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Crisis Committee's open letter to Czech Government

Prague, 16.1.2013 2:50, (ROMEA)

The following is a full translation of the Crisis Committee's open letter to the Czech Government asking it not to close the Human Rights Section.

Prague, 15 January 2013

Open Letter to the Prime Minister and members of the Government of the Czech Republic

Dear Mr Prime Minister, Dear Members of the Government,

As young, civically active members of the Romani national minority, we would like to express our support for the preservation of the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. We are taking the liberty of calling upon you to support adherence to human rights and to devote all due attention to human rights by creating dignified, professional conditions for the operation of the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. We are also asking you to realize that the section is the only government apparatus that has long been systematically oriented toward the socially most vulnerable groups in our population – children, seniors, people living with disabilities, and sexual and national minorities. The Government’s intention to close the Human Rights Section and to entrust its agenda to various ministries could significantly endanger human rights protections in our country.

The activity of the Human Rights Section is principally based on inter-ministerial cooperation and therefore cannot be replaced by redistributing its agenda among various ministries. Many representatives of civil society who are professionally dedicated to this issue also collaborate with the section. We are, therefore, not convinced by the Government’s argument that the section must be closed in order to save money. The members of the advisory bodies perform their activities voluntarily, without burdening the taxpayers in any way whatsoever in exchange for their irreplaceable practical and theoretical knowledge. This collaboration has produced many positive measures that have led to a greater degree of social involvement and to equalizing opportunities for otherwise socially-excluded groups - for example, in the area of educating children from socio-culturally disadvantaged environments and in the area of patients’ rights.

We are asking you to approach human rights questions from a moral perspective and with the highest possible degree of respect, not to limit them to questions of cash flow. We young people perceive the Government’s signals that it will close the Human Rights Section as indicating that we do not share a common notion with the Government of what constitutes a democratic, modern state that pays attention to the interests and needs of all of its citizens.

We therefore take the liberty of calling upon you to abandon your intention. On the contrary, we call upon you to advocate the preservation and improvement of the systemic tools used to fulfill the human rights obligations flowing from the Constitution of the Czech Republic.

With respect,

The members of the informal Crisis Committee:

  • Bc. Edita Stejskalová, political scientist
  • David Tišer, student, Philosophy Faculty, Charles University
  • MgA. Ivanka Mariposa Čonková, artist
  • Martina Horváthová, Coordinator, Slovo 21 civic association / student, Philosophy Faculty, Charles University
  • Michal Miko, Coordinator, Slovo 21 civic association
  • Magdaléna Karvayová, student, Comparative Law, Anglo-American University
  • Stáňa Ondová, Telesales Specialist
  • Stáňa Miková, currently on maternity leave
  • Emilie Žigová, student, St. Elizabeth College of Health and Social Work (Vysoká škola zdravotnické a sociální práce sv. Alžběty)
  • Pavlína Matiová, artist
  • Mgr. Gabriela Hrabaňová, Policy Coordinator, European Roma Grassroots Organizations (ERGO) – Network
  • Bc. Renáta Berkyová, student, Philosophy Faculty, Charles University / currently on maternity leave
  • Bc. Tomáš Ščuka, student, Central European University, Budapest
  • Veronika Hlávčová, student, Philosophy Faculty, Charles University
  • Ivana Pišojová, student, High School of Management and Law in Prague (Střední škola managementu a práva v Praze)
  • Renata Patkaňová, social affairs officer
  • Petr Ščuka, chair of the Verdan – Vůz civic association
  • Robert Irdza, stockbroker
  • Mgr. Jan Husák, charity worker
  • Josef Karvay, student, Department of Business Management and Law, Kostka High School (Střední škola Kostka)
  • Dominika Karvayová, student, Sázavská Academic High School in Prague (Gymnázium Sázavská v Praze)
  • Petr Koller, creative director
  • Michal Mižigár, student, Philosophy Faculty, Charles University / Educational Coordinator
  • Pavel Berky, student, Department of Fashion Design, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, (Vysoká škola umělecko-průmyslová v Praze)
  • Claudie Laburdová, campaign coordinator, Prague 14 Municipal Department
  • Anna Dudiová, student, Business Academy (Obchodní akademie)
  • Denisa Hatinová, student, Václav Hrabě Academic High School (Gymnázium V. Hraběte)

Crisis Committee (Krizový štáb), translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Aktuality, Lidská práva, Menšiny, Osobnosti, zprávy, Aktivismus, Občanská společnost, Romové, Romská reprezentace, Czech republic, news, Roma



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