"Europe: Which Children Matter?" Discussion in Ostrava on 17 November about Roma segregation in education
On 17 November at the PANT studio in Ostrava the documentary film "Europe: Which Children Matter?" was screened, followed by a discussion with human rights activist Gwendolyn Albert, activist and researcher Lucie Fremlová, director Jenne Magno, activist Edita Stejskalová, and Ostrava residents involved with the production of the film about Romani children's access to mainstream schools. News server Romea.cz broadcast the discussion live and the recording of it is above.
Romani children have been recommended for enrolment into segregated "special schools" for the mentally disabled irrespective of their actual ability for generations in the Czech Republic. In November 2007 the European Court for Human Rights found that the Czech Republic discriminates against these children both illegally and indirectly in their access to education and is thereby violating the European Convention on Human Rights.
Because not much has changed since then, the European Commission has begun infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic (and Hungary and Slovakia) for violating their obligations under the Race Equality Directive not to discriminate against anybody on an ethnic basis in their access to education. "Europe: Which Children Matter?" introduces viewers to Czech and Slovak Romani children who have immigrated to Great Britain with their families.
Those children, some of who were considered ineducable in their home countries, are now achieving education successfully at their new school, in a foreign language, and in the non-discriminatoryenvironment of Great Britain.The film also shows children studying at a Czech school that breaks down prejudices of the "us vs. them" type and is redefining the borders of what is possible in education.
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