Roma Children in “Special Education” in Serbia

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This Open Society Foundations study provides, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the overrepresentation of Roma within special education in the Republic of Serbia. Roma make up approximately 30 percent of the children within special education in the Republic of Serbia, yet they constitute, at most, 6 percent of the total population. It is clear that the vast majority of these children do not belong in special education.

Roma Children in “Special Education” in Serbia also reveals that discrimination, bullying, and prejudice are strong factors in Roma children's placement within the special education system. It demonstrates that special education is a losing proposition for young people: they cannot further their education or be gainfully employed. Clearly, this is also a losing proposition for the state, which uses up money in support of this parallel system.

The report makes concrete, constructive and specific recommendations—important not only for the government, but also for local self-governments, schools, civil society organizations, and experts, as well as for the international audience of researchers and policymakers.