Strasbourg, 7 September 2010 – “Durable solutions should be pursued and implemented to ensure integration of Roma refugees from Kosovo” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing today a letter sent to the Prime Minister of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The letter followed the Commissioner’s meeting with the President of the Republic on 25 June in Strasbourg.

“Around 1 500 displaced people from Kosovo, including persons with subsidiary protection or leave to stay, have lived in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” for more than ten years. Many of their children were born and raised there. However, they remain without clear and long-term perspectives for local integration and adequate access to basic human rights, including social and economic rights.”

Recalling the recommendations contained in his report published in September 2008, Commissioner Hammarberg reiterates that durable solutions must be effectively implemented for refugees who may not return and who wish to integrate locally. “The best possible solution for Roma unable to return home in safety and dignity is local integration through a process which will ultimately lead to the acquisition of nationality.”

Finally, he recommends that “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” accede to the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State succession.

Source: Council of Europe

Reply to the letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to the Prime Minister of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (3 September 2010)