On February 28, 2022, the Network for Protection against Discrimination held a final conference dedicated to social justice and inequality, as key problems of our society, which for decades have generated poverty and social inequality for some, and illegal privileges for others.
The event was moderated by Maja Atanasova, a lawyer from the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association, and Kire Milovski, Program Coordinator of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia who gave an introductory speech, announcing the presentations of the findings and recommendations of the two surveys conducted by the Network in 2021. In his speech, Milovski referred to the goals and needs of these researches: “The need for the first research “Everyday and Emotional Life of Injustice: Discrimination, Health and Relationships” by authors Ana Blazeva and Slavcho Dimitrov, arose from many years of experience and insights into the disadvantaged position and the multitude of unfavorable factors affecting marginalized social, ethnic and sexual minorities. That is why the idea was to cover the various aspects and influences on the position of minorities and their marginalization through subjective experiences and experiences of discrimination and injustice, and their overall health and social status”.
The “Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on Social Protection in the field of social services” by authors Tona Kareva, Hristina Zdraveska and Antigona Aljili, assesses the functionality of the existing social protection services, with reference to the implementation of the existing Law on Social Protection and the functionality of social work centers and other social service providers. It focuses on three target groups, namely Roma, women victims of violence and people with disabilities, precisely because of their specific position in society. “Because of the specific social position of these groups, they face discrimination and inability to integrate into society on a daily basis and are largely dependent on social transfers.”
Milovski stressed that the highest priority of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia is the protection and improvement of the lives of marginalized citizens and that in this regard is the continuous support of the Network for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination since its establishment in 2010 until today.
In 2022, the focus of support will be on promoting policies and practices for protection against discrimination and promotion of equality, in order to contribute to building a more equitable society through the promotion of policies and practices for prevention and protection against discrimination.
In the introductory panel of the conference, Elena Petrovska, Program Coordinator of the Coalition Margins and Coordinator of the Network for Protection against Discrimination, presented the overall work of the Network in the field of advocacy for laws and public policies, providing legal aid and research work, and presented the new website of the Network, where anyone could report discrimination and/or be informed about the member organizations of the Network and their services for providing free legal aid and other types of services in cases of discrimination.
Irena Cvetkovikj, Executive Director of the Coalition Margins, who moderated the discussion related to the publication of the research “Everyday life and Emotional Life of Injustice: Discrimination, Health and Relationships”, authored by Ana Blazeva and Slavcho Dimitrov, said: “This publication is one comprehensively argued and at the same time extremely warm and emotional reading. I am overjoyed that we have research that manages to escape some capitalist logic, which does not intend to protect or save systems, but is focused on people.”
The research aims to show how discrimination and injustice affect everyday life, shape experiences and worldviews and frame the social position, relations and worlds of marginalized social, ethnic and sexual minorities, i.e. the three selected target communities: textile workers; Roma; lesbians, bisexuals and gay men (LGB).
Natasha Petkovska, Legal Advisor at the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, moderated the second panel which included the presentation of the “Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on Social Protection in the field of social services in the period June 2019 – July 2021”, by Tona Kareva , Hristina Zdraveska and Antigona Aljuli. The report talks about the importance of providing quality social services in alleviating poverty and promoting independent and decent living of citizens. The authors referred to the adoption of the new Law on Social Protection from 2019, which provided a legal basis for the establishment of new services that will help individual groups to be more easily informed, integrated, resocialized and in general, to function more simply in the community in which they live. Their report assessed the functionality of the existing social protection services, with reference to the implementation of the existing Law on Social Protection and the functionality of the centers for social work and other social service providers. The text focuses on three target groups, namely Roma, women victims of violence and people with disabilities, who due to their specific position in society, face discrimination and inability to integrate into society and are largely dependent on social transfers.
The video of the conference can be found at:
The event was organized within the project “Network for Protection against Discrimination: Joint Action to Promote Equality and Social Justice in Marginalized Communities” and financially supported by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia.
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