Promoting the social inclusion of Roma and other marginalised groups in Serbia

Project description

Title: Inclusion of Roma and other marginalised groups in Serbia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Serbia
Lead executing agency: Министарство за људска и мањинска права и друштвени дијалог / Romanised: Ministarstvo za ljudska i manjinska prava i društveni dijalog / Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue
Overall term: 2018 to 2023

Igor Živanović is a young Roma returnee from Germany who entered an InR vocational skills training and was employed directly after completing the training (Foto credit: GIZ/ Vojislav Gelevski).


According to the 2011 population census, around 147,000 Roma live in Serbia. This is equivalent to 2.1 per cent of the population. Estimates, however, put the real figure at up to 500,000 people or more. Therefore, including Roma in mainstream life and removing the barriers to this could greatly contribute to Serbia’s economic and social development.

At present, however, Roma communities - especially Roma women, girls and internally displaced people (IDP) - are among the most marginalised and excluded groups in Serbia. Roma often lack formal education and suffer widespread discrimination. This leads to problems such as exclusion from the labour market, public services, education, or policy-making processes.


Civil society, politics, the private sector and administration in Serbia are successfully implementing the national Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma.

100 for future: InR is supporting the "100 for Future" project with the goal of empowering 100 Romani women through a series of workshops to become active citizens and participate in local and national discussions on policies that affect Romani women. Minister Gordana Čomić (Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue) toke an active role in this project as a workshop facilitator.(Foto credit: GIZ/ Vojislav Gelevski).


The Serbian government has adopted the National Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma to improve the inclusion of Roma. The project supports its implementation, pursuing the following main goals at various levels:


  • Supports cooperation and networking between actors at all levels
  • Develops a national monitoring and evaluation system
  • Carries out nationwide antidiscrimination campaigns and antidiscrimination trainings.


  • Assists local self-governments in drafting and implementing local inclusion action plans
  • Provides financial support for localised inclusion measures
  • Emphasises the economic and social reintegration of returnees.


  • Provides innovative and tailor-made employment promotion measures for so called hard-to-employ and marginalised persons
  • Supports measures with a network of civil society organisations offering mentoring, psychosocial and legal support for beneficiaries.

During the ongoing pandemic the project implemented emergency measures like cash for work, access to water and distance learning, distribution of medical equipment and information campaigns for the groups that were hit hardest by lockdown measures.

All project measures are actively supported by Roma and other marginalised persons in their role as ‘protagonists of change’.

Last update: March 2022

Sanja Petrovic: Sanja Petrovic was supported to start a cooperative of weavers called "Batara” in Šabac (Foto credit: GIZ/ Miodrag Mitja Bogdanovic).