Roma in Croatia:

According to the 2021 Census, there is 17,980 Roma in Croatia, representing 0.46% of the overall population. However, according to a recent data collection project, it is said that around 25,000 Roma live in Croatia. Croatia recognises Roma among 22 national minorities, whose political, social, and cultural development is supported by the Constitution and specific policies. Roma are considered to be the most vulnerable ethnic group; therefore, since 2003 the government has developed specialised measures aimed at supporting Roma’s social inclusion, including affirmative action.

Key problems:

Roma community is the most vulnerable to discrimination among all communities in the country even though there were some anti-discrimination campaigns. But, Roma are still facing unequal treatment, prejudice, negative stereotypes, and hate speech. Every fifth Roma in Croatia has experienced discrimination (mostly in education and in access to employment). But access to justice and remedy is still limited, mostly because of underreporting of cases of discrimination due to victims’ low trust in institutions. However, there have been few judgments that recognised the phenomenon, including a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in a case of segregation in education.

Despite some actions by the government, following judgments of courts in cases concerning educational segregation, Roma pupils remain underrepresented in mainstream preschool education and institutional segregation at the pre-primary and primary levels persists. Some 40% of Roma pupils are educated in such an environment, but the new Roma strategy has set up some new activities in order to fight this phenomenon. In reality, this is not working as more than half of Roma live in segregated settlements which have the biggest influence on Roma segregation in education. One of the biggest obstacles to Roma inclusion is the segregation in housing which is leading to social distance in many other sectors and unequal access to almost everything. However, the Croatian government is investing in Roma settlements to improve the living conditions of Roma within settlements, but at the same time does not provide even a plan of desegregation. Without the residential integration of Roma in society we cannot expect that Roma will be fully integrated society, and a lot of other measures in other sectors will not be effective.

Roma continue to be target of racially motivated crime, but such cases continue to be unreported. This is due to a lack of trust, due also to the ethnic profiling of police officers toward Roma.

Croatian National Plan for Roma inclusion for the period from 2021 to 2027 (NRSF, Government of Croatia, in Croatian)

Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Plan for the period 2021-2022 (Government of Croatia, in Croatian)

RCM Coordinator:

RCM coalition members:

RCM 2 (2021-2025) reports:

Roma Civil Monitor (2022) Civil society monitoring report on the quality of the national strategic framework for Roma equality, inclusion, and participation in Croatia. ENGLISHCROATIAN

Poster presenting the main findings of the report (2022)

RCM 1 (2017-2020) reports:

Roma Civil Monitor (2017) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in Croatia: Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategy. ENGLISH – CROATIAN

Roma Civil Monitor (2018) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Croatia: Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy. ENGLISH – CROATIAN

Roma Civil Monitor (2019) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Croatia: Identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy.  ENGLISH – CROATIAN

Roma Civil Monitor 2017-2020 country fiche: Croatia

Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015) report:

Decade of Roma Inclusion (2013) Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2013 in Croatia. ENGLISH