Equal access to health services is a fundamental right

The Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo continue to face fundamental problems in having fundamental rights. Various research shows that these communities are deprived of many human rights ranging from access to drinking water, to health services, education and employment.

According to the Multiple Indicators Survey (MICS 2020), in terms of birth rate in Kosovo, for every 1000 live births, 16 children die before their first birthday (70% of them die within the first month of life). For the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, the corresponding number is 27 children (80% within the first month of life) who do not live until their first birthday. On the other hand, the rate of complete immunization for children up to the age of 2 coming from these communities does not even reach 38%.

Even today on International Human Rights Day, Action for Mothers and Children, as always, calls for a more inclusive and equal society. Socio-economic inequality and the oppression of marginalized groups continue to be a very worrying phenomenon in our country. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted this phenomenon.

We call on the relevant actors to take effective steps towards ensuring equality for all, respect for fundamental human rights, political engagement and inclusion of all social groups without distinction, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups. Equal access to health services for all ethnic communities and other social groups should remain a priority of the Government and other institutions at both central and local levels.

All people have the right to live a dignified life and to respect their personal integrity, regardless of their ethnic or socio-economic background. AMC will be committed to combating and preventing discrimination against the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, and the general population in Kosovo.