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Canadian general governor pleading for minorities in Prague

Prague, 2.12.2008 20:11, (ROMEA)

The effort to build and maintain a society that is democratic also for minorities is a never-ending process, Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean said at the international conference Multicultural Dialogue in Prague today.

Jean said Canada was a model country in which influences of various cultures from the whole world mingled.

Jean herself came to Canada as an immigrant from Haiti.

She said it was a very positive thing that the influences of the natives as well as British and French colonists, African slaves and further immigrants from the whole world had mixed there.

It has not always been easy to achieve it that injustice and inequality do not occur among ethnic groups. Canada, too, has seen dark chapters in its history when resolving the issue, Jean said.

Czech participants in the conference said Canadian experience could be inspiring for Czech authorities and NGOs helping migrants.

"Here, a migrant is only considered a sort of labour force. There, the issue is considered in a complex way and it is also being assessed how a migrant can contribute to society in general," Eva Kavkova from the European Contact Group said.

"It is not a priority to maintain a job to the immigrant, but to integrate him into Canadian society. I think this would be a big challenge for us," Kavkova said.

Jean started her visit to the Czech Republic in Brno on Saturday. The Romany issue is one of the topics of her visit. The conference today was attended by a number of Romany organisations.

Canada is a country of destination for some Czech Romanies who ask for asylum there.

The Canadian Governor General is the representative of the British Queen in Canada.

CTK
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