Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. The capital and the largest city is Skopje, which is country’s political, cultural, economic, and academic center. According to population estimates (at 30 June 2014), the Republic of Macedonia has 2 067 471 inhabitants. The data from the last Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in 2002 showed that main ethnic groups in Macedonia are Macedonians 1,297,981 (64%), Albanians 509,083 (25%), Turks 77,959 (3.9%) and Roma 53,879 (2.66%). Two main religions in Macedonia are Eastern Orthodoxy (64,7%) and Islam (33,3%). The biggest inter-ethnic tension saw Macedonia in 2001, when the country found itself on the verge of civil war between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians. Feeling oppressed Albanians started demanding greater rights, in the later phase by force. After a few months of instability and heavy fighting the Ohrid Agreement, which set the groundwork for improving the rights of ethnic Albanians, was signed. The armed conflict was thus ended, but tension between both ethnics endures to this day. As for Roma minority its situation is, despite numerous  improvements, still unsatisfactory. Poverty is widespread and Roma are often excluded from different aspects of social and economic life, including employment, housing and education. Hate speech and racism towards Roma are common problems as well. Unfortunately hate speech towards and physical attacks against LGBTI persons are also present. LGBTI persons suffers from hate crimes, homo- and transphobia and difficult working conditions for civil society organizations. Anti-discrimination legislation does not include sexual orientation or gender identity, and is not included in legislation on hate crimes either.

Sources:

Macedonia Demographics Profile
http://bit.ly/1TccI8I

Albanian report on national minorities 
http://bit.ly/1IjIwZ9

Macedonia 2013 Human Rights Report 
http://1.usa.gov/1eDodVg

Ethnic Mobilization in Macedonia (2007)
http://bit.ly/1PfZ5ED

Fact Sheet on the situation of Roma in Macedonia (report available for download) 
http://bit.ly/1ZkFGan

Shadow Report On the Situation of Romani Women In the Republic of Macedonia 
http://bit.ly/1QBpgJq

Study on Homophobia, Transphobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Legal Report: “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” by human rights advisor Ninoslav Mladenovic
http://bit.ly/1ZkHwIl

Reports of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Republic of Macedonia 
http://bit.ly/1Yr9swY