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Report for the UPR recommendations which is prepared by The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi

Put in place a national comprehensive plan for civil status registration and the right to identity, this includes awareness-raising campaigns for parents, guardians and other responsible persons, which will help speed up the registration of child births.

            In this report as well, the claim can be confirmed that in Republic of Macedonia there are children who are not being registered and are therefore lack of appropriate ID documentation, which represents an obstacle in releasing rest of the children rights, given by a legal state system.


  The informal number of unregistered children at the registry of births is approximately 500-2000 children. The largest number of those are children who belong to the marginalized groups (street children, children excluded from education etc.)

Namely, the unregistered children do not only lack personal documentation, but they are also incapable of enrolling at school or kindergarten, obtaining health insurance right etc. They are phantom-children left alone and are out of any state records. Consequently, such children easily become potential victims of kidnapping, children and organ trafficking or any other form of abusing children labor. 


The Ministry of labor and social policy conducts a so-called registry  action in order to decrease the number of unrecorded people in the registry of births. In order to achieve better coordination and better conduction of the action itself, an inter-ministerial working group was formed, which included representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Directorate for running registry of births, Social Work Centers, Roma Informative centers, and representatives of Roma NGOs who did a field work and co stated the actual situation. In the very beginning of the action, the main focus was on the Roma population, due to the fact that the largest number of unrecorded citizens are the Roma people. According to the announcements of the Ministry, in the following period representatives of other ethnical communities will be included in the action.[1]


Greater inter-institutional cooperation is being recommended in order to overcome such problems, as well as the inclusion of civic organizations that have a direct approach to these people, especially to children.


  2.    Continue to pay special attention to access to education for all children regardless of their ethnic origin and at all education levels, preschool, primary and secondary and continue its efforts to guarantee free education at the primary level for all children, giving special attention to minority groups.


In Republic of Macedonia, apart from the obligatory elementary education, since 2008 there is also a free and obligatory secondary education. Apart from this legal procedure, there are still children who are excluded from the education system for a variety of reasons; the number of the children that don’t attend school is unknown because the state only keeps records of the ones who attend elementary school but not the ones that don’t attend school at all. Although school exclusion is a risky factor for children in terms of labor abuse, children are also potentially submitted to deviant behavior. Increasing the awareness of the need for education enrolment of all children is necessary.


           The number of Roma children who do not attend school is still low, while the rate of those leaving school still remains high. The segregation of Roma students is still in practice. According to the 2011 report of the European Commission regarding the progress in the Republic of Macedonian, the Roma children continue to enroll in classes for children with special educational needs. Approximately, half of the children included in those classes are the Roma children, even though they only represent 2.6% of the total population.[2] According to the 2011 publication - “The education right of Roma children”[3], from 63% of the Roma children who enrolled in elementary education, only 45% of them complete this education. Regarding the education enrolment of the Roma children, it can be stated that there is a sufficient progress but there are still problems and issues that require a lot of work.

           It is recommended that each school employs a social worker that would keep a separate record for each enrolled student. That would help in monitoring the situation of all enrolled students and the social worker would be able to react on time if some of the student(s) do not regularly attend classes. In addition, the social worker will be able to constantly and efficiently follow each student and would be able to provide necessary documentation about a particular child to a Social Work centre whenever it’s necessary, as a result of a mutual cooperation.

           Another recommendation is that pre-school education should be mandatory, in order to create a habit of going to school and attending, while they are still young. That would additionally decrease the number of children living on the streets, especially those who beg, use alcohol or drugs etc. The pre-school education needs to be free of charge for those families who are in a difficult financial state. It is necessary that some law changes are implemented in order to enable children who even though missed the enrollment deadlines still have the opportunity to enroll in school instead of waiting until the age of 14 to start attending night school. Parental cooperation is a must, because they can contribute and they are the ones that should take care of them and assure in terms of maintaining a school-attendance habit, instead of using them for seasonal work as a labor force. The informal statistic which is still not confirmed officially states that 5 to 6% of the total children in the primary school age are not enrolled in the primary education.


3.    Consider the possibility to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the Action Plan on the rights of the child.

The National Action plan for children in Republic of Macedonia (2011-2015) is still in procedure and is a replacement for the National Children Rights action (2006-2015) adopted by the Government of Republic of Macedonia (March, 2006). This refined plan of action follows the previous plan concerning recommendations and final reviews of the Committee on Children Rights of UN directed to the Government of Republic of Macedonia in June, 2010.[4]

The National Commission on the rights of the children in Macedonia monitored and determined the National Action Plan for children (2011-2015) and that puts the situation on opinion waiting list from competent institutions. With adding of the changes, this opinion making list will be in a written form presence. The plan would be given on review to the Government following by an adoption afterwards. The Commission is consisted from ministry representatives, state institutions, Ombudsman and representatives from two civic organizations which also participated in the NAP. The membership of the Commission was extended and now the total number of civic organizations in the commission  is four. 


4.    Conduct a comprehensive review of internal law conformity with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Ministry of Justice of Macedonia with technical support by UNICEF conducted an analysis of national legislation in terms of degree of reconciling Convention on the Rights of the Child in the legal practice.[5]

In Republic of Macedonia, ratified international conventions become a part of Macedonian legislation in accordance with Macedonian constitution. This means that in a case of legal gap in the national legislation, a standard norm of international law can be applied. Even in a particular situation of legal norm collision (domestic-national norm), a priority is given to the international provision.

Even though the international documentation has a priority above national laws, the national organs in very few cases directly apply the international regulation in practice. It is being expected that trainings done by the Academy of judges and public prosecutors in the Republic of Macedonia should contribute to frequent application of The Convention for Children’s Rights and other international instruments concerning children’s rights.

It can be stated that there is a mild progress in terms of reconciling the legislation regulation, but it is necessary to work more at this issue.  


5.    Increase the level of protection of minors, particularly those who find themselves in a situation of lack of protection and outside of the compulsory schooling system and adopt provisions to address the phenomenon of school dropouts particularly among Roma children and children living in rural areas, especially female children.


The country made certain efforts in order to assure that the children will attend school on regular basis. Additional changes have been made in the Law for primary education which states that the parents or the guardians will be referred to counselling with psychologist or a counsellor if the student has more than 10 unjustified or 100 excused absences. It is expected that this will provide certain results because it will be implemented at the beginning of the process in order to resolve the situation and prevent going out of control.[6]


At the end of 2011, The First Children’s Embassy in the World - Megjashi visited 20 municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia and directly met representatives from the municipalities, employees from schools, members from the centres for social work, police representatives from the municipalities’ area. They addresses that the municipalities’ educational inspectors follow the situation including the work of the children involved in the regular educational system and if they state that some child is not enrolled in school or its parents/guardians use him/her for work in order to acquire resources for the family and that is the reason for not attending school, they file criminal charges in the competent court. They also emphasized that the judges often reject those charges because the parents/guardians against whom the charges are submitted are not financially able to pay the penalty. Also was pointed as well, welfare is given to people even though it is not regularly monitored if the children in the family are enrolled in the educational system on a regular basis. However, for those parents that take welfare, it was suggested that the welfare should be provided if the children regularly attend school, otherwise the welfare will be taken from them. This will preventively protect the children from the worst forms of abuse and increase their involvement in schools as one of their fundamental rights.


6.    Focus on more resources on ethnic reconciliation in the education of school-aged children to foster tolerance and appreciation for diversity in the next generation.

 The First Children’s Embassy in the World-Megjashi conducted a research which included providing surveys with over 2234 students, children aged 10-18 from 41 elementary schools in 7 cities and 24 secondary schools in 6 cities in Macedonia (June, 2009).[7]


The general conclusion of the research states that violence is present in enormously high percentage everywhere. (Within the families, in schools, on the street, between peers etc.) The violence is present at elementary and secondary schools.

To the question: Are you witnessing violence in your school?

56% of the children confirmed, while 14% confirmed such occurrence as on everyday basis.

According to the research, the violence is 6% more frequent in secondary schools than in elementary schools. The violence occurs not only in the student-student relation, but also in the student-teacher relation as well. 57 of the participating students know children that have been hit by a teacher and 35% said that they know students who had violent approach to a teacher.

The data from the S.O.S children’s help line of Megjashi claims a rapid growth of children violence. In addition, the number of calls regarding abuse and violence of children is in growth.[8]

The education system in Macedonia can adopt topics concerning: non-violent communication, constructive conflict management, stereotype and prejudice. The peace education should become a part of the school curricula, as well as teaching about violence as an occurrence and the possibility of its transformation in a constructive and non-violent way.

The pedagogical staff needs to be trained for non-violent elaboration of conflicts and the education should be applicable to all children, teachers at all education level, starting in kindergartens.


Prepared by: The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi - Republic of Macedonia


[1] http://www.mtsp.gov.mk/?ItemID=AB8DA067645AB44A9293AD9913F16A7E

 [2]  http://www.sep.gov.mk/content/Dokumenti/MK/PR_2011_mk.pdf

 [3]  http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/UNICEF_ROE_Roma_Position_Paper_Web.pdf

 [4] The National Action plan for children in Republic of Macedonia (2011-2015)

 [5]  Ministry of Justice of Republic of Macedonia (May 2010): Comparative view of Macedonian legislation and Children’s rights convention; http://www.unicef.org/tfyrmacedonia/English_Full_Report_13_WEB.pdf http://www.unicef.org/tfyrmacedonia/macedonian

 [6] Law for primary education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No.103/2008, 33/10, 116/10,

156/10, 18/11, 51/11)

 [7] http://childrensembassy.org.mk/default-en.asp?ItemID=862D8413F56DC242A8469C4ECF8E95C1

 [8] http://childrensembassy.org.mk/default-en.asp?ItemID=6C5A9562AC0C15478DEBCA047EDE8974