LIL is an association of educators founded in 2005 with the primary objective to protect rights of women and children. LIL actively works and acts in the municipalities of Gjorche Petrov, Karposh and Saraj. The main target group is the marginalized Romani population and the association’s activities are directed towards it with an aim to provide enjoyment of basic rights and interests granted with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Macedonia, and international acts ratified in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.  
The primary objective of LIL is protection of women’s and children’s rights, and in its implementation it has the role of mediator between the Romani community and authorized state bodies and institutions in the Republic of Macedonia.
LIL works with Romani families whose status is not recognized in the Republic of Macedonia and have no identity legal papers that on another hand are the main reasons for not having health insurance and health protection. LIL undertakes wide range of activities such as providing free legal and financial assistance, vaccination of children, mediation between state institutions and Romani people as well as advocacy and lobby.  

Identified problems of Romani population,

As one of the most marginalized ethnic groups in Macedonia that faces with low incomes and low level of education, Romani people also face with the problem of regulation of their stay in the Republic of Macedonia. Based on the work conducted on field and the several researches mentioned above, LIL concluded the existence of the following problems that people from Roma ethnicity face with:
1.    Registration in the Register of births and registration of child’s personal name
2.    Common appearance of under-age marriages
3.    No access to health care and no healthcare insurance coverage
4.    Unregulated status in the Republic of Macedonia
5.    No citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia
6.    Lack of finances to cover taxes, no possession of valid identity papers as well as ignorance of the procedure are among the main reasons due to which most parents do not lodge a request to report their child’s personal name. By not reporting a child, it is denied the child a right to acquire Macedonian citizenship, to be part of the regular process of vaccination, education and, in future, to enjoy its rights by law.
7.    Many Roma women living in illegitimate union with Macedonian citizens have not regulated their stay in Macedonia and as a consequence, they have no health insurance. Due to that they are forced to give birth in home conditions and as a consequence of that their children are not reported i.e. they formally do not exist in the registration system.
8.    Under-age marriages are another reason for non-registration of newborn babies in Register of births and non-reporting of their name. In these cases, both parents who are under-age most often do not have valid identity papers and cannot report their child or child’s personal name. Great influence in this case has lack of information about the possibility to appoint a guardian, with help of the Social Services Center, who can report a birth of a newborn baby and its personal name.
Case 1: Under-age mother and her unreported child

The person A.A. at the age of 17 is a single under-age mother. Due to her minor age, A.A. faced with difficulties to report her child’s birth. A.A. is a Macedonian citizen who could not provide key identification papers out of financial reasons. Her family was identified as a family under social risk and it was paid attention and offered assistance to the very same. 

Measures undertaken
Within its project activities and related to the above-mentioned case LIL obtained identification papers for the under-age mother. LIL started a procedure for registration of her child’s birth when the documents were completed. According to the new practice of the Ministry of Interior Affairs for under-age parents to report their children through a guardian appointed by Social Services Center, LIL within five working days provided a resolution that appoints the mother of the under-age A.A. for a guardian to register the child in the Register of births. The child was successfully registered after the activities undertaken by LIL. When the person A.A. turned 18 and became major she fulfilled the condition to register herself with the Employment Service Agency and provided health insurance for her and her child. At the same time, documents for permanent financial aid for the person A.A. and her child were completed on initiative of NGO “LIL”.

Providing the citizens of the settlement Topaana of Skopje with an emergency medical help

The citizens of the settlement Topaana of Skopje, in particular those living in the streets of No. 365, No. 377, No. 383, No. 364, No. 200, Topaanska St. and Joakim Krchovski St., have been complaining for months about not receiving health care by the Skopje Emergency Service. These citizens have been saying over and over again that most often they do not receive an emergency medical help since the ambulance cannot respond to their calls and come to the right location of a patient due to a poor infrastructure in the settlement.
Upon the citizens’ petition submitted to the Association for protection of women’s and children’s rights LIL from Skopje, the Association made a formal request to the PHI Healthcare Home Skopje – OU Emergency Department for them to make efforts for offering an emergency medical help with an ambulance on a spot suitable for the staff to walk to a patient, all of this irrelevant of the poor infrastructure or impossibility to park a vehicle on the right location and aimed at giving a first aid to the patient on time.  
The Service’s reply is that 39 interventions were made during the months of March, April and May 2013 on demand of the citizens living in the above-mentioned streets who complained about not receiving emergency medical help. Hence, that speaks about the qualitative and continuous health care offered by the Service within the systems of health care and health insurance. 
This situation of two different statements arises the need of a further cooperation between the citizens of Topaana and the Emergency Service to build a bridge across the two sides that will help these citizens to get more information about the services offered by this Service.
Due to that, representatives of the Service are to increase their actions according to the Association for protection of women’s and children’s rights LIL from Skopje and their task shall be to inform about all services offered to citizens through meetings and workshops that shall help in not having cases of misunderstanding when the Service provides health care. Due to that, according to the Association for protection of women’s and children’s rights LIL from Skopje, the representatives of the Service are to increase their actions and, through meetings and workshops, to inform in field about all the services offered to the citizens, so in that way to stop cases of misunderstandings on the health care offered by the Service.  

The poor always gets the worst of a bargain

Roma people in this country are the most vulnerable group because of the extreme poverty which is their everyday life. Many of them very often cannot enjoy certain fundamental rights or basic health services because of the lack of finances for everyday life. There are cases of Roma patients getting appropriate health care, but cannot pay for it.

One of those cases is the case of a patient from Skopje who is under social risk, receiving no social financial help and living in sub-standard living conditions due to what its health got worse. Once the patient was hospitalized at one of the Skopje clinics in the period between December 2012 - January 2013 and provided with an appropriate health service, the patient was released from the hospital but without discharge papers since he / she could not pay for the hospital costs, and he / she was also told that once the costs are covered the papers shall be issued. The patient could not continue its treatment without the discharge papers and, thus, its health condition could get worse.  

The Association for protection of women’s and children’s rights LIL from Skopje lodged a complaint to the Ombudsman in order to get information about the factual condition of this case. Once the Ombudsman sent a reaction to the Skopje clinic, the Ombudsman was informed that the clinic regularly gives discharge papers without any conditions for paying participation as well as that discharging papers were not an issue in this patient’s case.
The result of this case is issued discharge papers that enable further patient’s treatment, but he / she has a debt at the hospital that prevents his / her further hospitalization in it. Without resolving this issue at a higher institutional level and finding appropriate compensation, accusations from both sides shall be a two way process since both side have right.    

Release from a participation for provided health services

Beneficiaries of a pension below 10,870 denars are released from paying participation for provided health services according to the Programme for raising finances for a hospital treatment without participation of retired persons whose pension is lower than the average in the Republic of Macedonia.
But, despite this, there are cases of activities in our country that are opposite to this Programme. One of those cases, in which the Association for protection of women’s and children’s rights LIL from Skopje made efforts, is the case of a retired woman from Skopje whose monthly pension is lower than the average pension in the Republic of Macedonia and who paid 1,700 denars for her hospitalization in the City General Hospital 8mi Septemvri Skopje in the month of March.
LIL lodged a complaint to the Ombudsman on the irregularities in this case, upon which the Ombudsman pointed out that the mentioned person fulfils the Programme criteria and asked for her to be released from participation, in fact, to be returned the money for a participation paid on no grounds.
All citizens eager to learn more about people released from paying participation and on which grounds can do that on the following link: