, head of the Government’s Office for National Minorities.
81
Law on Areas of Special State Concern, Official Gazette 26/03-consolidated version.
82
Programmes “S faksa na posao”, “Iz učionice u radionicu”, “Učenjem do posla za sve”, “iskustvom do
profita”, “Šansa i za nas” and “Posao za branitelje”. See http://www.mzos.hr
78
22
Croatian system of science and education in the European Research Area and the European
Higher Education Area.83 Even though all of those programmes enhance the Croatian
educational level, there has been no proof that some of these were specially adjusted to the
needs of minorities.
The Government has attempted to fight a decrease of interest for the vocational programmes.
Therefore, the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship (MoELE) give subsidies
to all vocational schools that educate future craftsmen.84 In addition to this initiative, the
Ministry gives scholarships to students attending vocational schools and getting qualifications
for several deficit professions (e.g. waiter, tailor, auto electrician, pedicurist, blacksmith,
butcher, chimney sweeper, smith, optician, etc.). The World Bank assists Croatia in
modernizing the education system and has granted a loan for the implementation of the
Education Sector Development Project (ESDP).85 The World Bank will financially support
the implementation of the Education System Development Plan 2005-2010, which was
adopted in June 2005.86
A part of the state budget resources assured for measures of active labour market policy is
directed towards improvements of knowledge and skills of unemployed as well as employed
persons whose working places are endangered.87 Therefore, programmes of open universities
are financed through government sponsored projects (e.g. teachers training, acquiring formal
education of Roma minority members), through social partnership between social institutions
and international organisations. However, the greatest part of the financing derives from selffinanced students (80%).
The Croatian Employment Service (CES) has been involved in the implementation of several
projects, whose aim is to fight the high unemployment rate, e.g. through promotion of active
measures for the inclusion of those categories of the population who are threatened by social
exclusion. This project is financially supported by the EU.88 The CES has been commissioned
by the government to implement the National Programme for Roma and to pursue the goals of
the Decade for Roma Inclusion in the field of employment. An initiative introduced in 2003
by the MoSES and the MoELE allows all Croatian citizens who have not completed
elementary education, to have their education completed in organized classes that are free of
charge. This initiative constitutes an opportunity for Roma to complete elementary education
and subsequently to gain qualifications in the vocational training that is free of charge. In this
way, Roma are given a chance to enter the labour market with skills and qualifications that
could allow them to compete for jobs.89 A programme financed by the government has been
83
The cooperation with the EU in the field of science and education is conducted under several EU assistance
and Community programmes (TEMPUS, CARDS, PHARE, Sixth Framework Programme, EUREKA, COST,
INTERRE, YOUTH).
84
Project ‘Potpore strukovnim školama koje obrazuju učenike za obrtnička zanimanja’, http://www.mingorp.hr
85
Finance Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Ivan Šuker, and Anand K. Seth, World Bank’s Country Director
for Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania signed the World Bank loan on October 17, 2005.
86
The conference was held in Dubrovnik from 2 to 4 October 2005 on Tertiary Education: Quality, Finance and
Linkages with Innovation and Productivity. The conference was organized by the World Bank, and the hosts are
the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the University of Zagreb. For the purposes of employment of
Roma minority it has been assured approximately EUR 3 million from EU funds.
87
Regulation on Adults’ Education, Official Gazette 21/98 and Law on Open Universities, Official Gazette
54/97.
88
Projects 'Aktivne mjere za zapošljavanje skupina kojima prijeti socijalna isključenost'.
89
Project “For Croatian literacy: the way to desired future – Decade of Literacy in Croatia 2003-2012” (Projekt
“Za Hrvatsku pismenost: put do poželjne budućnosti – Desetljeće pismenosti u Hrvatskoj 2003.-2012.”)
23
recently initiated informing Roma minority members on the possibility of acquiring
qualifications (either to finish elementary or/and secondary school) in the open universities
(so called pučka otvorena učilišta).90 The MoELE initiated several educational programmes
for the (future) entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Those programmes
are implemented by the Croatian Agency for Small Entrepreneurship (HAMAG – Hrvatska
agencija za malo gospodarstvo) and are open as well to minority entrepreneurs.
At the regional level, an option to incorporate governmental policies on minority
empowerment in education and empoyment could be achived through the Regional
Operational Programmes (ROPs). ROPs analyze socio-economic contexts and outline
strategies and measures for the further development of counties and are part of the accession
preparations for the EU. It is possible to include measures that would improve the socio
ecconomic position of minorities in both the field of education and employment with those
programmes that forsee measures for regional development.
Activities of the civil society
The Open Society Institute has implemented a comprehensive educational program in Baranja
(a region in Eastern Slavonia where Croatians, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Roma and Serbs
dwell) that aims at raising educational competences of Roma, what eventually should lead to
an increase of employed Roma. 91 This programme was assessed as a successful achievement
since concrete examples of international achievements came into being due to the project. The
Open Society Institute is hoping to assure additional funding through the Roma Education
Fund (REF) that assures financing for educational programmes in the framework of the
Decade of Roma Inclusion.92 The Vukovar Institute for Peace Research and Education has
been active in promoting interethnic education among the Serbs and Croats in Vukovar.
The number of activists in Roma communities working through the civil society on
educational issues has increased in the last five years.93 There were also initiatives that
promoted the realization of a right to education for minorities in Croatia. A set of round tables
has been conducted in various regions of Croatia, with representatives from the local
authorities taking part, discussing the current state of affairs regarding the education of
Interview with Irena Bačelić, Croatian Employment Service, Office in Zagreb.
Obrazovanjem do zvanja - zvanjem do zaposlenja, http://www.soros.hr/home/news01122005.html
92
Interview with Jagoda Novak, Open Society Institute.
93
In 2000 a project on the rights and status of Roma women in countries in transition was conducted and three
NGOs have actively taken part in its implementation: the Centre for Education and Counselling Women (CESI),
the Association of Roma Women of Croatia “Better Future” and the Open Society Institute Croatia. It primarily
aimed at creating networks among various Roma women associations but also disclosed facts on the troublesome
existence of Roma and their social exclusion, emphasizing the poor condition of Roma women. See Centre for
Education and Counseling Women (CESI) (2000). Rights and Status of Roma Women in Countries in
Transition, Zagreb. The Open Society Institute Croatia, recognizing the gravity of the situation of the Roma
population, focuses on empowerment of Roma through education projects, judging the quality of education as a
key for the social inclusion of the Roma community. See Roma education pilot project Beli Manastir, report of
the evaluation and monitoring team for the academic year 2004/2005. The Open Society of Croatia institute
donated EUR 411,000 for this programme and for a feasibility study and in coming up with further funding,
representatives of the society announced, http://www.soros.hr/home/strategija.html#4.
90
91
24
minorities in their counties and municipalities. The meetings regularly included
representatives of the MoSES and minority representatives in the Parliament.94
Donors sponsored activities
The EU has financed a number of projects with respect to the improvement of certain
educational sectors and employment opportunities, such as the CARDS 2001 VET project,
CARDS 2001 project – Restructuring of Croatian Employment Service (CES), CARDS 2002
Local Partnership for Employment. The quantitative survey on the supply side in the Local
Partnership for Employment project focused, inter alia, on unemployment covering
educational background (primary and lower, secondary/secondary VET, higher education).
The other donors in the field of education were CoE, OSCE95, British, Norwegian, Dutch,
USA Embassies, USAID etc. NGO employees interviewed for the purpose of this report
generally underlined that there is not enough coordination among various institutions
implementing projects in the field of education and that there are not enough projects
targeting specifically the unemployment of national minorities. Some of the beneficiaries
considered that the monitoring of the programmes was not sufficient. As a rule, the
interviewed persons noted that the involvement of the government in the implementation of
projects they are implementing could be more active, both at the central and at the local level.
5. Conclusions and recommendations
With regard to education
National minorities are instructed in their mother tongue at all levels of education, from preschool to higher education. However, legally they are guaranteed only the right to education
in their language from pre-school onwards (up to secondary education). Not all minority
groups exercise the right to education, since putting this right into effect depends on the
initiative of the minority organizations and the existence of qualified teachers who deliver
training in the minority languages. In case of the Serb minority, the unwillingness of the local
authorities (primarily the principal) in the town of Knin in Šibenik-Knin County to establish a
class which would be educated in Serbian language, should be sanctioned. State authorities
should pay more attention to the creation of an environment that allows for common
educational activities of the Serb and Croat pupils in schools in Vukovar that are nowadays
separated.
The Roma face the worst position in the educational process, starting from limited attendance
of kindergartens what results in lower starting positions in elementary schools. Social
problems and lack of family support result in a very high dropout rate in elementary education
and extremely low percentage of Roma in secondary and tertiary education. Therefore, the
authorities should continuously be resolute in the implementation of the National Programme
for Roma, especially foreseeing measures relating to Roma education. The practice of placing
94
The Center for Direct Protection of Human Rights from Zagreb together with the Coalition for Promotion and
Protection of Human Rights from Osijek and the Center for Peace, Legal Assistance and Psycho-Social
Assistance from Vukovar. Interview with Ljubomir Mikić.
95
OSCE’s Mission to Croatia has produced several profound analyzes of relevant minority rights related laws
and has thoroughly followed education issues related to the rights of national minorities in Eastern Slavonia.
OSCE Mission to Croatia (2003), Minority Education in the Republic of Croatia: the Case Study in VukovarSirmium County , at http://194.8.63.155/documents/mc/2003/08/1923_en.pdf
25
Roma children into separate classes (which takes place in Međimurje) and segregation at the
level of extracurricular activities and within the classroom that exists in all the other schools
Roma children attend, should be abolished in order to allow integration of Roma pupils.
Due to regional differences - the number of minority students and sometimes even differences
within a single minority (e.g. a different level of integration of Roma in Međimurje and in
Baranja) - it is not possible to insist on a single model of minority education in Croatia.
Specificities of local environments have to be taken into consideration, since regional
development and economic resources of local governments which finance schools, and the
tradition of minority education in some areas also affect the current state of affairs regarding
education.
Recommendations:

Establish an accurate number of Roma minority members in Croatia, since only this can
allow for the shaping of appropriate minority policies towards Roma.

Foster Roma students by establishing and promoting existing good quality preschool
programs for Roma children and avoid permanent segregation arrangements in
educational institutions

Continue to implement the educational initiatives contained in the National Programme
for Roma, including those promoting increased attendance of Roma children in pre-school

Make use of the Roma Education Fund

Insist in the intercultural education and foster contacts amongst pupils from different
communities in Eastern Slavonia (i.e. Croats and Serbs)
With regard to Labour market
The members of national minorities in Croatia have the right to participate in public affairs at
all levels of governance, and they shall have access to all professions and positions under
equal conditions. However, relevant statistical data that would demonstrate the
implementation of this legislative guarantee, do not exist. Some improvement has been
achieved by the new Law on State Officials which has foreseen the establishment of the
central registry of civil servants, which would contain data on the national origin of civil
servants. The registry should be established and become operational in 2006.
Multiple data sources have to be combined in order to deliver a clear and accurate picture of
discrimination in the labour market. Discriminatory practices towards the Serbs on the basis
of nationality in employment in state bodies and public institutions were registered, but the
greatest portion of unfavourable employment opportunities arises from a weak economic
development in the areas of return. However, the public attitude towards the return of Serbs
has been improving. Nevertheless, there are still cases of attacks and even killings based on
ethnic belonging, which do not contribute to the creation of a climate of peaceful coexistence.
It is generally considered that the return process could be enhanced by better employment
opportunities in such areas. Even though the government introduced measures for the
26
economic revitalization of the areas of return, its future activities should however take into
consideration a fair participation of minority population in the labour market.
Since the rate of higher education of Roma is very low, they have generally small chances for
employment, so that there bad socio-economic position is cemented. Apart from the
implementation of the National Programme for Roma relating to their employment, the
government should promote programmes for acquiring education and qualifications of Roma.
Recommendations:

Define exact statistical data of ethnic background of public employees in order to create a
central registry of minority civil servants for the implementation of the legislative
guarantee of proportional representation of minorities in state administration.

Provide effective job training and programs that increase Roma participation in formal
labour markets

Develop measures that contribute to socio-economic revitalization and removal of
unemployment in the post-war areas, what will eventually enhance a sustainable return of
Serb refugees and other minorities in war devastated areas

Develop and implement the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion
27
 Appendices
Table 1: Population by nationality, the 2001 Census
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics
Total
4 437 460
3 977 171
331 383
15 082
247
20 755
331
4 926
10 510
16 595
4 270
2 902
567
9 463
475
906
2 337
4 712
13 173
201 631
19 636
300
1 977
12
576
21 801
89 130
9 302
17 975
Republic of Croatia – in total
Croats
National Minorities in total
Albanians
Austrians
Bosniaks*
Bulgarians
Montenegrins
Czechs
Hungarians
Macedonians
Germans
Polish
Roma
Romanians
Russians
Ruthenians
Slovaks
Slovenians
Serbs
Italians
Turks
Ukrainians
Vlachs
Yews
Others
Have not declared their national affiliation
regional affiliation
Unknown
*In the 2001 Census 19,677 citizens declared that their nationality was Muslim.
28
%
100.0
89.6
7.5
0.3
0.0
0.5
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.4
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.3
4.5
0.4
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.5
2.0
0.2
0.4
Table 2: Population by mother tongue, the 2001 Census
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics
Total
%
Republic of Croatia – in total
4 437 460
100,0
Croatian
4 265 081
96,1
Croato-Serbian or Serbo-Croatian
7 015
0,2
Serbian
44 629
1,0
Macedonian
3 534
0,1
Slovenian
11 872
0,3
Albanian
14 621
0,3
Czech
7 178
0,2
Hungarian
12 650
0,3
Romani
7 860
0,2
Ruthenian
1 828
0,0
Slovakian
3 993
0,1
Italian
20 521
0,5
Ukrainian
1 027
0,0
Other languages
18 942
0,4
Unknown
16 709
0,4
Table 3: Literacy rate as a share of the population aged 15 and above
Source: UNDP Research on Vulnerable Groups in Central and South Eastern Europe
Roma
National average
86
98
total
91
100
15-24
88
100
25-34
86
100
35-44
69
98
>=45
Table 4: Analytical and Statistical Data and Labour Market Information:
Croatia in September and October 2005
Source: Croatian Employment Service
September
2005
Unemployed persons
294.310
Unemployed women
173.693
First-time job seekers
71.464
New entrants to the register
23.346
Persons employed from the register
10.900
Deleted from the register for reasons other than 9.150
employment
Unemployed Croatian War-of-Defence veterans
25.036
Unemployment benefit recipients
63.011
Registered vacancies
7.941
Table 5:
Source: Croatian Statistical Bureau
29
Unemployment and employment in
October
2005.
300.645
178.372
71.770
23.912
9.629
7.948
Index
X. 2005
IX. 2005
102,2
102,7
100,4
102,4
88,3
86,9
25.230
67.990
7.519
100,8
107,9
94,7
County
Number
employed
persons
Zagrebačka
76.685
Krapinsko-zagorska
of
Number
of
unemployed
persons
Active population
Rate of registrated
unemployment (%)
13.739
90.424
15,2
37.760
5.851
43.611
13,4
Sisačko-moslavačka
44.973
18.993
63.966
29,7
Karlovačka
37.152
13.370
50.522
26,5
Varaždinska
61.184
10.841
72.025
15,1
Koprivničko-križevačka
38.484
8.187
46.671
17,5
Bjelovarsko-bilogorska
35.890
11.653
47.543
24,5
Primorsko-goranska
110.407
18.923
129.330
14,6
Ličko-senjska
15.163
3.406
18.569
18,3
Virovitičko-podravska
23.901
10.137
34.038
29,8
Požeško-slavonska
21.648
5.908
27.556
21,4
Brodsko-posavska
38.158
16.426
54.584
30,1
Zadarska
41.883
13.026
54.909
23,7
Osječko-baranjska
88.028
33.860
121.888
27,8
Šibensko-kninska
26.469
12.159
38.628
31,5
Vukovarsko-srijemska
Splitsko-dalmatinska
41.163
134.095
21.414
42.901
62.577
176.996
34,2
24,2
Istarska
79.361
7.653
87.014
8,8
Dubrovačko-neretvanska
Međimurska
City of Zagreb
Republic of Croatia – in total
36.241
37.189
370.565
1.396.399
9.639
7.525
39.627
325.238
45.880
44.714
410.192
1.721.637
21,0
16,8
9,7
18,9
30
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