OSCE Overview of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (“OSCE”) Mission in Kosovo launched today in Prishtinë/Priština a comprehensive overview of the situation of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

The overview covers all of the 24 Kosovo municipalities where these community members reside. The overview provides a brief demographic picture and list of settlements inhabited by members of the three communities for each municipality. Statistical information on infrastructure, employment, education, health care, representation in decision-making and return and repatriation is also provided.

The majority of members of the three communities often live at the margins of the society, struggling with high unemployment rates and low educational attainment. They often live in settlements, which are in some cases informal, with poor infrastructure, and their houses are in dire conditions. Furthermore, members of the Kosovo Roma, Kosovo Ashkali and Kosovo Egyptian communities, and women in particular, face barriers that lead to their exclusion from participation in all areas of life.

At the same time, many members of the three communities receive social assistance administered by Prishtinë/Priština or Belgrade. In March 2019, 2,000 Kosovo Roma (813 men, 1,187 women), 3,581 Kosovo Ashkali (1,372 men, 2,209 women) and 947 Kosovo Egyptians (399 men, 548 women) received social assistance from Prishtinë/Priština; no reliable similar data on social assistance provided by Belgrade is available. When members of the three communities are employed, it is often seasonal manual labour. Some work in the public sector, mainly as teachers or civil servants. On the other hand, the situation with regards to education has been steadily improving. OSCE monitoring shows that school abandonment is no longer a systemic problem. 

The OSCE report is available on the web site at https://www.osce.org/mission-in-kosovo/443587