Antidiscrimination and the fight against antigypsyism (specific form of racism and discrimination against Roma men and women) are essential principles in upholding human rights and promoting equality in Europe. In this context the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) plays a crucial role in advancing these principles. To support public authorities in North Macedonia in their efforts to fight discrimination and antigypsyism in accordance with European standards and best practices, a capacity building activity took place in Skopje with 30 serving judges and public prosecutors. They had the opportunity to enhance their skills on antidiscrimination, antigypsyism and European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) related case-law. Through several tailor-made sessions, the participants learned more about specific judgements of the ECtHR regarding the prohibition of discrimination and Article 14 of the European Convention for Human Rights, as well as the specifics of antigypsyism as a specific form of discrimination and racism towards Roma persons.
In one of the sessions, Dr. Biljana Kotevska presented and dwelled into the approach of the European Court for Human Rights to solving cases of discrimination towards Roma men and women. In other sessions, the judges and public prosecutors discussed and learned more about antigypsyism and discrimination against Roma persons, including the local context with specific local examples of discrimination cases and complaints in front of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination.
Senada Sali from the European Center for Roma Rights elaborated on judgements of the European Court for Human Rights, with specific cases of judgements in respect to North Macedonia concerning Roma persons and shared the organisation’s experience in representing cases in front of the ECtHR.
This activity contributes to the continuous training and building capacities of judges and public prosecutors and overall to increase the efficiency of the judiciary system in North Macedonia, especially when it comes to elimination of discrimination against Roma men and women and implementation of the ECtHR judgements in North Macedonia, as well as the European Convention of Human Rights. It also contributes to raising awareness about the existence of the antigypsyism and the different forms and shapes in which it can appear, and the negative impact it can have on Roma men, women and children.
The two capacity building sessions were organised as a joint initiative of the EU and the Council of Europe programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye", and its respective Action "Combating Hatred and Intolerance in North Macedonia" together with ROMACTED Programme phase II and its support organisation ROMALITICO, as well as the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors and the European Center for Roma Rights.