Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 09:24 GMT

Chronology for Roma in Croatia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Roma in Croatia, 2004, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1990 Croatian Roma formed the Romani Party of Croatia whose goal is to "seek recognition of the Roma nationality and rights, and to appeal to the Croatian national assembly for primary and secondary level classes and textbooks in Romanes [the Roma language]..."
Jun 25, 1991 Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia.
Sep 4, 1991 During a battle between Croatian and Serb forces, houses belonging to Roma living near Gilna were set on fire.
Oct 1992 Croatian forces were accused of ethnic cleansing against, among others, the Roma.
Nov 21, 1992 The Rijeka Association of Croatian Gypsies held its annual assembly. They complained about certificates of nationality being given only to Croats, effectively making the Roma second-class citizens and preventing them from going to school, getting jobs and buying flats. They also called for the Roma to be a recognized national minority in Croatia's constitution and for the preservation of the Roma language and culture.
Dec 27, 1993 A delegation of Gypsies complains that local shops discriminate against them, some snack bars refuse to serve them, and the police does not adequately investigate their complaints. The Stranke Roma Hrvatske (Croatian Gypsy Party) in Zagreb says that there are currently about 120,000 persons officially registered as Gypsies who live in Croatia. The party however specifies that the actual figure for Gypsy residents should be somewhere closer to 250,000 or 300,000 because "many simply do not bother to register." The party says, there is a "large" number of Bosnian Gypsy refugees in Croatia, but the number is very difficult to estimate because the Gypsy population is fluid.(US Department of State)
Mar 1995 The US Department of State observes that the Roma minority of Croatia has continued to experience discrimination and societal inaction regarding filed complaints for 1994. The State Department reports that other minority groups, such as the Slovaks, the Czechs, the Italians, or the Hungarians have not reported any significant discrimination. (US Department of State)
Mar 1996 The US Department of State does not report a significant change in societal discrimination and inaction regarding filed complaints for 1995. According to the estimate of the State Department which is based on information provided by Roma community leaders the number of Criatian Roma should be a couple tens of thousands. (US Department of State)
Feb 1997 The US Department of State observes that Croatia has made some progress in promoting Roma education and enhancing Roma cultural awareness for the past year. The State Department mentions the publication of several studies on the subject of Romani education, as well as the establishment by the Ministry of Education of a summer school for Romani children.(US Department of State)
Jan 1998 The Zagreb-based human rights organization Center for the Direct Protection of Human Rights reports that inhabitants of the village of Lomnica in the Velike Gorica municipality of Croatia have held a demonstration on October 26 in a local community center to protest the presence of Roma in their village. The rally was organized by the Velika Gorica branch of the Croatian Veterans of the Homeland War. Approximately eighty people have attended the rally, including the mayor of Velika Gorica.(ERRC - Winter Newsletter)
1998 Roma living in the Eastern Slavonia area of Croatia told the ERRC that since the region was reintegrated into the Republic of Croatia in January of 1998, there have been cases of anti-Romani community violence by local Croats. The situation of Roma in Eastern Slavonia is additionally complicated by the fact that some of them have fought on the side of the Serbs during the war in the former Yugoslavia. (ERRC - Summer Newsletter)
2002 - 2004 A two year program is launched focusing on Roma education. The program would include special pre-school classes designed to build Roma proficiency in Croatian so that they can be integrated into the school system.("Croatia making progress in Roma education - Council of Europe." BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 16 Feb. 2006.)
May 16, 2005 Croatia's Justice Minister Vesna Skare-Ozbolt signs contracts with lawyers to provide free legal assistance to Roma to assist in the settlement of that community's status issues. (BBC Monitoring International Reports. 5/16/2005. "Romanies to get free legal aid in Croatia")

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