Ambassadors to Czech Republic: Discrimination of Roma still exists
On the occasion of International Romani Day 8 April, seven ambassadors to the Czech Republic have signed a declaration in support of the Romani community. In their statement, the ambassadors emphasize that this day is an occasion to celebrate Romani culture and heritage and is also a day for awareness of the fact that this group of people, frequently living on the outskirts of society, faces discrimination across Europe.
Declaration by Seven Ambassadors to the Czech Republic on International Romani Day 2015
International Romani Day, which falls on 8 April, is an occasion to reflect on the position of Romani people in society. There are many examples of Romani successes, but still many cases of their discrimination throughout Europe.
Even though the main problems persist, we are optimists. The Czech Government has introduced many important measures to improve the quality of life of its most disadvantaged citizens, including many Romani people.
Those measures include reform of the housing supplement, addressing the question of indebtedness, and a new approach to education. The assistance of civil society in the creation of these measures is playing a very significant role.
In the field of education, great hope has been raised by the recently-amended Schools Act, which will create the prerequisites for a more inclusive education for all, including Romani people. As long as sufficient financing is provided, the Education Ministry will have the opportunity to resolve the current unjust state in which Romani children comprise 25 % of the pupils in special education, even though Roma represent only 3 % of the population overall.
There are already examples of inclusive education being provided by primary schools in economically impoverished areas of the Czech Republic. We have personally met with these teachers who, in difficult conditions, are providing an exemplary, inclusive education to the children in their care, helping them to fully develop their abilities.
These teachers are worth emulating and we support their efforts. Our embassies are prepared to continue to assist the Czech Republic in the effort to provide equal opportunities for all.
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