United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 July 1996



Fifty-first session                              Substantive session of 1996
Item 113 (c) of the preliminary list*            Agenda item 5

*    A/51/50.

             Letter dated 3 July 1996 from the Charge' d'affaires a.i.
             of the Permanent Mission of Yugoslavia to the United
                      Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

     I have the honour to transmit herewith the report of the
Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the state of
affairs and the exercise of national minority rights in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (see annex).**  

     I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and the
attached report circulated as a document of the General Assembly,
under item 113 (c) of the preliminary list, and of the Economic and
Social Council, under agenda item 5.

                                              (Signed)  Vladislav JOVANOVIC
                                                      Charge' d'affaires a.i.

**    The annex is being circulated in the languages of submission only.


                       [Original: English and French]


on the state of affairs and the exercise of national minority rights
                  in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

     I Comparative survey of the constitutional minority safeguards
under the Constitutions of FR Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia and
the Republic of Montenegro

     The Yugoslav positive legal practice shows that the area of the
protection of freedoms and rights of persons belonging to national
minorities is primarily of a constitutional-legal nature, meaning that
it is governed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (FRY) and by the Constitutions of its member republics.

     The April 1992 Constitution of FR Yugoslavia, Art I defines FR
Yugoslavia as a federal state based on the equality of her citizens
and the equality of her member republics. Consequently, the FRY
Constitution speaks about citizens and their equality, and does not
underline or accentuate the national character of the federal state.
In this context, it is worth mentioning Article 8 of the FRY
Constitution which sets out that power in FRY belongs to citizens and
that they exercise this power directly or through their freely elected

     Also of relevance if we look at national minority protection in
the context of the safeguards of human and civil rights and freedoms
is Article 10 of the FRY Constitution which recognizes and guarantees
the human and civil rights and freedoms that are recognized by
international law.

     However, it is Article l I of the FRY Constitution that regulates
most directly the area discussed here because it recognizes and
guarantees to the national minorities the rights to preserve, develop
and express their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and other specificities
and to use national symbols in keeping with international law. An
important provision for the concept of the thus defined safeguards and
for guaranteeing national minority rights is Article 15, paragraph 2
of the FRY Constitution which stipulates that in the territories of
FRY inhabited by national minorities also their languages and scripts
shall be in official use, in accordance with the law.

     In addition, Section II of the FRY Constitution "Freedoms, rights
and duties of man and citizen", relates to persons belonging to
national minorities as well and ensures their equality, similar to
that provided to all other FRY citizens. In that section, Articles 38,
42 and 50, provide for the possibility of banning certain acts if they
incite ethnic, racial, religious hatred and intolerance

     An analysis of the constitutional-legal protection of national
minorities in FRY should point out in particular to the provisions of
Articles 20 and 45-48 of the FRY Constitution which, inter alia,
define certain rights of national minorities, such as the right to
equality before the law, the freedom to express national affiliation
and culture, the right to use one's language and script,
as well as the light not to have to declare one's ethnic origin, the
right to be educated in one's own native language (in accordance with
the law), the right to public information in one's native language,
establishment of educational and cultural organizations and
associations to be financed on the principle of voluntary
contributions, provided that the state can support them in such
activities and, lastly, the right to establish and maintain unhindered
relations in FRY and abroad with persons belonging to the same nation
who live in other states and to take pan in international
non-governmental organizations but without prejudice to FRY or its
member republics.

     Arrangements provided by Articles 45-48 of the FRY Constitution
reflect the adoption of the standards stipulated in Article 27 of the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The Constitution does not
provide for any separate safeguards of the right to practice a
religion and perform religious rites, which is not essential after all
because this matter is governed by certain other provisions of the FRY
Constitution, namely those dealing with religious freedoms that also
apply to persons belonging to national minorities (Article 43). It is
noteworthy that the FRY Constitution, goes a step further relative to
the Covenant and that already in the said Article 48 it envisages a
separate right of persons belonging to national minorities to maintain
links and relations with their national state.

     The Constitutions of the member republics contain provisions that
are in essence identical to those governing this area under the FRY

     Accordingly, the September 1990 Constitution of the Republic of
Serbia, Article I, defines the Republic of Serbia as a democratic
state of all her citizens, based on human and civil rights and
freedoms, on the rule of law and on social justice.

     Like the FRY Constitution, the Constitution of the Republic of
Serbia contains provisions on human and civil rights, freedoms and
duties (Section II, Articles 11-54), which apply to all citizens of
the Republic of Serbia, and hence to members of national minorities as
well Article 32, paragraph 4, of the Republic of Serbia Constitution
stipulates that members of other nations and ethnic groups shall have
the right to be educated in their native language, in accordance with
the law. Under Article 49 of the Republic of Serbia Constitution any
citizen is guaranteed the freedom to express his ethnic origin and
culture and the freedom to use his language and script, along with the
right not to have to declare his ethnic origin. Article 123 of the
Republic of Serbia Constitution guarantees to everyone the right to
use their language in a court of law or before any other government
body or organization deciding on their rights and duties in the
discharge of its public functions, and to be informed of the relevant
facts in their native language.

     The October 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, like
the FRY Constitution, contains provisions concerning the rights and
freedoms in Part II, Articles 14-76, which regulate special rights for
persons belonging to national and ethnic groups (Articles 67-76).

     The above mentioned provisions guarantee to members of national
and ethnic groups the protection of their identity, the use of their
language and script in the proceedings before the state authorities,
the right to be educated and informed in their native language, the
use and display of national symbols, the establishment of educational,
cultural and religious associations with the state's material support,
incorporation of units on their history and culture in school
curricula, proportionate representation in public service,
governmental agencies and local self-government, the right to maintain
contacts with their fellow countrymen outside Montenegro and the right
to take part in regional and non-governmental international
organizations, as well as the right to submit requests for the
protection of their freedoms and rights to international institutions.
To protect and preserve that identity and give effect to the mentioned
rights, Article 76 of the Republic of Montenegro Constitution sets up
a separate body headed by the President of the Republic - the Republic
Council for the protection of rights of members of national and ethnic
groups - whose composition and competencies are established by the

     Apart from the mentioned arrangements set forth in the FRY
Constitution and in the Constitutions of the member republics for the
protection of minority rights and freedoms, this area is also governed
by individual laws both at the federal level and at the republic level
in the areas of material law and criminal legislation, association of
citizens, public information, schooling and education, languages in
official use, etc

II International protection of minorities

     Yugoslavia has ratified a large number of international documents,
including those in the areas of rights and freedoms of man and
citizen. By the act of ratification, adoption or approval, all the
intemational instruments have become an integral Dart of our internal
legal order.

     For the purposes of this report, one should bear in mind in
particular certain documents of intemational organizations addressing
the protection and promotion of national minority rights such as: the
Intemational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 27), the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
(Articles 1-4), the IntematiOnal Convention on Elimination of all
Forms of Racial Discrimination (Part I, Articles 1-7), the
Intemational Covenant on Elimination and Punishment of the Crime of
Apartheid (Articles 1-4), the UN Declaration of the Abolishment of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination (Articles I, 2 and 5), the European
Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms
(Article 14), the Final Act of the Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki 1975, Madrid 1983. Vienna 1989).

     We single out in particular the 1992 UN Declaration on the rights
of national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and the
Document adopted at the second meeting of the Conference on the human
dimension of CSCE held in Copenhagen in 1990 in the part relating to
the rights of national minorities. Both documents advise and recommend
to the states to adopt respective legislative and other measures in
order to protect ethnic (national, cultural, religious, linguistic)
minorities as well as to promote the rights and the identity of these
minorities (UN Declaration. Articles I and 4, and the CSCE Document,
IV, Articles 30 and 35).

     Finally, we would wish in particular to point to the 1995 Council
of Europe Convention on the protection of national minorities, which
has not come into force yet because it has not been ratified by a
required number of Council of Europe member states, the convention
that, along with the two international documents mentioned in the
previous paragraph, constitutes and contains what is considered to be
an international and/or European standard in the sphere of protection
and promotion of national minority rights.

III Exercise of minority rights in FR Yugoslavia

     The territory of FR Yugoslavia, according to the data provided by
the Federal Statistical Bureau, had a population of 10,345,464 in

     The share of different national minorities and ethnic groups in
the total FRY population is presented in terms of figures and
percentages in the following table


     1. Serbs                   6,485,596                     62.3%
     2. Montenegrins              520,408                      5.0%
     3. Albanians               1,727,541                     16.6%
     4. Hungarians                345,376                      3.3%
     5. Moslims                   327,290                      3.1%
     6. Croats                    115,463                      1.1%
     7. Romanies                  137,265                      1.3%
     8. Slovaks                    67,324                      0.6%
     9. Romanians                  42,386                      0.4%
    10. Macedonians                48,437                      0.5%
    11. Bulgarians                 25,214                      0.2%
    12. Vlachs                     17,557                      0.2%
    13. Turks                      11,501                      0.15%
    14. Others                    465,349                      4.5%

     The federal and republican regulations in force guarantee to
members of national minorities in FR Yugoslavia all rights in keeping
with the international documents which FR Yugoslavia has ratified and
with the standards arising therefrom.


     In the field of education, it is necessary to take as a point of
departure the standards established by the Convention on the struggle
against discrimination in education, adopted by the UN General
Assembly in 1963 and ratified by Yugoslavia under her l964 Regulation.
This Convention prohibits any discrimination or differences based on
race, gender, language, religion, political or other beliefs, national
or social background, that are designed to cause or result in the
destruction or undermining of equality in actions in the field of
education. Article 5 of the Convention points out in particular that
persons belonging to national minorities should also be recognized the
right to use their language and to conduct instruction in that
language provided that: that right is used in a manner which will not
prevent national minorities from understanding the culture and the
language of the entire community and from taking part in its life or
which will not put in jeopardy national sovereignty, that education in
such schools is not inferior in quality to that prescribed or approved
by the competent authorities and, finally, that attendance of those
schools is a matter of free choice

     Taking all this into account, the above mentioned as well as other
provisions of the Convention have become an integral part of our
domestic legal system not only owing to the ratification of this
Convention but also thanks to the enforcement and further development
of its provisions by means of new laws.

     Education in FR Yugoslavia is available to all under equal
conditions and elementary eight-year education is compulsory. Regular
education in any of the languages that are in equal official use, in
primary, secondary and higher schools, is free

     The constitutional right of persons belonging to national
minorities to be taught in their language has been elaborated in a
number of republic laws and other regulations The educational process
in minority languages is organized at pre-school level up to
university level.

     Under the Law on elementary schools and the Law on secondary
schools of the Republic of Serbia, persons belonging to national
minorities will follow the curricula in their native language provided
at least 5 pupils enrol in the first grade and even fewer subject to
the educational minister's approval. The Law also provides for the
possibility of bilingual schooling or additional classes of minority
language with elements of national culture as an elective subject.

     According to the data for the 1993/1994 school year, elementary
instruction in Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is conducted in five
teaching languages: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, and
Ruthenian. In 38 out of Vojvodina's 45 townships pupils are taught in
one or several minority languages: in Hungarian in 29 townships, in
Slovak l2, in Romanian in 10, and in Ruthenian in 3 townships

     Education in the Bulgarian language or bilingual instruction is
conducted in 38 primary schools in the townships with a higher
percentage of ethnic Bulgarians (Bosilegrad and Dimitrovgrad) which
are attended by 2,451 pupils.

     Pupils belonging to the Hungarian national minority attend classes
solely in their native language in 42, Slovak in 7, Romanian in 13,
and Ruthenian in 1 elementary school in Vojvodina. Parallel
instruction in Serbian and any of the minority languages is conducted
in 100 elementary schools and in another two schools pupils are taught
in 3 minority languages. Of the total schooling population in
Vojvodina, 11.54% attend elementary school in Hungarian, 2.19% in
Slovak, 0.82 % in Romanian and 0.35% in Ruthenian, which is more or
less proportionate to Vojvodina's overall ethnic structure. In areas
where pupils are only taught in Serbian, the pupils whose native
language is other than Serbian have an elective "Native language with
elements of national culture" with two lessons a week from form I to
form VIII grade..

     In 37 secondary schools in Vojvodina, instruction is conducted in
one of the four minority languages: in Hungarian in 27 schools, in
Slovak in 2, in Romanian in 2 and in Ruthenian in I secondary school.

     Teaching and education in national minority languages in secondary
school facilities takes place under the Law on secondary schools,
which, similarly to the Law on elementary schools, stipulates that at
least 15 students in the first form of Iycee, vocational and art
schools are required for the following of the curriculum in their
national minority language. Instruction in a minority language in
cases where the 15 requirement has not been fulfilled is subject to
approval by the Education Minister. The schools which provide
instruction in national minority languages alone are likewise obliged
to create the conditions for the following of the Serbian language
curriculum and in areas where bilingual instruction takes place or
children are taught in several minority languages, the school must
provide conditions for the following of the curriculum in the subject
of native language with elements of national culture. Instruction in a
national minority language - Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and Ruthenian
- is conducted in 18 of Vojvodina's townships, in 12 Iycees, and in 20
vocational schools, involving 290 classes and 7,240 students. In
elementary and secondary schools where pupils and students are taught
in minority languages, the Law stipulates the requirement for teachers
to also keep records in minority languages, and the public school
report is issued in those languages as well.

     Under the provisions of the Law on higher schools and the Law on
the university of the Republic of Serbia, instruction is conducted in
Serbian, but may also be conducted in a minority language, subject to
a decision taken by the founder of that school and the procured
approval from the University. High and higher education in Hungarian
is organized at 7 faculties, in Slovak at 2, in Romanian at 2 and in
Ruthenian at 2 faculties.

     The Law on higher schools and the Law on the university have
consistent provisions regulating the organization and conduct of
instruction in minority languages, as well as record-keeping in
registries on the issued diplomas and the issued public certificates
attesting to the completed studies. According to the data for the
1993/1994 school year, 11 higher schools in Vojvodina are attended by
717 students belonging to the Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and
Ruthenian national minorities, of which 466 attend lectures in their
native language. Of the total number of students belonging to national
minorities, the following percentages study at higher schools in their
respective native languages 69.3% of Hungarians; 32% of Slovaks,
91.07% of Romanians, and 4 76% of Ruthenians. The 13 institutions of
high learning in Vojvodina are attended by 1,598 students belonging to
national minorities, of which 357 students study in their native

     A similar education arrangement is applied in Autonomous Province
of Kosovo and Metohija, but ethnic Albanians are boycotting the legal
educational system from elementary to high education facilities, which
provide the instruction in Albanian. Prior to the boycott, there were
904 Albanian schools with 315,000 pupils, 69 secondary schools with
73,000 students, and the University in Pristina which was attended by
37,000 students, 80% of which were Albanians studying in the Albanian
language. 98% of education-related costs was financed by the Republic
of Serbia. By the number of students, Autonomous Province of Kosovo
and Metohija was the fourth in the world (behind US, Canada, and the
Netherlands), while at the same time no more than 19,000 students were
receiving their schooling at the University in Tirana.

     The present state of affairs in education is characterized by the
fact that persons belonging to the Albanian minority are taught in
their native language at state-owned buildings and the Republic of
Serbia has secured all that is necessary for the normal operation of
schools, observing the principles enshrined in the relevant
international documents There are currently in Kosovo and Metohija
1,400 elementary schools in operation, 60 secondary schools and
education centres and the University with 14 faculties. Teachers
belonging to the Albanian minority use state-owned classrooms and
teaching aids, teach in Albanian and only refuse to receive salaries
from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia because that
act would mean their recognition of the state of Serbia. At the
University in Pristina, there are both professors and students
belonging to the Albanian national minority

     It is solely for political reasons that the Albanians are refusing
to accept a uniform educational system which applies to the territory
of the Republic of Serbia, the curricula adopted by the competent
government agencies, as well as a uniform certificates and diplomas
system. Differences between the curricula are not numerous as no more
than four subjects are a matter of dispute: language, history,
geography and musical culture. All attempts to reach agreement, even
with the aid of intemational mediators in Geneva, have failed due to
the obstructive attitude of the representatives of the Albanian
minority. Albanian separatists refused to submit their curricula to
the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia for verification.
Nevertheless, the Republic of Serbia has been allocating substantial
funds for the maintenance of instruction for the Albanian minority

     In Kosovo and Metohija the parallel education of pupils and
students is taking place under illegal curricula and criteria and with
the use of illegal textbooks. The diplomas that are issued are not
recognized nor can be recognized in either FR Yugoslavia or abroad.

     The Republic of Serbia and FR Yugoslavia have SQ far demonstrated
a high degree of willingness to make concessions so that Albanian
children may not suffer the consequences of this unreasonable policy.
The authorities have shown their willingness to recognize the school
years completed in the illegal school system provided that diplomas be
issued by the competent bodies of the Republic of Serbia: yet, not
even this offer was accepted. The Albanian separatists have repeatedly
insisted on the certificates and diplomas being issued by the illegal
bodies of the non-existent and unrecognized "Republic of Kosovo".

     In 1992, the Government of FR Yugoslavia made the following
proposal within the framework of the Geneva Conference on Yugoslavia
for the settlement of educational problems in Kosovo and Metohija:

     1. to reach agreement for the maximum guarantees, preservation and
development of the cultural identity of persons belonging to Albanian
national minority in FR Yugoslavia,

     2. to re-employ all Albanian teachers who have wilfully abandoned
their work posts (except for a small number of teachers who have
committed criminal offenses), 

     3. to recognize, in favour of Albanian pupils, the two years they
completed in the parallel and illegal educational system,

     4. to ensure that instruction at all levels is conducted in the
existing state-owned school buildings, and

     5. to recognize the 1990 curriculum of the Republic of Serbia This
proposal by the Government of FR Yugoslavia continues to be valid, but
the secessionist Albanian leaders in Kosovo and Metohija have
persistently turned it down

     The Law on elementary schools of the Republic of Montenegro
stipulates that schools or classes with instruction in the Albanian
language as well as those with bilingual instruction shall be
established in areas inhabited largely by persons belonging to the
Albanian national minority. At the schools with instruction in the
Albanian language, register books are kept and school certificates
issued in the Serbian and Albanian languages.

     According to the statistics for the 1995/1996 school year, 3,118
pupils of Albanian nationality enrolled in the 11 elementary schools
in the Republic of Montenegro at which pupils are taught in Albanian.

     The Law on secondary schools in the Republic of Montenegro
stipulates that persons belonging to the Albanian national minority
can be taught in Albanian conditions permitting and that schools or
classes with bilingual instruction can be established as well. At the
secondary schools with instruction in the Albanian language, like at
elementary schools, register books are kept and certificates and
diplomas are issued in the Albanian language as well.

     According to the statistics for the 1995/1996 schoolyear, there
are three secondary schools in the territory of the Republic of
Montenegro- at Plav, Tuzi and Ulcinj - with instruction in the
Albanian language conducted by 83 teachers of Albanian nationality and
attended by 900 students belonging to the Albanian nationality.

Information, publishing activities and culture

     It follows from the provision of the Constitution of FRY which
lays down the right of national minorities to public information in
their respective languages, and also from the relevant provisions of
the republic laws on public information, that the intemational
standards have been met in this area as well.

     The statistics for 1994 show that the following numbers of daily
papers, magazines and different bulletins are published in FRY: 75 in
Hungarian, 17 in Romanian and Ruthenian, 12 in Czech and Slovak, 25 in
Albanian, 3 in Turkish, and 3 in Bulgarian. 19 papers and 36 magazines
are published multi-lingually.

     In keeping with the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic
of Serbia and the Law on Public Information, there is a large number
of public media in Serbia which use national minority languages -
Albanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Turkish,
Bulgarian and Romany. All public media using minority languages are
edited by persons belonging to the respective minorities.

     The republic Law on public information in the Republic of Serbia
makes it possible for everyone to publish papers even without any
preliminary authorization, simply by entering the name of the paper
into the competent court's registry. Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
is responsible for securing the required preconditions for the public
information in minority languages and scripts as well. For example,
the 1994 provincial budget allocated the funds for supporting the
publication of 14 newspapers and 4 magazines in national minority

     Furthermore, Radio Television Pristina broadcasts TV and radio
programming in Albanian, whereas radio programming is also broadcast
by 6 local radio stations 25 papers come out in Albanian with a total
annual circulation of 21 million and 40 magazines with a total annual
circulation of 300,000 copies.

     Radio Pristina broadcasts programming in the Albanian language
every day after 15.30 hrs. The programming is basically of an
informative nature and the speech to music ratio is 20 % to 80 %.
Apart from the news bulletin which is broadcast on top of the hour,
the following informative programs are produced every day before 15.00
hrs: the 12 o' clock News (10 minutes), the Events of the Day at 15.00
hrs (30 minutes), the Evening News at 18.30 hrs (30 minutes), and the
Daily Chronicle at 22.00 hrs (15 minutes). Radio Pristina also takes
over every day Radio Yugoslavia's informative program in Albanian
which is broadcast from 21 - 21.15 hrs.

     Radio Pristina broadcasts programming in the Turkish language
every day from 11 to 18 00 hrs. Apart from informative-political
programs, news bulletins and the evening news, the programming also
features topics relating to culture, science, education, drama,
entertainment, sports and music.

     Radio Pristina also broadcasts two one-hour programs (on Thursdays
and Sundays) in Romany covering the most important events related to
the life, culture and customs of the Romanies

     Apart from Radio Pristina there are also local radio stations in
the area of Kosovo and Metohija, as for instance Radio Metohija
(Pec),Radio Kosovska Mitrovica, which broadcast programs in minority
languages - in Albanian, Turkish and Romany.

     Television Pristina broadcasts in Albanian day-to-day news
(duration 10 minutes) and evening news (25 minutes). At present TV
Pristina produces an average 47 minutes of programming in Albanian
every day, that is 329 minutes a week or 17,019 minutes a year. In
addition to the Albanian language, Television Pristina also broadcasts
programs in Turkish whose annual duration is 10,316 minutes as well as
an 'informative-magazine' program in Romany with a total annual
duration of 1,178 minutes

     The Radio Pristina and TV Pristina programs in Albanian are
organized as business units like the programs in Serbian and in
Turkish, and the units are led by responsible editors who look after
the production of certain broadcasts and their contents

     There is a disproportion between the Serbian language program and
the Albanian language program, largely due to the shortage of
personnel needed for the production of programs in Albanian. Vacancies
remain unfilled because qualified applicants are in short supply as
persons belonging to the Albanian national minority are refusing to
work at enterprises financed by the state.

     Of a total of 285,827 hrs of radio and TV programming broadcast in
FRY in 1994, 6,454 hrs was in Albanian. In that year, 105 hrs of radio
and TV programming was broadcast in Bulgarian, 19,543 in Hungarian;
3,599 in Romanian, 1,803 in Ruthenian, 5,485 in Slovak; 3,149 in
Turkish 48 in Ukrainian, and 4,614 hrs in other minority languages.

     The radio stations in Vojvodina broadcast programs in 8 languages:
Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Macedonian
and Romany. Radio programs in Hungarian are broadcast for 24 hrs a
day, in Slovak on average 7 hrs a day, in Romanian 7 hrs as well, and
in Ruthenian for 4 hours a day. These data relate to Radio Novi Sad -
the main station for Vojvodina's territory. However, there are also in
this province another 27 regional and local radio stations of which 4
produce and broadcast programs in 4 languages, 6 stations have
programs in 3 languages, 8 stations use 2 and 4 stations one language.

     Television Novi Sad broadcasts regularly in 5 languages: in
Hungarian - every day, and in Slovak, Romanian and Ruthenian 5 - 6
times a week.

     In 1993 the following numbers of books and brochures were
published: 48 in Hungarian, 17 in Czech and Slovak; l6 in Romanian, S
in Albanian, I in Bulgarian and 221 books in several languages.

     In 1993, 41 books were published in Hungarian with an average
circulation of 1,000 copies each, 7 books in Slovak with a circulation
of 500 each and 6 to 7 books in Romanian and in Ruthenian with a
circulation of 500 copies each. The library network across Vojvodina
hold books in minority languages that correspond to the ethnic
structure of the population: 76.67 % of their books are in Serbian,
15.65 % are in Hungarian; 1.12 % in Slovak; 1.04 % in Romanian and
0.22 % in Ruthenian.

     In keeping with the provisions of the Law on Public Information of
the Republic of Montenegro, there are several papers in the Albanian
language in that republic, as well as the monthly magazine "Fati"
which is published in Ulcinj and the weekly "Polis" which is published
in Podgorica. Television of Montenegro broadcasts daily its 15-minute
news in Albanian, and on Saturdays a 60-minute informative-cultural program.
Montenegrin radio-stations broadcast 30-minute news in Albanian every day.

     The interests of minority populations in the area of creative work
and culture are looked after by the respective mother nations,
communities and societies which, in co-operation with relevant
provincial cultural institutions, prepare programs and carry out
activities to maintain and cherish national identity, preserve and
promote people's language, literature, the arts and folklore

     Persons belonging to the Albanian national minority have not
abandoned their work posts en masse and in an organized manner at the
cultural institutions in Kosovo and Metohija. On the contrary,
Albanians are employed in almost all cultural institutions and they
make up a majority in many of them. Thus, for example, cultural
centres or culture clubs in most towns in Kosovo and Metohija employ
ethnic Albanians who outnumber Serb employees. Only 3 out of the 8
employees at the Provincial Cultural Centre in Pristina are Serbs and
all employees at the Municipal Cultural Centre in Glogovac are
Albanians, the same applies to the state archives and museums. For
instance, of the 34 employees at the Kosovo and Metohija Museum 20 are
ethnic Albanians, i.e. around 60 %.

     At the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of
Kosovo and Metohija, 10 out of the 25 employees are ethnic Albanians,
and the same ratio exists in other municipal institutes as well.

     At the National Theatre in Pristina there are two organizational
units - the Serbian drama and the Albanian drama, however, the
Albanian drama has a larger number of actors and other artistic and
technical personnel. The same applies to the theatre of the young and
to the Puppet theatre in Pristina and to the theatre in Djakovica
where ethnic Albanian employees constitute a majority. These and other
theatres in Kosovo and Metohija give performances in Albanian not only
in this province but throughout Yugoslavia and abroad as well. At the
National Theatre in Novi Sad there is an organizational unit - Drama
which operates in the Hungarian language.

     The activities and the programs of these institutions are financed
by the state. The same applies to the protection of cultural
monuments, regardless of their national origin. Apart from these
institutions ant their activities, other institutions pursue their
activities quite independently, like the "Society of Kosovo Authors"
and a large number of libraries. The activity of the libraries is
largely based on nationalist and separatist principles but they are
nevertheless allowed to operate using state-owned premises.

The right to political organization

     Persons belonging to national minorities have the right to
self-organization, political organization and political
representation. In fact, persons belonging to all national minorities
except the Albanian national minority, use this right in accordance
with the constitution and the law.

     Bearing in mind that the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia
defines a province as a form of territorial autonomy, it vests the
republic Assembly and the Government with legislative and executive
powers A province has a statute which is adopted by its assembly,
subject to previous agreement from the National Assembly of the
Republic of Serbia. The bodies of an autonomous province are the
assembly, the executive council and the agencies of government
administration. Albanian political leaders have abused the amendments
to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and used it as a pretext
to suspend any dialogue, not only with the authorities in Belgrade,
but also with other national minorities, which gave rise to further
ethnic divisions. In Kosovo and Metohija the institutions of a
parallel authority - the state-legal and Albanian-alternative - were
set up. In July 1990 the Albanian secessionist leaders adopted a
Constitutional declaration whereby they declared Kosovo and Metohija
the "Republic of Kosovo", and in September of the same year a secret
meeting of Albanian delegates of the dissolved "Assembly of Kosovo"
adopted at Kacanik even the "Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo".
The Albanian political elite most clearly elaborated on its refusal to
engage in a dialogue on the status of Albanians in its Political
Declaration adopted on 12 October 1991 by the "Coordination Council of
Albanian Political Parties in Yugoslavia". The declaration envisages
three plans for the settlement to the "Kosovo" issue, depending on the
stand of the international community regarding the settlement of the
Yugoslav crisis which at that time was well into the arming stage.
According to the initial plan which envisaged no change of borders of
the second Yugoslavia, the Albanian leaders insisted on the
constitution of an independent, sovereign "Republic of Kosovo" which
would embrace all ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija, Macedonia
and Montenegro and have the right to associate in a Community of
Yugoslav States. In case of changes of only the inter-republic
borders, they envisaged the possible establishment of an ethnic
Albanian Republic and finally in case there were changes of
Yugoslavia's external borders, the Albanians would, according to the
provisions of the Declaration, call a referendum at which they would
decide on secession from Yugoslavia and unification with Albania.

     Guided by those objectives, the Albanian separatist leaders set up
a parallel system of authority and dissuaded the Albanian population
from taking part in the 1991 population census as well as from using
their universal suffrage in the election of government bodies in FR
Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia and local authorities in the period
from 1490 until the last elections on 19 December 1993 (they failed to
turn up for the elections three times, twice for the federal elections
and once for local elections)

     However, the Albanians living in the territory of the Republic of
Serbia outside Kosovo and Metohija as well as the Albanians in
Montenegro did take part in the republic and local elections. As a
result, they have, for instance, two deputies to the Assembly of the
Republic of Serbia as well as their representatives in municipal

     Contrary to the ethnic homogeneity of the province of Kosovo and
Metohija, the northern province of Vojvodina is an example of a
distinctive multi-ethnic community deriving from a different cultural
heritage. Manifestation, preservation and promotion of ethnic
identity, tolerant relations in the conditions of cultural and ethnic
pluralism, were the factors that turned a deaf ear to the call of
extreme nationalism in our distant and recent past Even after the
events which preceded and occurred during the dismemberment of SFR
Yugoslavia, Vojvodina has remained a stable and multi-ethnic community
of Serbs, Montenegrins, Hungarians, Romanians Ruthenians, Slovaks,
Croats, Romanies, etc. Dissatisfaction with their status and the
feeling of being threatened were in evidence among persons belonging
to national minorities in Vojvodina following the spreading of the war
and conflicts throughout Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
hostile statements by a part of the Serbian opposition concerning the
persons belonging to non-dominant ethnic communities. The stability in
Vojvodina's multiethnic space was enhanced by the fact that the level
of rights related to the preservation, promotion and manifestation of
ethnic specificities of non-Serb populations has not declined in any
larger measure in the newly-formed Yugoslav state. A similar opinion
was stated by persons belonging to minority populations in an opinion
poll on the status of national minorities and ethnic groups in
Vojvodina who regard Yugoslavia as their fatherland and who use all
their rights related to ethnic identity in a satisfactory manner. A
precondition for good inter-ethnic relations, according to persons
belonging to non-dominant ethnic groups in Vojvodina, is the
constituting of FRY on the democratic principles of a civil state of
equal citizens regardless of their ethnic origin. Persons belonging to
the four largest national minority communities in Vojvodina see in the
respect for the Constitution and the law, development of democratic
relations, tolerance and trust, the guarantees by the state, as well
as in the consistent implementation of the proclaimed rights and in
appropriate material and institutional resources, the guarantees for a
stable status of all ethnic groups.

     By taking advantage of the right to political association, the
Hungarian national minority, for example, has won five deputy seats in
the Republic Parliament through the Democratic Union of Vojvodina
Hungarians (DUVH). A certain number of persons belonging to the
Hungarian national minority had or are still having the status of
deputies of certain other parties or of parties without a national
prefix. At the most recent provincial elections, 120 deputies were
returned to the Assembly, of which 23 belong to the Hungarian
minority. Ethnic Hungarians hold all important offices in the agencies
of government administration in the townships where persons of this
minority form a majority. Thus, for instance, Hungarians make up 42.77
% of the population in the Subotica township and are represented by 67
deputies to the Municipal assembly (of which 28 deputies belong to
DUVH). Both the Mayor and the President of the Executive Council are
members of DUVH.

     These dominant as well as other minorities are represented in
provincial and particularly in local authorities.

     On the basis of everything that has been said so far it follows
that persons belonging to national minorities in FR Yugoslavia, except
almost all persons belonging to the Albanian national minority from
Kosovo and Metohija, are using their right to political association in
accordance with the constitution and the law.

The right to the official use of a native language and script

     The FRY Constitution recognizes to the national minorities the
right to develop, preserve and express their linguistic specificities
and in the parts of FRY inhabited by national minorities, their
languages and scripts, too, are in official use, in accordance with
the law. The minorities are likewise guaranteed, as set out above, the
right to public information and schooling in their native language in
accordance with the law.

     There is no comprehensive law at the level of FRY regulating the
official use of languages and scripts, but the Federal Government is
currently working on one such project. The Republic of Serbia has
passed the Law on the Official Use of Languages and Scripts which
stipulates that in the areas of the Republic of Serbia inhabited by
minorities also their languages and scripts will be used together with
the Serbian language in official communications.

     According to the above mentioned Law, the official use of
languages and scripts entails the use of those languages and scripts
by the state authorities, agencies of the autonomous provinces, towns
and townships, institutions, enterprises and other organizations
pursuing the activities set forth in this Law. The official use of
languages and scripts also includes the use of languages and scripts
for writing the names of places and other geographic names, the names
of squares and streets, the names of agencies, organizations and
firms, public announcements, information and warnings, as well as the
writing of other public inscriptions. The Law further stipulates that
the official use of languages and scripts entails in particular their
use in verbal and written communications between government bodies,
organizations, as well as clients meaning individual citizens, the
conduct of proceedings for the exercise and protection of civil
rights, duties and responsibilities, prescribed record-keeping,
issuance of identification documents, exercise of the rights, duties
and responsibilities by employed or formerly employed persons.

     The Law stipulates that the townships inhabited by minorities
shall decide when minority languages will be in official use in their
territory, i.e. specify in the municipal statute which language or
minority languages shall be in official use in their township.

     We shall here illustrate how the constitutional and legal
provisions on the official use of languages and scripts are enforced
in practice by looking at AP Vojvodina, a province with a specific
ethnic composition. Namely, Serbs account for 57.3 % of its
population, Hungarians 16.9 %, Yugoslavs - 8.4 %, Croats - 3.7 %,
Slovaks - 3.2 %, Montenegrins - 2 2 %, Romanians 1.9 %, Romanies - 1.2 %,
Bunyevats - I.I %, Ruthenians - 0.9 %, Ukrainians - 0.24 % and
others - 3.2 %.

     The statute of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina as the basic legal
act of the Province stipulates that in parallel with the Serbian
language and the Cyrillic script (and in the Latin script as laid down
by the law), the government agencies of Autonomous Province of
Vojvodina will officially use Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and
Ruthenian languages and their respective scripts, as well as the
languages and scripts of other national minorities as stipulated by
law. Regular simultaneous interpretation into five languages is
provided at the Vojvodina Assembly sessions Communications between
clients (citizens) and the provincial authorities take place in the
languages of the national minorities. The courts of law in Vojvodina
have the necessary capacities for the conduct of proceedings in the
languages which are in official.use in particular areas and in cases
where such a possibility does not exist, a sworn-in court interpreter
is provided.

     Of the total 45 townships in Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, 37
have included in their statutes a provision governing the official use
of the languages and scripts by the respective national minorities
living in their territories so that one or several minority languages
are in official use as well. In parallel with Serbian, the Hungarian
language and script are in official use in 31 townships, Slovak in 12,
Romanian in 10, Ruthenian in 6, and Czech in I township. ( There are
no more than 2,910 Czechs living in the entire Yugoslavia, of which
1,844 in Vojvodina.) A considerable number of townships use several
languages and scripts simultaneously and equally

     In the Republic of Montenegro, the relevant Constitutional
arrangements are carried out directly. In particular, Article 68 of
the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro guarantees the persons
belonging to national minority and ethnic groups the right to freely
use their language and script and the right to be educated and
informed in their language.

The right to communication with the mother nation and her representatives

     As we have noted in the introductory part of this report, the
Constitution of FR Yugoslavia goes a step further than the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and stipulates a
special right for persons belonging to national minorities to maintain
links and relations with their mother state In this manner, FR
Yugoslavia wishes to develop good relations with her neighbors on the
basis of equality, respect for each other's sovereignty and for the
territorial integrity as well as to the mutual benefit. This is in the
interest of all peoples and is the basis of stability in the region.
The peoples of FR Yugoslavia and her neighbors are compelled by their
historical ties to live together and persons belonging to national
minorities in these states should serve as bridges for
good-neighbourly cooperation.

The right to freedom of religion

     The Constitution of FR Yugoslavia as well as the constitutions of
its member republics guarantee the freedom of religion to all citizens
without any discrimination. Pursuant to the constitutional
arrangements, the church is separated from the state and is free to
organize religious life, including the organization of religious

     The constitutional and legal provisions and the equality
established in practice have made it possible so far for around 50
registered religious communities to operate in the Republic of Serbia
and in the Republic of Montenegro.

     The Islamic community is active among persons belonging to the
Moslem faith and particularly among the Albanians, whereas the Roman
Catholic Church is active among the Croats and the Hungarians.
Traditional protestantism is represented by the Slovak-Evangelist
Church which brings together persons belonging to the Slovak national
minority and by the Christian Reform Church which is active among the

     All religious communities perform religious rites and establish
their internal organization quite independently and in full freedom.
They also pursue freely and without any state control their
international relations and apply for membership with international
ecclesiastical fora and other inter-church associations. The delegates
to such international gatherings and members of such international
church fora are elected by the religious communities in keeping with
their respective criteria.

     Most religious communities have developed various publishing
activities. They publish religious service and other books, university
and secondary school textbooks, as well as a number of magazines for
children, youth, the family or the broadest number of believers and
others concerned. Emphasis of late has been placed on the publishing
and distribution of video and audio tapes, up-to-date devices that
reach believers somewhat faster. All religious communities, especially
the minor ones, import considerable quantities of different
publications from abroad. Thus, for instance, on the initiative of the
Ministry for Religions of the Republic of Serbia, the Islamic
Community - the Madrasa in Novi Pazar - has imported duty-free from
France 20,000 copies of Koran which were then distributed to the
students at the madrasa in Novi Pazar free of charge The imported
quantity will, it is believed, meet the needs of that school in the
corning ten years. Religious books are sold without any restrictions
at bookshops and at other convenient places and the publishers of such
works exhibit them successfully at the book &ir and at other similar
events. Religious production is subject to general regulations
applicable to all publishers. The distribution of such publications is
completely free and not subject to any censorship.

     All religious communities are able to quite freely conduct
religious instruction and teach their followers' children and other
persons concerned. lnstruction takes place on Church and other
appropriate premises Textbooks and lecturers are provided by the
religious communities in keeping with their criteria. The success of
religious instruction and its child coverage depend in particular on
the degree of organization of each individual religious community and
the lecturers' capability to generate interest among their students.
The regulations in force do not envisage the possibility of organized
religious instruction at state-owned schools, but certain surveys are
underway to explore all the aspects of a possible arrangement designed
to offer religious instruction as an elective school subject to
children who express an interest therein.

     Certain religious communities that are active in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia run schools for priests and some send their
personnel for training abroad.

     The Islamic community has two secondary schools for the training
of Imam personnel. The Madrasa in Pristina organizes instruction in
the Albanian language and that in Novi Pazar in Serbian. At the
Pristina madrasa there are around 250 students, and around 150 at that
in Novi Pazar. Higher education is acquired at universities in Arab
and other Islamic countries which provide were favourable studying
conditions for all those concerned.

     The Christian Adventist Church has located its Faculty of Theology
in Belgrade with around 100 full-time and part-time students. The
Christian Baptist Church has a secondary and higher school of theology
in Novi Sad with a small number of students, and the Roman Catholic
Church has its secondary seminary in Subotica.

     A number of religious communities which are active in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia send their personnel for training abroad and,
upon completion of their studies,they in most cases re-assign them to
local churches. All the religious communities which have their
religious schools draw up their curricula and publish textbooks and
other teaching aids quite independently. The church organs responsible
for education select the teaching staff according to their own
criteria. They pursue their enrolment policy and fix quotas in
response to actual needs. All religious schools are outside the state
schooling system. Due to the need to preserve their autonomy and the
distinctive nature of religious schooling, the leaderships of these
religious communities have so far not demonstrated an interest in
changing that status.

     The Islamic religious community in the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia has a remarkable number of religious facilities which meet
all the believers' needs.

     According to the Islamic community's official documents, this
community has a total of 571 Moslem districts; 448 jaias with Imam,
123 districts without Imam, 457 mosques, 129 masjids; 58 Moslem
primary school classrooms; 19 dervish monasteries (tekkes); 33
turbehs, 50 offices; 21 funeral preparation chambers (gasulachanahs),
7 Imam apartments, 233 leased buildings; and 817 cemeteries.

     In Autonomous Province of Vojvodina there are around 200 Catholic
churches and about 20 Reform churches which bring together believers
who belong to different national minorities living in Autonomous
Province of Vojvodina. Many of these buildings are protected by the
state as cultural historical monuments.

     In the Republic of Montenegro the Roman Catholic Church has 148
churches and 70 other religious facilities, whereas the Islamic
religious community has 85 mosques and masjids, as well as 45 other
ecclesiastical facilities.

IV Some specific problems concerning the use of national minority
rights in FR Yugoslavia

     Apart from the above mentioned rights, national minorities also
use other general rights like the right to health care, employment,
entitlements stemming from employment, old-age and disability
insurance benefits, child care, etc.

     No major difficulties have been encountered in the implementation
of these rights in Autonomous Province Vojvodina, whereas a great
majority of ethnic Albanians in Autonomous Province of Kosovo and
Metohija have been refusing to use those rights due to the well-known
separatist trends which have been particularly pronounced in the past
few years.

Health care

     Due to the high birth rate among the Albanian national minority in
Kosovo and Metohija (2.9 %), which is the highest in Europe, the
population in this region has tripled in the past few decades. Such a
high natural increment has led to a change in the health status of the
local population in Kosovo and Metohija both with regard to its
morbidity and mortality.

     The high share of young people (I - 14 years) who make up 42 per
cent of the population and that aged below 30 who account for 70 per
cent thereof accounts for distinctive morbidity and mortality
patterns. The health status of the population is characterized, on the
one hand, by a low mortality rate overall due to the high percentage
of young population and, on the other hand, by a high percentage of
mortality in the 0 - 4 years age group due to the failure to take
up-to-date preventive measures, i.e. vaccination. Pristina boasts a
Clinical-Hospital Centre comprising 20 clinics, centres and
institutes, medical faculties, public health care centres, the Blood
Transfusion Institute There are also 4 large health centres in Pec,
Prizren, Gnjilane and Kosovska Mitrovica All these institutions have a
12,461 medical personnel of which 66 % are ethnic Albanians. The
health service of Kosovo and Metohija operates as a part of a single
health care system of the Republic of Serbia. The Provinces secure for
their citizens the right to health care in the same manner as it is
provided to the citizens in other parts of the Republic, regardless of
their religion, ethnic origin, gender, age, etc. Despite the
successful development of the health service and the results attesting
to the improvement in the public health status, according to certain
data and reports, the quality of the health care service falls short
of the attained level of development and the
internationally-recognized professional-medical principles.

     The principled position of health workers who stand ready to
extend appropriate health care to everyone who so requests provides a
solid basis for re-building confidence among all citizens of this
region. In addition to the many difficulties in organizing health-care
activities, numerous problems have arisen as a result of sanctions so
that health workers who were unable to procure sanitary and other
necessary supplies have had to resort to most primitive methods to
prevent the incidence of communicable diseases.


     A large number of ethnic Albanian workers have wilfully abandoned
their enterprises and government institutions obviously in response to
the orders of their secessionist leaders, the orders that represent a
gross manipulation and abuse for political purposes. The Constitution
guarantees the right to work. Thus, for instance, the real objective
of those who ordered ethnic Albanian workers to abandon their
workposts was to paralyze economic life and promote the claim that
"Kosovo is not Serbia". Thus, for example, the recent re-start of
production at the Mining-Metallurgical Kombinat TREPCA and the return
of a significant number of Albanians to work shows that the right to
employment has not been denied to the Albanian population. The
individuals who have resisted separatist pressures are now working
normally in a number of different sectors.

     This boycott has made it impossible to enforce Article 23 of the
Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 6 of the International
Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights and Article S of the
International Convention on the abolition of all forms of racial

     However, notwithstanding the boycott, persons belonging to the
Albanian national minority account for 60 % of around 120,000
employees in the social sector.

     The Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija owns the bulk of
private capital in privately-owned firms. The Albanian separatist
leadership has levied an illegal 3 % tax on all gainfully-employed
persons to finance their separatist and other activities with a view
to undermining the constitutional order and destabilizing the Republic
of Serbia.

Child care

     In the area of child care we wish to point out in particular to the
problem of using the right to family allowance in Autonomous Province of
Kosovo and Metohija.

     Namely, in 1991 the number of family allowance recipients was
236,000, and at present this right is used by around 90,000 children.
The reasons for this substantial reduction in the number of recipients
are not and cannot be the arrangements laid down by the Law on social
child care which was passed towards the end of July 1992 because the
new arrangements, compared with those in force in Autonomous Province
of Kosovo and Metohija in the precious period, extend the coverage of
recipients that can claim family allowance also to farmers, the
jobless and to the recipients of family welfare benefits. They also
regulate in a more favourable manner the rate of family allowance by
pegging it to the average monthly salary in the enterprise sector of
the Republic.

     The main reason for this reduction is the lower number of children
who attend classes regularly, a requirement which must be satisfied
throughout the Republic as a precondition for this entitlement.

     It should be stressed here that the parents of the ethnic Albanian
children who do not attend classes regularly have but in a small
number of cases applied for this benefit and most have not used their
right to lodge a complaint nor resorted to any other legal remedies,
it follows from all this that they neither wish nor dare use this
right, being as they are under pressure from separatists Any attempts
to place this problem in the context of violations of ethnic Albanian
children's human rights are untenable The competent bodies of FR
Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia seek to make ethnic Albanian
children attend classes regularly again and thus qualify for other
rights which belong to all citizens of FR Yugoslavia and the Republic
of Serbia including the right to family allowance

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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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