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Belgrade, 27 December 2018 – The message of the round table “Good Practices in the Employment of Roma” held on 27 December as part of the Festival of Roma Culture and Activism (FRKA) organized by the Roma Cultural Centre is that the Roma minority is a young population and presents strong human potential for the economic development of Serbia. The festival was held in cooperation with the Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma in the Republic of Serbia 2016-2025, and with the support of the German Development Cooperation, implemented by GIZ.

Serbia is registering constant improvements in Roma education. A large challenge faced by the competent bodies is how to increase employment among members of this national community”, said Dr Nenad Ivanišević, special advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Zorana Mihajlović. He noted that the competent ministry, through agreement with the National Employment Service (NES), will propose measures to increase the employment rate of Roma.

Active labour market policy measures covered 4,907 unemployed Roma from the NES records during the first nine months of 2018. As of September, NES has provided support for 134 Roma to start their own business through awarding self-employment subsidies.

The head of the economic department of the German embassy in Belgrade, Catrin Czyganowsky said that the German Development Cooperation has recently started the project “Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Groups”, implemented by GIZ with the aim of supporting the implementation of the national Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma, the development of positive attitudes towards Roma, improving their living conditions and employment opportunities. She added that employment is also the most efficient instrument for empowering the Roma minority.

The panel was followed by a performance of the Kal group and the Gipsy Rhapsody band, joined for several songs by the singers Željko Vasić, Tanja Banjanin and Ivan Kurtić, in front of a full hall at the Youth Centre as part of the musical part of the Festival.

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