They often live in isolated settlements, away from the majority population, marginalized and at risk for poverty. 50 percent of their households lack toilets and are not connected to the public water supply system. This is the everyday reality of many Croatian Roma – national minority whose members still suffer violations of their rights and are often subjected to discrimination. At the EU level, where they are the largest national minority group, approximately 6 million Roma people live in similarly unacceptable conditions, experiencing social exclusion.
Starting with the first World Roma Congress held in 1990 World Roma Day is marked annually with the aim of raising public awareness of the numerous issues affecting the Roma community and contributing to the elimination of prejudice and stereotypes its members are faced with.
With the same goals in mind, the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia regularly suggests concrete measures, such as the legalization of the houses built without a permit as well as the regulation of the status of the so-called “legally invisible persons”, many of which are members of the Roma community.