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August 5, 2020

 

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Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights on International Romani Day: Segregated schools are the shame of our country

8.4.2020 18:48
Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková. (2020). (PHOTO:  Adam Holubovský, Museum of Romani Culture)
Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková. (2020). (PHOTO: Adam Holubovský, Museum of Romani Culture)

Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková has added her voice to those marking International Romani Day. "I have long followed the unequal position of Romani people in our society and I am doing my best to advocate for that to improve," she said, adding that she hopes next year the 8 April celebrations will happen in a more optimistic spirit.

Statement by Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková on International Romani Day 2020

Dear and esteemed Romani people,

I would hereby like to join those celebrating International Romani Day, which, like everything else in the country, has been disrupted by the ongoing pandemic - but despite this, I cannot forget that the pandemic afflicts different parts of society here in a different way. The situation in the excluded localities where many Romani people still have to live is not being paid attention to by the media yet.

We are all shut up in our houses during the pandemic, but not all houses provide a dignified base of operations to those who live in them. What's more, once the schools reopen, some Romani children, unfortunately, will be heading back into segregated educational arrangements, the existence of which is the great shame of our country.

I have long followed the unequal position of Romani people in our society and I am doing my best to advocate for that to improve. I firmly hope that the decade to come will bring about improvement in your situation and that next year the celebrations of International Romani Day will be held in a more optimistic spirit than is possible today.

On this day that is so important to you, I wish you all the best, mainly a lot of health, patience, and stamina during these times that are so difficult for us all. Maybe this demanding period will at least bring us all together and remind us that we are all equal, irrespective of the differences to which we attribute such great importance at other times.

SB, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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International Roma Day, intolerance, Ombud, prejudice



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