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
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.
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
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. According to the
2011 publication - “The education right of Roma children”, 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
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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
 The National Action plan for children in Republic of Macedonia (2011-2015)
 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
 Law for primary education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No.103/2008, 33/10, 116/10,
156/10, 18/11, 51/11)