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Factors and Consequences of Social Exclusion of Children in Macedonia – experience directly from the field . PhD Verica Stamenkova Trajkova MA Frosina Denkova MA Ivan Trajkov MA Sofija Arnaudova. Background:.

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Factors and Consequences of Social Exclusion of Children in Macedonia – experience directly from the field

PhD Verica Stamenkova Trajkova

MA Frosina Denkova

MA Ivan Trajkov

MA Sofija Arnaudova


=>Aim of this paper=> to present the perceptions and the opinions of the different structures, direct and indirect participants in working with children from the governmental institutions and from the civil society associations in the Republic of Macedonia related to the basic problems and needs of children on the level of the entire country


Participants in this research were:

-105 participants from different NGOs in 8 regions in Macedonia

  • The results that are presented grouped in four sectors:
  • housing,
  • employment,
  • education,
  • health,
  • Social services
useful information about child population
Useful information about child population

Data collected in Republic of Macedonia shows that:

  • the child mortality rate on national level is 16 on one thousand,
  • 9% of the children are with insufficient growth,
  • 21% of the children live in the poorest households,
  • 10,7 % of the children age 3 to 5 year are included in the pre-school education,
  • 600 to 1000 are missabused street children,
  • 33,9%from all the children on the age of 15-19 years are excluded from the education and employment,
  • 66,6%of household with children are poor
on the workshops in 8 regions in our country we have identified several problems
On the Workshops in 8 Regions in our country we have identified several problems:
  • Insufficient number of ensured housing for children from the institutions after they leave them;
  • Street children;
  • Unemployed parents, a reason for poverty and endangered well-being of children;
  • Educational exclusion of children;
  • Health exclusion of children (incomplete coverage of children with health protection);
  • Problem:

Insufficient number of secured housings for the children from the institutions after they leave them

In the Republic of Macedonia there are several categories of children which have housing problems. Those are:

  • children that live in the institutions until they become adults;
  • children living in foster families;
  • children of homeless families (mainly Roma) which live in improvised cardboard houses
consequences life conditions
Consequences: Life conditions:

These children reach their maturity by creating a vulnerable structure of their personality which without further adequate support, they will hardly organize their life and independent life in the society. The problems and obstacles that the other young people at their age easily solve, for this group of youth they are to big problems. In lacking support of the Government they are under high risk to live in poverty and social exclusion in the future and to show associative and delinquent behaviour.

The majority of them are with low education i.e. unqualified and uncompetitive in the labor market and with unsolved housing issue. For this reason they are at risk to become homeless or victims of different type of abuse and exploitation (labor, sexual etc.).



Street children

  • From the statements of the participants it was concluded that:

-90% of the street children are from families that live in improvised carton board neighbourhoods in several locations in Skopje, the capital, but also in Bitola where around 272 families live in this kind of homes with 536 children.

They live in exceptionally difficult living conditions under which most endangered are children, more exactly their entire psycho-physical development and their health condition is questioned. These children are in the magical chain of poverty where housing is the first circle to which are linked the educational and health exclusion. These children the majority of the day pass outside home, which together with their parents or more often alone obtain financial means by begging, doing services for people, collecting paper, old iron or nutrition products and clothes often in garbage bins.



  • Due to these reasons this category of children become victims of:
  • all sorts of violence,
  • abuse,
  • exploitation, often even by their parents,
  • show delinquent behaviour and
  • become an easy hunt of criminal groups and child traffickers.
  • Problem:

Unemployed parents, a cause of poverty and endangered well-being of children.

-unemployment was identified as the main generator of poverty of parents and other family members


A special category affected by this problem are children from families with a single unemployed parent, children from Roma families and children living in the poorest rural municipalities.

  • The children living in families which are socially excluded are at risk of their personal development. Deprivation of the possibility of adequate education, health and social protection in the most important and most vulnerable period from the entire development of an individual- childhood and youthfulness, not only does it threatens their physical, psychological and social development but also brings them to the risk of not being able to self-empower in order to actively participate in the social life.
  • Children of poor families end their childhood early, leave school and are engaged with employment duties, usually inappropriate for their age and psycho-physical development with which their well-being is endangered. Part of these children are included in the black market, part (especially Roma children) as beggars or salespersons of small objects on the streets, part in the catering industry (especially girls) as waitresses and dancers, which easily become victims of traffickers of children and victims of juvenile prostitution.
  • Problem:

Educational exclusion of children

The educational exclusion of children is referring to the exclusion of children from

  • pre-school
  • primary and
  • high school

Insufficient reach of children of pre-schooling age in the pre-school educational system

-Bad material situation of families:


single parents,

poverty etc

-Distance of the institutions from the living place


Incomplete inclusion of children of primary school age (7-14years old) in primary education

As reasons for exclusion of the primary education the present of the workshops emphasized the following:

  • Bad material situation of the families and early inclusion of children in labour activities in order to increase the family budget.
  • Low level of awareness among the parents. This is especially present among the parents of the Roma nationality who do not give a priority to education and are not enrolling their children into schools.
  • Not provided organized and free transport for children from remote rural areas.

Language barriers. This reason is also recorded and is applicable only for certain groups like Turks, Roma and Juruks from the east of the country, children of which due to the lack of knowledge of the Macedonian language are unable to get included in the educational process. Here also parents don’t show sufficient interest and don’t pay special attention to education and because of this they don’t stimulate their children to learn the language and to get enrolled in schools.

  •  Tradition. This reason is present among certain ethnic groups like Juruks (Radovish) and children from Muslim families which based on their believes exclude especially female children from the educational process convinced that they should take care of the home and the activities which are typically for females and motivate female children to early access marriage.

Exclusion from secondary education

-high percentage (33.9%) of youth at the age of 15 to 19 are excluded from the secondary education. It shows that the young people which are not included in secondary education are the same ones that haven’t followed primary school, but there is a certain percent that are not able to continue with their education because of their bad material situation (the biggest percentage are Roma children but also children from families that live in huge poverty).

-Especially in rural areas, 30% of the excellent students don’t continue their education in higher educational institutions because of family poverty; families are unable to educate their children, but also the lack of scholarships for stimulation of these children to continue with education.


Lack of education

  • Problem

Health exclusion of children (incomplete inclusion of children with the health protection service)

  • Health exclusion is manifested through incomplete inclusion of children with immunization, child hunger, regular infectious diseases which results in higher mortality rate among children, especially among children of pre-school age.

reasons for health exclusion this are:

  • privatization of primary health,
  • abolition of paediatric services in the pre-school education and
  • negligence of part of the unemployed parents who have the right of health protection but are not enjoying it due to untimely registration in the employment agencies with which their unprotection with health insurance automatically brings termination of the health insurance of their children
  • inexistence of continues health protection in the framework of pre-school institutions
  •  incomplete and inappropriate health protection of children of families users of social relief and the children of other groups of socially excluded families

The most vulnerable group in this category are:

  • poor families from rural areas and
  • children of ethnic communities, especially from the Roma community.

The biggest number of children and youth that are not at all covered with health insurance come from poor and socially excluded groups which survive outside of the formal economy. A considerable number are also children which receive social relief are not covered with health insurance.

social services
  • Problem

Incomplete staffing of the centers for social work with personnel for providing help and services to children

In the Republic of Macedonia there are 27 inter-municipal Centers for Social Work (CSW) which cover the whole territory with real and regional authority. In the centers it is decided for all of the questions related to social protection and non-institutional support is provide for citizens.

The employees of the CSW face the problem of a big number of children with different problems and insufficient number of professionals and professional teams in the centers.
  • In 2007 it was dealt with 4680 children

-383 have shown asocial behavior,

-727 were criminally unanswerable

-3570 criminally charged.

This number in comparison with the number of the employees in the CSW in the Republic of Macedonia (660 persons of which457 professionals and 203 administrative-technical staff) says about the big discrepancy between the children’s needs for help and services and the real assistance provided to them.


The given data guide’s us to the conclusion that:

- the rights of the child are stipulated in the Convention are not enjoyed by an important percentage of the children, especially the children from the poorest families and part of the ethnical communities.

We can conclude that:

-social exclusion of children and youth in the Republic of Macedonia is a result of poverty, parents unemployment, inadequate living conditions, insufficient coverage with health protection, insufficient inclusion in the educational system and insufficient monitoring of the realization of children’s rights.