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A Quarter of Croatia’s Roma Population ‘Stateless’

romani7A quarter of the Roma population living in Croatia have no identity documents, it was revealed at a round table on the status of Roma organised yesterday by the local Legal Information Centre (IPC) and the UNHCR Office in Croatia…

“It is estimated that around 25% of the Roma population in Croatia have no identity documents. That is why the IPC in 2011 launched, with UNHCR’s support, a project for free legal assistance to establish the actual situation on the ground,” Natasa Kovacevic, executive director of the IPC Slavonski Brod, said on Wednesday, adding that the Roma community in Croatia were not using rights which they were entitled to under certain laws.

Although the 2011 census indicated that there were 16,975 Roma living in Croatia, it is widely estimated that the number is actually twice as high as that. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees this year launched a global campaign to eliminate statelessness within 10 years. It is estimated that 60 million people worldwide are stateless. Croatia aims to complete that target within the next 6 years.

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