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Title:  Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia Human Rights Practices, 1995   
Author:  U.S. Department of State    
Date:  March 1996    
 
 
 
 
           THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA 
 
 
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which became 
independent in 1991 following the breakup of Yugoslavia, is a 
parliamentary democracy.  The first postindependence multiparty 
elections were held in October 1994.  International monitors judged them 
to be generally free and fair despite numerous procedural irregularities 
and complaints by the opposition parties.  In October President Kiro 
Gligorov was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by car bomb.  
Constitutional mechanisms for appointment of an acting President 
functioned smoothly after the attack. 
 
The Ministry of Internal Affairs oversees a security apparatus that 
includes uniformed police, border police, and the state intelligence 
service.  A civilian minister controls the ministry, and a parliamentary 
commission oversees operations. 
 
FYROM was the poorest of the Yugoslav republics, and its economy was 
closely tied to the other republics, especially Serbia.  Conflict in the 
region and sanctions imposed on Serbia-Montenegro, along with the 
problems of transition to a market economy, have led to severe economic 
difficulties.  In February 1994, Greece imposed a trade embargo in a 
dispute over the country's name, flag, and constitution, which 
contributed to a sharp drop in the gross domestic product.  The two 
Governments agreed in September to resolve some of their differences, 
leading to a lifting of the trade embargo.   
 
The Constitution provides for fundamental human rights and the 
Government generally respects them in practice.  There are occasional 
reports of police abuse of prisoners. 
 
The Government closed a number of independent media outlets in the 
second half of 1995, saying that it was simply introducing order in a 
chaotic broadcast milieu.  However, it has not yet set up a proper 
regulatory framework. 
 
Minorities, including Albanians, Turks, and Serbs, raised various 
allegations of human rights infringements and discrimination.  Ethnic 
Macedonians fill a disproportionate number of positions in state 
institutions, including formerly state-owned companies.  Government 
promises to boost the number of minorities in these institutions have 
not been implemented, except for the conscript ranks of the armed 
forces.  An attempt by the ethnic Albanian community to open an 
Albanian-language university was declared illegal by the Government.  
The Government's use of police in February to close one university 
building resulted in a violent clash that left one demonstrator dead and 
nearly 30 demonstrators and policemen injured.  Several people, 
including the rector of the university and the head of the Helsinki 
Committee in Gostivar, were arrested after the incident, charged, and 
convicted with inciting to riot, despite a lack of evidence linking them 
directly to the disturbance.  The Government has agreed in principle to 
most minority demands, but has done little to implement them, citing 
resource constraints as the reason.  
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
There were no reports of political killings by government officials.  
 
On February 17, a demonstrator was killed in a violent clash between 
ethnic Albanians and police who were sent in to close a private, 
"unauthorized" Albanian-language university (see Sections 1.e. and 
2.b.).  The Ministry of Internal Affairs claimed after an investigation 
that the demonstrator was hit by a bullet from a handgun fired by 
someone in the crowd, not from a police AK-47 assault rifle.  However, a 
credible report from a nongovernmental organization (NGO) concluded that 
the wounds on the body were probably from an AK-47. 
 
On October 3, a remote-controlled car bomb seriously injured President 
Kiro Gligorov.  Two persons died in the attack, and a number were 
injured.  By year's end, President Gligorov was reovering from his 
injuries and had resumed a limited official schedule.  The investigation 
continued at year's end. 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.  
 
   c.   Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Constitution prohibits such treatment and punishment.  Informed 
sources report that mistreatment in prisons is rare.  However, police 
occasionally use excessive force during and following the arrest of 
criminal suspects. 
 
Prison conditions are generally acceptable.  Prisoners complain about 
unpalatable food and lack of exercise, but there are few if any reports 
of abuse by prison authorities (who are separate from the police).   
 
In March following a prison takeover, television footage--including that 
broadcast by state television--showed prisoners being led by police 
officers from the prison roof.  Out of sight of the cameras, the sounds 
of beatings were audible; thereafter, bloodied prisoners were led out by 
the police, once again in full view of the cameras.   
 
The Ministry of Internal Affairs apologized after a September incident 
in which police used excessive force to break up a late-night party in 
Skopje.   
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
There were no confirmed reports of arbitrary arrest.  Opposition 
political parties alleged police harassment of their members, but there 
have not been any clear, confirmed cases.  There is no systematic use of 
detention as a form of nonjudicial punishment.  Incommunicado detention 
is not practiced, although the 24-hour deadline for filing of charges 
and notification to courts after arrests is not always met. 
 
The Constitution states that a person must be arraigned in court within 
24 hours of arrest and sets the maximum duration of detention pending 
trial at 90 days.  The authorities must inform detainees of their legal 
rights and the reason for the arrest or detention.  The accused is 
entitled to contact a lawyer at the time of arrest and to have a lawyer 
present during police and court proceedings.  Indigents are provided 
with legal counsel. 
 
According to human rights observers and criminal defense attorneys, 
police often violate the 24-hour requirement and deny immediate access 
to an attorney.  Although the law requires warrants for arrests, this 
provision is also sometimes ignored, and the warrant issued only some 
time after the arrest. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
Constitutionally, the courts are autonomous and independent.  Municipal 
courts, district courts and a supreme court form a three-tiered system.  
A Constitutional Court deals with matters of constitutional 
interpretation.  Almost all trials appear to be uninfluenced by 
political considerations, although there is a credible perception that 
bribery is not uncommon in the courts.  The Constitutional Court has a 
mandate to protect human rights, but has not taken action in any case in 
this area.  Parliament has yet to pass implementing legislation to 
establish a people's ombudsman to defend citizens' constitutional and 
legal rights. 
 
Ten ethnic Albanians who were convicted in the politically charged 
Albanian Paramilitary case in mid-1994 were all released in August.  Two 
of them were pardoned and the other eight released after having served 
at least one-third of their sentence with good behavior. 
 
After the Mala Rechica (Albanian university) incident in which a 
demonstrator was killed in February, six people were tried 
administratively and sentenced to 30 days for disturbing the public 
order.  Three others were charged with "calling on the people to resist" 
or "interfering with the police in the performance of their official 
duties."  Albanian university "rector" Fadil Sulejmani was convicted on 
the first charge and sentenced to 30 months in jail on the basis of a 
statement he made 2 days before the incident.  He had called on ethnic 
Albanians to demonstrate in favor of the university 2 days before the 
disturbance occurred.  He had not called for any violent action and was 
not on the scene.  His codefendant, a human rights activist, received a 
6-month sentence on the same charge.  Ethnic Albanian political leader 
Nevzat Halili was convicted and sentenced to 18 months for interference 
with the police despite a lack of strong evidence that he had done 
anything more than observe the events in Mala Rechica.  All those 
convicted were eventually released on bail pending appeal. 
 
There were no reports of political prisoners. 
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The right to privacy of person, home, and correspondence is provided for 
in the Constitution.  Although no instances of abuses were 
substantiated, officials of an ethnic Serbian political party charged 
that their telephones were tapped and their privacy violated by the 
state security service.  They also complained about an incident in which 
police entered the party offices and demanded that a portrait of Serbian 
leader Slobodan Milosevic be taken down. 
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Constitution forbids censorship and provides for freedom of speech, 
public access, public information, and freedom to establish private 
media outlets.  However, a number of private broadcast stations were 
shut down by the authorities, including local affiliates of the Voice of 
America and the British Broadcasting Corporation.  The Government 
maintains that it is merely closing unlicensed stations to bring order 
to a chaotic broadcasting scene.  However, it has not set up a proper 
regulatory mechanism for the broadcast media.  Members of the  media, 
and the political opposition believe that the Government is shutting 
private outlets to restrict the flow of information and opinion.  
Members of national minorities charge that minority-language stations 
are targeted disproportionately.  While there is no clear pattern of 
government suppression of the private media, it is difficult for the 
Government to refute such charges in the absence of a transparent 
regulatory regime. 
 
In July the Government said that it would not renew the accreditation of 
the local correspondent for the VOA's Albanian service, alleging that 
she had engaged in political and even criminal activities incompatible 
with her status as a journalist.  The Government did not detail its 
charges beyond stating that the journalist was involved in promoting the 
Albanian-language university in Tetovo, which the Government considers 
illegal.  There were other cases in which journalists working for 
Albanian-language media were taken into custody by police, harassed, and 
in one case deported.  A correspondent for an opposition weekly and a 
correspondent for an independent Turkish-language paper also had their 
credentials rescinded. 
 
There are several daily newspapers in Skopje, and numerous weekly 
political and other publications, including weeklies published by 
opposition groups.  An Albanian and a Turkish newspaper are distributed 
nationally and subsidized by the Government.  The bulk of newspapers and 
magazines published in the country are government owned and government 
oriented.  Opposition parties have made alleged government control and 
manipulation of the media a major theme of their complaints about the 
present Government.  The state-owned media report such charges, and in 
general do give some coverage to the statements and press conferences of 
opposition parties.  The overall balance of coverage, however, is in 
favor of the Government. 
 
The leading newspaper publisher is a government company that owns the 
only modern, high-speed printing plant in the country, as well as most 
newspaper kiosks.  Opposition groups complain that they are charged high 
prices for the services of the printing plant.  Newspapers can be 
imported from Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, and Greece only with the 
permission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 
 
The former Ministry of Information has been downgraded from a ministry 
to a secretariat, but it continues to decide on accreditation of 
journalists and to be involved in closing independent media outlets. 
 
Academic freedom is respected in theory and practice.  However, an 
attempt by the ethnic Albanian community to open an Albanian-language 
university was declared illegal by the Government (see Sections 1.a., 
1.e., and 2.b.). 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides for these rights.  Advance notification to the 
police is required, but the authorities do not appear to abuse the 
requirement.  Opposition rallies occur on a regular basis. 
 
Political parties and NGO's are required to register with the Interior 
Ministry in compliance with a comprehensive political party registration 
law.  Some 44 political parties are registered, including ethnically 
based parties of Albanians, Turks, Serbs, and Roma. 
 
An attempt by the ethnic Albanian community to open an Albanian-language 
University was declared illegal by the Government.  On February 17, 
police action to close a university building resulted in a violent clash 
that left 1 demonstrator dead and nearly 30 demonstrators and policemen 
injured, after police opened fire in response to rocks and lumber thrown 
by members of the crowd. 
 
Several people, including the rector of the university and the head of 
the Helsinki Committee in Gostivar, were arrested after the incident and 
charged and convicted with inciting to riot (see Section 1.e.).  In 
October the Government publicly reaffirmed its position that the 
university is illegal by refusing to grant its students conscription 
deferments (available to state university students). 
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
The Constitution specifically provides for freedom of religion for "the 
Macedonian Orthodox Church and other religious communities and groups."   
 
The Government does not generally interfere with the practice of 
religion.  However, the refusal of the Serbian Orthodox Church to 
recognize the independence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church has led to 
difficulties for Serbs who wish to worship in their own church.  On a 
number of occasions the Government has refused Serbian Orthodox priests 
permission to enter the country.   
 
While only the Macedonian Orthodox Church is mentioned by name in the 
Constitution referring to freedom of religion, it does not enjoy 
established status.  However, members of other religious communities 
credibly charge that the Government favors it based on the ease with 
which it can obtain property and building permits for new construction.  
During 1995 at least two or three houses that did not have such permits 
and were being used as mosques were destroyed by the authorities. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
Citizens are permitted free movement within the country as well as the 
right to leave and return.  These rights may be restricted for security, 
public health, and safety reasons, but are fully respected in practice. 
 
The law on citizenship is highly restrictive, requiring, for example, 15 
years of residence for naturalization.  This has left some people who 
were living legally in the country at the time of independence without 
citizenship.  This particularly affects ethnic Albanians who had moved 
from other parts of Yugoslavia before independence.  As citizens of the 
predecessor state living in the territory of the FYROM at the time of 
independence, they believe that they have a right to citizenship. 
 
Ethnic Albanian political leaders also charge that Ministry of Internal 
Affairs officials responsible for making citizenship determinations 
discriminate against ethnic Albanian applicants.  The officials are said 
to make more demanding documentary requirements and to fail to act on 
applications expeditiously.  There are also credible charges that 
officials demanded bribes in return for a favorable decision.  However, 
the same kinds of citizenship problems also affected many ethnic 
Macedonians. 
 
While the country accepted a number of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia 
at the start of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, it restricted 
entry of additional refugees in 1992, and now accepts only citizens and 
other former residents for repatriation.  There was one report that the 
Government had deported refugees approved by the U.N. High Commissioner 
for Refugees during 1995, but the Government says that they were sent on 
to asylum states in Western Europe. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Citizens elected a president by popular vote for the first time in 
October 1994.  At the same time they chose a new Parliament in the 
second multiparty elections in the country's postwar history, the first 
since independence.  Opposition groups charged the Government with 
massive fraud and boycotted the second round.  International monitors, 
under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the Conference on 
Security and Cooperation in Europe, found the elections to be generally 
free and fair despite widespread irregularities attributed largely to 
careless organization. 
 
Ethnic minorities, including Albanians, Turks, Serbs, and Roma, have 
political parties to represent their interests.  Minorities complained 
that the political structures were biased against them.  Albanian-
majority districts had far more voters than Macedonian ones, thus 
calling into question the "one-person, one-vote" principle.  The ethnic 
Turkish and Serbian communities were disappointed because the failure of 
the previous Parliament to pass a new election law providing for 20 
seats to be elected by proportional representation meant that their 
dispersed members could not elect a candidate on an ethnic basis.  
Despite such shortcomings, access to the political process was available 
to all citizens.  However, ethnic Albanians complained that 
discrimination against them in citizenship decisions effectively 
disenfranchised a large portion of their community (see Section 2.d.). 
 
The 120-member unicameral Parliament governs the country.  The Prime 
Minister, as head of government, is selected by the party or coalition 
with a majority in the assembly.  He and the other ministers may not be 
members of Parliament.  The Prime Minister is formally appointed by the 
President, who is Head of State, chairman of the Security Council, and 
commander in chief of the armed forces. 
 
The opposition party boycott of the second round of parliamentary 
elections in October 1994 resulted in a dominant role in Parliament for 
the government coalition parties.  The composition of the Parliament 
limits the ability of the opposition parties, and their constituencies, 
to make their views known concerning matters before Parliament.  There 
is little or no use of public hearings or public commissions on pending 
legislative matters. 
 
No formal restrictions exist on the participation of women in politics 
and government.  There are 2 female ministers (out of 20) and 4 female 
Members of Parliament (out of 120).  
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
Human rights groups and ethnic community representatives meet freely 
with foreign representatives without government interference.  The Forum 
for Human Rights, a nongovernmental  group, operates freely.  The 
Government does not oppose visits or investigations by international 
human rights groups.  The mediator on ethnic issues of the International 
Conference on the Former Yugoslavia has visited the country frequently 
to discuss various issues with representatives of minority groups and 
with the Government. 
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution provides for equal rights for all citizens regardless 
of sex, race, national or social origin, political or religious beliefs, 
property, or social status.   
 
   Women 
 
Women's groups report that there is widespread violence against women.  
Cultural norms work against the reporting of such violence: there has 
not been a single case of criminal charges being brought on these 
grounds for 15 years.  A hot line established in 1994 received some 900 
calls during 1995.  
 
Women enjoy the same legal rights as men.  Macedonian society, in both 
the Muslim and Christian communities, remains traditionally patriarchal, 
and advancement of women into nontraditional roles is limited.  Some 
prominent professional women are nevertheless now visible.  Women's 
advocacy groups include the Union of Macedonian Women and the League of 
Albanian Women in Macedonia.   
 
   Children 
 
The Government is committed to providing education and health care for 
children.  Its ability to provide social services is under resource 
constraints, and the provision of schooling beyond eighth grade and 
modern medical care is further hampered by poor transportation 
infrastructure in mountainous rural areas.  There is no pattern of 
societal abuse against children. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
The population of 2.2 million is composed of a variety of national and 
ethnic groups, mainly Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, and 
Vlakhs.  All citizens are equal under the law.  The Constitution 
provides for the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and 
religious identity of minorities, including state support for primary 
and secondary (but not university level) education in minority 
languages. 
 
Ethnic tensions and prejudices are evident.  The Government is committed 
to a policy of peaceful integration of all ethnic groups into society 
but faces political resistance and the persistence of popular prejudices 
in the lower levels of administration.  Moreover, the economic crisis 
makes it difficult for the Government to find resources to fulfill 
minority aspirations, such as more education in minority languages.  The 
main political opposition is more ethnocentric than the governing 
coalition and has objected to some modest steps to meet the educational 
needs of minorities. 
 
Popular prejudices can affect the relationship that ethnic minorities 
have with the Government.  For example, in a village in the Skopje area, 
Macedonian and Serbian parents protested the use of the local school 
building for teaching children in Albanian as well as Macedonian despite 
the fact that the Albanian-language classes were on a separate shift. 
 
Representatives of the ethnic Albanian community, by far the largest 
minority group with 22.9 percent of the population, are the most vocal 
in charging discrimination.  Expressing concern about government 
manipulation of the data, the ethnic Albanian community boycotted a 1990 
census.  A census held during the summer of 1994 to correct the 
situation was marred by the threat of a boycott.  A group of experts 
from the Council of Europe monitored the census and were satisfied that 
it was carried out fairly and accurately, and that virtually all of the 
ethnic Albanian community took part.  According to the census, Turks are 
4 percent of the population, Roma 2.3 percent, and Serbs 2 percent.  
About 8,500 citizens declared themselves as Vlakhs. 
 
Ethnic Albanians complain that there are not enough Albanian-language 
media outlets.  There are also complaints about the small amount of 
broadcast time in the Albanian language on state television (1 1/2 hours 
daily), although this represents an increase over the past year.  The 
Government is seeking international financing to open a third state-
owned television channel for minority-language broadcasts.  In the 
meantime, the growth of private media outlets has helped fill some of 
the gap. 
 
Underrepresentation of ethnic Albanians in the military and police is 
another grievance of the community.  Even in areas dominated by ethnic 
Albanians, the police force remains overwhelmingly ethnic Macedonian, 
with only 4 percent ethnic Albanians.  The Ministry is making efforts to 
recruit ethnic Albanian police cadets, but maintains that it is very 
difficult to attract qualified candidates.  Ethnic Albanian leaders 
allege that there is continued discrimination against those who do 
apply.  There has been more improvement regarding the proportion of 
ethnic Albanians recruited into the military.  Military service is a 
universal male obligation, and it appears that most young men, whatever 
their ethnic origin, now fulfill it.  The proportion of ethnic Albanians 
in the ranks is now estimated at 25 percent, although in the officer 
corps it is lower.  A plan to take in minority members as 25 percent of 
the first military academy class this year was not realized, according 
to the Ministry of Defense, because there was an insufficient pool of 
qualified applicants.  The first ethnic Albanian was promoted to general 
in mid-year. 
 
Albanian-language education is a crucial issue for the ethnic Albanian 
community:  it is seen as vital to preserve Albanian heritage and 
culture.  Almost all ethnic Albanian children receive 8 years of 
education in Albanian-language schools.  Only about a third of them go 
on to high school, partly because of the lack of available classes and 
partly because the traditional nature of ethnic Albanian society means 
that many families in rural areas see no need to educate their children, 
especially girls, beyond the eighth grade. 
 
Ethnic Turks also complain of governmental, societal, and cultural 
discrimination.  Their main complaints center on Turkish-language 
education, and media.  One long-running dispute has been over the desire 
of parents who consider themselves Turkish to educate their children in 
Turkish despite the fact that they do not speak Turkish at home.  The 
Education Ministry refuses to provide Turkish-language education for 
children who do not speak Turkish.  The parents have banded together to 
hire teachers of their own, but this kind of private education is not 
legally authorized. 
 
Serbs also complain of discrimination, alleged censorship of the Serbian 
press, and an inability to worship freely in the Serbian Orthodox Church 
(see Section 2.c.). 
 
Little tension is evident between Roma and other citizens of the 
country.  There has been some progress on providing supplementary Roma-
language education, but no call for a full curriculum is apparent.  
There is some Roma-language broadcasting. 
 
A number of Macedonian Muslims and Bosnian Muslims are also present in 
the country. 
 
The Government has established a 13-member Council on Ethnic Relations 
with representatives of the country's main ethnic groups.  The Council 
has not, however, played an active role.  Despite underlying ethnic 
tensions, few incidents have occurred apart from the February 17 
university confrontation.  
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
Special programs to meet the needs of the disabled exist, to the extent 
that government resources allow.  Discrimination on the basis of 
disability is forbidden by law.  There are no laws or regulations 
mandating accessibility for disabled persons. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
The 1991 Constitution provides citizens with the right to form trade 
unions.  There are restrictions on this right for the military, police, 
and civil service.  The Council of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSM) is 
the successor organization to the old Communist labor confederation.  It 
maintains the assets of the old unions and is the Government's main 
negotiating partner on labor issues.  While its officers may tend to 
oppose strikes because of the legacy of the past, they appear to be 
independent of the Government and committed to the interests of the 
workers they represent.  An Association of Independent and Autonomous 
Unions was formed in 1992, and independent unions have been allowed to 
organize without harassment by the Government or official unions.  The 
disastrous economic situation in the country led to many brief strikes 
in 1995.  These were undertaken mainly by employees of state-owned 
companies, many of whom were receiving their pay months late or were 
being laid off as the companies were privatized.  The companies, cut off 
by the Greek embargo from the new markets they had begun developing 
since the collapse of Yugoslavia, often simply did not have the money to 
pay their workers.  In most cases, the workers and unions understood 
these difficulties and showed great restraint. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The Constitution implicitly recognizes employees' right to bargain 
collectively.  Collective bargaining is still in its infancy.  
Legislation in this area has yet to be passed by parliament.   
 
Official unemployment is about a third of the work force, and many 
people who are ostensibly employed are in fact furloughed.  Even 
employed workers routinely receive their salaries several months late. 
 
There are no export processing zones. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
Legal prohibitions against forced labor are observed in practice. 
 
   d.   Minimum Age of Employment for Children 
 
The constitutional minimum age for employment of children is 15 years.  
Younger children, however, are often seen peddling cigarettes or other 
small items or working in family-owned shops or on family farms.  
Children may not legally work nights but are permitted to work 42-hour 
weeks.  Education is compulsory through the eighth grade.  The 
Ministries of Interior and Labor are responsible for enforcing laws 
regulating the employment of children. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The average monthly wage in July was about $225 (denars 8,546).  The 
minimum wage is, by law, two-thirds of the average wage.  The economic 
crisis meant that few workers could support a family on their wages 
alone and had to do additional work in the informal economy or draw on 
savings.  Yugoslavia had extensive laws concerning acceptable conditions 
of work, including an official 42-hour workweek with a minimum 24-hour 
rest period and generous vacation and sick leave benefits.  FYROM 
adopted many of these provisions, including the workweek and rest 
period. 
 
The Constitution provides for safe working conditions, temporary 
disability compensation, and leave benefits.  Laws and regulations on 
worker safety remain from the Yugoslav era.  However, credible reports 
suggest that the Ministry of Labor and Social Work which is responsible 
for enforcing regulations pertaining to working conditions does not 
enforce them strictly. 
 
 
If workers have safety concerns, employers are supposed to address the 
dangerous situations.  Should they fail to do so, employees may leave 
the dangerous condition without forfeiting their jobs.  
 
(###)

[end of document]

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