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FYR Macedonia

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

Macedonia signed the CRPD on 30 March 2007. The Convention together with the Optional Protocol to the Convention was ratified on 5 December 2011.

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Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

Macedonia signed the Optional Protocol on 29 August 2009. The Optional Protocol was ratified on 05 December 2011.

Links

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

Macedonia made no reservations or declarations on signing and ratification of the CRPD and its Optional Protocol.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-06-01

A4. Comprehensive review

Macedonia does not have an official baseline report or comprehensive review of disability policy, although disability as an issue has been included in other documents and initiatives. In 2007 a National report about the disability was prepared. In 2010 the Ministry for Social and Labour Policy (MLSP) revised the National strategy for equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. Disability issue became one of the topics of the National strategy for social exclusion.

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Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

A5. Focal point

Macedonia has not yet chosen its focal point.

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A6. Coordination mechanism

There are two coordination bodies for the implementation of the CRPD, but there is no Independent Monitoring Body.
Macedonia has two coordination bodies related to the implementation of policies for persons with disabilities: the National Coordination Body for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the National Coordination Body for the Implementation of the UN CRPD in the Republic of Macedonia.
In 1996 the Government of the Republic of Macedonia established the National Coordination Body for equal rights of persons with disabilities where representatives of organisations of persons with disabilities under the umbrella organisation, named the National Council of Disability Organisations and relevant ministries and institutions, such as: the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health, Agency for Youth and Sports, the Faculty of Philosophy at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, have a seat. The role of this coordinating body is to serve as a contact point for matters relating to persons with disabilities.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia in November 2012 adopted a decision for establishing a National Coordination Body for the Implementation of the UN CRPD in the Republic of Macedonia. It is intended to serve as a coordination mechanism in accordance with Article 33 paragraph 1 of the CRPD. The Coordination Body includes representatives from the Inter Parliamentary Party Lobby Group on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as from the Commission for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, various ministries (the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, Local self-government, education and science, finance, transport and communications, justice, economy and foreign affairs), and independent institutions such as the Ombudsman and the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, the regulatory body - the Broadcasting Council, the Judicial Council and organisations of persons with disabilities (National Council for Disability Organizations and Polio Plus).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A7. Independent mechanism

Macedonia has not yet established an independent monitoring mechanism for the CRPD.

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A8. Official reporting

In 2014 the Macedonian Government submitted the report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities about the steps taken to implement the provisions of the Convention.

Links

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

A9. Shadow reporting

No shadow report has been submitted to the UN Committee in parallel to the initial state report.
DPOs are in the process of preparing this report. Until now, several DPOs and international organisation have prepared reports and assessments on the situation considering disability issues. Among these are: the DPOs base line report of disability in 2011; the
holistic report prepared by DPOs in 2015 considering the disability legislation and the policy - the Holistic Report on Persons With Disabilities in the Republic of Macedonia; and the UPR Mid-term Implementation Assessment: FYR Macedonia.

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Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia in Article 9 foresees a general clause on equality that does not explicitly mention disability as a ground of discrimination. However, in accordance with Article 8 of the Constitution and the ratification of the CRPD, as well as the case law of the European Human Rights Court, and the principle pacta sunt servanda, this clause is applicable to persons with disabilities, as well. Citizens, according to Article 110 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, are entitled to submit a request for protection of human rights and liberties, which inter alia refers to the ban of discrimination. The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia In Article 9 foresees a general clause on equality that does not explicitly mention disability as a ground of discrimination.
National legislation began explicitly banning discrimination in general, including discrimination on the grounds of disability, with the enactment of several laws, in particular in the field of labour relations, and culminated in 2010 with the enactment of the Law on the Prevention of and Protection from Discrimination.
The Law on Labour Relations explicitly forbids discrimination in general, including on the ground of disability, perpetuated by persons and legal entities in both the private and the public sector. In that sense, direct discrimination (Article 7 para 2), indirect discrimination (Article 7 para 3) and harassment (Articles 9 and 9-a) of candidates and workers with disabilities are forbidden.
The Law on the Prevention of and Protection from Discrimination (in Article 3) explicitly mentions mental and physical disability as a ground of discrimination and refers to multiple discrimination in Article 12 that bans all forms of discrimination. Also, there is a specific article that refers to discrimination against persons with disabilities, which stipulates that “discrimination of persons with mental and physical disabilities means deliberate obstruction or deterring of the access to health protection, or denying the right to health protection rights, regular medical treatment and medicaments, rehabilitation assets and measures in accordance with their needs, denying the right to marriage and creation of a family and other rights related to marriage and family relations, denying the right to education, work and rights related to employment”. While this provision is positive for highlighting persons with disabilities as a specific vulnerable group in the society, it remains limited in the material scope of protection of economic and social rights. According to national legislation, there are two quasi-judicial mechanisms available to citizens in case their rights are violated due to discrimination: the Commission for protection from discrimination and the Ombudsman. Despite the existing legislation and policies, the Barometer for equal opportunities reports that discrimination is a widely spread phenomenon in the country.

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Update date: Tue, 2018-03-06

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

According to Macedonian legislation, a person can be deprived of legal capacity only with Court litigation. However, there are anomalies. For example, Article 4 of the Law on employment of people with disability states that any disabled worker who seeks a management position should obtain a pass from the special Commission confirming his/her capabilities for managing (without any Court procedure).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

According the Election Code "every citizen who has turned 18 years of age and permanently resides in the electoral district, the municipality or the city of Skopje where the election is conducted (Article 6 paragraph 1), has the legal capacity to be registered in the Electoral Register based on the records from the competent authority and the voting application (Article 6, paragraph 2)". The Electoral Code requires that at least 30% of the election management bodies must be women. Disability is not included as a criteria for the quota system in political participation. According to the Electoral Code, a polling station is the place where voting takes place. However, the Electoral Code neither regulates accessibility standards of the voting places nor accessibility standards of the information during the election campaign. Voters who are unable to vote in person at a polling station must notify the Municipal Election Commission at least three days before the election. The State election commission (SEC) allows voters to vote through a proxy or at their home the day before the election. Those voters who are unable to vote by themselves, due to a disability or illiteracy, are allowed to bring someone with them to vote. If they cannot do this, the Election Board can appoint someone to assist them. The Guideline No. 02-337/1, enacted by the SEC, defines 'a sick and helpless person': "a person who is unable to perform basic living tasks (is unable to move in the apartment, or using appropriate aids, to maintain basic personal hygiene, to dress, to cook and to eat, or to perform other activities to satisfy basic living needs), that is, the person is immobile, completely blind, suffering from dystrophy or related muscular or nervous muscular diseases, cerebral or child paralysis or paraplegia" (No. 02-337/1, paragraph 1). In 2017, the SEC issued instructions for using a Braille Pattern for visually impaired persons which is not in line with the Guidelines 111, where under 'a sick and helpless person', it is referring to "a completely blind person" (Guideline No. 02-337/1, item 1). The assessment report prepared by the SEC regarding the accessibility of polling stations for persons with disability concluded that 56% of polling stations had no steps to get to the voting room, while in the others where there were steps, 22% had no more than five steps.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-03-29

B4. Official recognition of sign language

Sign language has been officially recognised in Macedonia since the Law on the use of sign language of 2009. This Law, besides granting an official recognition of the right of people with hearing impairment, obliges every Court, administrative and educational institution to provide sign language interpretations for deaf people who need them. Additionally, the national broadcasting companies are obliged to provide a certain percentage of broadcast programmes in sign language.

Links

Update date: Tue, 2018-02-27

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

We do not yet have information for this item

Update date: Tue, 2013-08-13

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

The design of parking places for people with disability is regulated by the Law for traffic security, where it is stipulated that 3-5% of the total number of parking places should be provided for the vehicles of people with disability. The Standards for parking places for people with disability are defined in the Rulebook for ensuring free access, movement, dwelling and work of people with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

C2. Built environment accessibility

Accessibility for the people with disability is provided by several legal regulations. The Construction Law (Article 11) obliges all public and residential buildings to be accessible for people with disabilities. Every condominium with more then 10 apartments must have one apartment completely accessible for people with disabilities. Article 34 of the Law provides that access to and into the building is not considered as construction (effectively, decreased administrative procedures and technical requirements). The same requirements apply to historical and cultural heritage buildings. The Law on urban planning has two by-laws that closely define the standards and measures of accessibility for people with disability. Some segments of accessibility and availability for people with disability are regulated by the Law on housing and Law on local self-government.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

In 2011, the Government of Macedonia adopted the National Strategy for e-inclusion with a main priority for 'improvement of the internet availability for people with disabilities'. This includes a project initiative in 2012 to begin drafting a system of speech synthesis for blind users in the Macedonian language, in co-operation between the Ministry for Information Society and Administration, the Association of the Blind and the Faculty of Information Technologies and Computer Engineering. The Ministry hosts a web portal specifically targeted for disabled people, although it is not fully accessible to blind people.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

e is no legislation directly regulating this issue for people with disabilities. According to the Law on Social Protection (Article 30), the right to home care and assistance is provided to elderly persons, persons with physical disabilities and with moderate and severe mental disabilities who are unable to care for themselves. Persons in the above categories are entitled to live within small group homes where possible (Article 39), to independent living with support (Article 40), and to accommodation in institutions for social protection (Article 43). Parents of children with disabilities must have access to appropriate training to enable them and their children to lead the fullest possible lives in society. An important change in the law related to the provision of home care and assistance provides children with physical and mental disabilities with the right to be placed in foster families. The process of reintegrating children within their biological families is based on the right to live within a family. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy provides support to families through day-care centres for persons with disabilities, clubs for adults with disabilities, and through the provision of help and care to people with disabilities in their homes, as is stated in the Law. There is no other regulation regarding living arrangements of people with disabilities and no support for house adaptations for people with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D2. De-institutionalisation

There are two large institutions in the Republic of Macedonia for the accommodation and care of persons under 26 years with mental disabilities: The Special Institute of Demir Kapija for children and adults with disabilities and the Special Institute of Banja Bansko – Strumica which accommodates persons with physical disabilities as well as a number of persons with multiple disabilities. The deinstitutionalization process started in 2000 with the first form of fostering families for children from the institutions. The process was based on International Aid, which has ended. In 2008 when the Government enacted the National Strategy for Deinstitutionalization of the System of Social Protection (2008-2018) for people with intellectual disabilities, in cooperation with CSOs, the first Community-Based Supported Housing services were established. The largest institution (Demir Kapija) has decreased its number of clients from more than 500 to around 200. In a process of public private cooperation, according to the Law for social protection, the services are run by the CSO 'Message' Negotino with support from the Government through MLSP and International Aid. Care for children with disabilities in foster families is another form of deinstitutionalization developed in a limited number of locations.

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Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D3. Quality of social services

The social services are regulated within the Law for Social Protection. However, there is no regulatory mechanism of standards for social services license, monitoring and evaluation on local or national level. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy performs supervisory inspections of institutions though the implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations in the field of social protection. Supervision is conducted by professionals trained in areas similar to the activities of the institutions for social protection. No processes are currently in place for the independent accreditation of social and healthcare facilities.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

The Law for health protection and the Law for health insurance regulate the provision of assistive devices. The Fund for health insurance has defined the list of the assistive equipment (prostheses, orthoses, crutches, wheelchairs, orthopaedic shoes, hearing aids, white cane, antidecubital items, etc). They are all determined by time of use, but are free for children with disability, while adults with disability have to contribute. The amount amount of contribution ranges from 10-20%. Highly technical appliances are not included in this list.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

Personal assistance (as defined by the Independent Living movement in Europe) is not regulated in Macedonia. Instead, support services for people with disability are provided in day-care centres supported by the Ministry for Labour and Social Policy, which lack the legislative regulation. IThere are 19 day-care centres for children with disabilities (although data from the Institute for Social Affairs show that they often accept those older than 18 years). A number of day-care centres are managed by non-governmental organizations. The Law for social protection does provide a social benefit 'The right to a financial allowance for help and care by another person'. This allowance ranges from 3,702 MKD (49 euros) to 4,185 MKD (68 euros). The financial benefit available to a foster family per child is 12,500 MKD (around 200 Euros) per month, followed by the right for one of the foster parents if he/ she is unemployed to receive a pension benefit for the time spent fostering the child with disability.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D6. Income maintenance

Disability status is an eligibility criterion for a number of welfare benefits: monthly integration allowances for transport of people with mobility problems, for medication and diet food, for communication, for access to information and for accessible information, for training. All benefits are conditional upon a disability assessment of the individual, which reflects their medical condition rather than levels of functioning. In 2011, the Government adopted changes in the Law for Social protection which will allow, from June 2012, people with 100% visual impairment and people with 100% physical disability to receive so-called 'Mobile allowance' of 7,000 MKD (around 120 euros).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D7. Additional costs

No additional costs for disability are provided for through the laws. Some people with disability do not pay road tolls or parking. The MLSP covers the expenses for diapers for children and older people with disability with incontinence, while some of the Municipalities cover transport costs for buses for people with disability in capital city.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

D8. Retirement income

For the retirement, in terms of age and years of work service for people with disability, benefits are provided by the State. According to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance people with disabilities are entitled to a beneficial working year (i.e. 12 months of working life span is counted as 15 months of working service). In addition to this, people with disabilities, as employees with complete working life span, are entitled to retire 5 years early in pension, irrespective of gender. There is the possibility for person with disability to receive a disability pension, if he/she fulfils the condition of having 15 years of working life span.

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Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

E. Education

E1. Special schools

There are 45 special classes, part of the primary schools, with 993 pupils and 4 special secondary schools with 307 students. The curriculum they offer is outdated and graduate students cannot enrol in the open market with the knowledge they got. As is case with other areas, there is a lack of data for this target group.

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Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

E2. Mainstream schools

The Macedonian Constitution (Art. 44) states that 'Everyone has the right to education'. Education is available to everyone under equal conditions, primary and secondary education is obligatory and free of charge, provided by the State. An important aspect of above mentioned Article for people with disability is the Law for primary education which provides for primary education to be organized in the hospitals and health institutions. In the Law for secondary education, in the list for discrimination prohibition, disability is not included as a ground but the inclusion of people with disability is mentioned in several provision. Separate classrooms are provided by the Law for pupil and student standard with a ratio of disabled and non-disabled students. Despite a lack of data, the Law obligates primary and secondary schools, as well as kindergartens, to engage a special educator (defectologist) to work with pupils and students with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

There are no provisions for learning Braille or sign language in mainstream schools. Braille and sign language are taught only in the special secondary schools for blind and deaf students respectively. With the Law for sign language kindergartens, primary and secondary schools are obliged to provide sign language interpreters for pupils with hearing impairments.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

E4. Vocational training

The vocational training for people with disability is very limited and dated. Disability is not included within the Law for Vocational Education and Training, implemented by the Center for vocational education and training, which is public service institution. The Law for social protection regulates vocational training. The reception centres and institutions for children and juveniles with educational and social difficulties include reception centres for care of educationally neglected children and juveniles. These institutions provide housing, education and vocational training. The law for employment of people with disabilities also regulates vocational training for people with disability where the Institutions for professional rehabilitation are institutions for vocational training and employment of persons with limited working abilities. These are funded through the Special fund for employment of people with disability. The number of vocations in the Centres for training and rehabilitation is limited, mainly in manufacturing (such as sewing, packings, envelope sticking etc.).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

E5. Higher education

In the Law for higher education provides certain benefits for students with disabilities, such as no fee scholarships (Article 87), free transport to school, free accommodation and meals in the student dormitory (Article 14). The Article 150 mentions the need for accessibility, but it is not obligatory and it is left to Universities to determine such need.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

According to the Macedonian Constitution (Article 32) everyone has the right to work without any discrimination. People with disabilities are not mentioned specifically, which means that they have the right to work equally to the others. The Labour law does include disability, along with other grounds, as a basis for non-discrimination (Article 6). Macedonian labour law in the basis for discrimination, besides others includes the disability as ground for discrimination (Article 6). Тhe Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination prohibits all forms of discrimination committed by natural and legal persons in both the public and the private sector, inter alia, in the area of work and labour relations (Article 4). Of special relevance for the people with disabilities is Article 5 paragraph 1 point 12 and Article 8 paragraph 2, which stipulates the provision of reasonable accommodation. The Law stipulates that 'adjustment of the infrastructure and the services is adopting appropriate measures required in some particular case, on order to provide to the person with intellectual and body disability, the access, the participation and advancing in the labour process, unless these measures impose disproportionate encumbrance to the employer'. Moreover, the Law does not define the term 'appropriate measures' regarding persons with disability, except for clarifying that they are individualised, or needed in the given case.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2016-04-01

F2. Public employment services

The Government is responsible for promoting the employment of people with disabilities and receives support from the European Social Funds for the modernisation of public employment services at the national, regional, and local level. The main agency of central government in this area is the Employment Service Agency of Republic of Macedonia (which also publishes statistics concerning unemployed people with disabilities). In 2009 steps were taken to enact a quota system for the employment of people with disabilities. The Law was prepared but it was not enacted due to resistance from international business and shelted companies.

Law on civil servants and other laws and by-laws that regulate the employment in the public sector do not mention the issue of disability. Even more, they have 'neutral' provisions which place people with disability in a disadvantaged position, such as the requirement of a certificate of good general health condition. Other laws in this field do not mention people with disabilities.

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Update date: Thu, 2016-06-09

F3. Workplace adaptations

According to the Law for employment of people with disability, employers can claim funds from the Governmental Special Funds in an amount up to 1,500 Euros for workplace adaptation according the needs of a single employee with disability. The employer is responsible for adaptations in the workplace.

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Update date: Fri, 2012-06-08

F4. Financial incentives

According to the Law for employment of people with disabilities, the state exempts sheltered companies from pension and health contributions for all its employees (with or without disabilities). In addition, sheltered companies can receive more than 5,000 Euros per employed person with disability for a period of three years. In a period of five years, they can request around 40,000 Euros for equipment advancement. Other companies can request return of the pension and health contribution only for the employed person with disability. The public sector is excluded from these financial incentives.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

There is no official research on data for people with disabilities in Macedonia. According to WHO, Macedonia as a country in development is presumed to have 10% of its population with some kind of disability. MLSP provided data in 2009, and there are over 12,000 beneficiaries of social disability benefits, which is well below the figures expected. The Employment Service Agency also publishes statistics on people with disabilities who are registered unemployed. The State Statistical Office produces a number of reports including some references to disability (invalidity).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

G2. Census data

A question of disability was first entered in the census questionnaire planned for 2011, which was suspended for political reasons. The State Census Commission is the responsible body of the State Statistical Office.

Links

Update date: Sat, 2012-06-09

G3. Labour Force Survey

Disability is calculated as a separate issue in the Labour survey. The rates for employment/unemployment are provided by National Agency for employment, Ministry for Labour and Social Policy etc. International institutions and domestic NGOs have also performed partial surveys (with inconsistent data).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

G4. Disability equality indicators

There are no official disability equality indicators established in Macedonia.

Update date: Sat, 2012-06-09

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

Although no comprehensive awareness raising program exists, there are certain awareness raising actions. In 2009, the Ministry for Labour and Social Policy launched a small scale campaign. Since 2000, DPOs have occasionally launched specific campaigns (Poraka, Polio Plus). The Share-SEE project (Handicap International) has supported several local DPOs with capacity building training seminars.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

H2. Training for teachers

There is no formal training requirement in special education for mainstream teachers in Macedonia. Some introductory activity is undertaken by civil society organisations. The Pedagogical Institute of Macedonia has identified for some years the need for greater awareness and training for inclusive education amongst teachers (e.g. in studies supported by the European Training Foundation). There is a graduate course of study for Special Education teachers (who work in institutions and special schools but may advise as part of team in mainstream schools). Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation also publishes the Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation.

Links

Update date: Sat, 2012-06-09

H3. Training for lawyers

There is no formal training on disability equality for legal professionals.

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

H4. Training for doctors

There is no formal training on disability equality for medical professionals.

Update date: Sat, 2012-06-09

H5. Training for engineers

A manual for accessibility was published in cooperation between civil society and the Faculty for Architecture in 2006. Occasional lectures on the subject universal design have been organized in the universities. The five-year curriculum for architect students does not include specific reference to disability access or inclusive design.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

H6. International development aid

Macedonia has been primarily a recipient, rather than a donor, of international aid. There are several programmes specifically targeting people with disability (e.g. in EU pre-accession (IPA) Regional Development Programmes and USAID Disability Strategy projects).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-07-27

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