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The Croatian office for national minorities and the Council of Europe on Thursday organised a round table discussion on the Roma in Croatia, their integration into Croatian society and the promotion of the Council of Europe campaign to stop discrimination against the Roma in Europe, called "Dosta". The head of the Croatian government's office for minorities, Branko Socanec, said that the Croatian government had been giving great attention to efforts to ensure that members of the Roma community exercise their rights in accordance with the Constitution and laws.nA national programme for Roma, which the government launched in 2003, has been intensively conducted since then, he added. A book "Roma in Europe" by Jean-Pierre Liegeois was presented during the event.
Socanec spoke about evident headway in providing public health care for this ethnic minority, in educating their children, and legalising their settlements where this was possible.bCouncil of Europe representative Michael Guet pointed out the efforts which Croatia was making to improve the position of Roma. He praised Croatia for joining in the Council of Europe campaign "Dosta".vThe head of the Croatian minorities' council, Aleksandar Tolnauer, said the Roma were first mentioned in Croatia in the 12th century.
According to official statistics, there are now shortly below 10,000 members of this ethnic group in Croatia. However, nongovernmental organisations put this number at between 30,000-40,000. Tolnauer called on members of this ethnic group to identify themselves as Roma at the next census in Croatia, scheduled for April.
17/02/2011 - HINA / Croatia