Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe calls on the Czech Senate to approve compensation for illegal sterilizations, final vote tomorrow
On Thursday, 22 July, the final vote will take place in the Czech Senate on the bill to compensate those who have been illegally sterilized, and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe has called on the upper house to adopt it. "I call on the members of the Senate to adopt this legislation and to take advantage of the appropriate opportunity it affords for the victims to receive a certain degree of justice and move forward," Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatović said in a letter sent to the upper house.
Mijatović had previously contacted the lower house in this same matter in September 2020. "This bill affords the elected representatives of the Czech Republic an important opportunity to resolve an historical injustice committed against these women, especially those of Romani origin, who became the victims of coerced and forced sterilization," her letter to the Chamber of Deputies stated last year.
"Specifically, this legislation would represent a significant step toward creating an accessible, effective mechanism for arranging for the victims to receive compensation for the harm that they have suffered, as is required by the Czech Republic's human rights commitments," urged the 2020 letter; the bill was adopted at the beginning of June 2021 by the Czech lower house, and three Senate committees have now recommended its adoption. The opportunity to receive compensation would concern anybody illegally sterilized between 1 July 1966 and 31 March 2012, the period during which public health legislation did not feature enough safeguards against such wrongdoing.
According to the authors of the bill, as many as 400 people could be eligible for the compensation. The Czech state could eventually pay out as much as CZK 120 million [EUR 4.7 million].
Suspicions that forced sterilizations were ongoing in the Czech Republic, above all of Romani women, were published in 2004 by the European Roma Rights Centre. Dozens of women then applied to the Public Defender of Rights for relief, and some also sued in court.
- Czech Senate committee recommends compensation for the illegally sterilized, final word will rest with the Senate as a whole
- Czech lower house passes bill to compensate the illegally sterilized, most but not all of whom were Romani women
- Czech bill to compensate forcibly sterilized women passes second reading, as does bill to close institutions for children under three
- Czech parliamentary committee overwhelmingly supports bill to compensate forcibly sterilized women
- How to apply for compensation for illegally performed sterilization in the Czech Republic
- Elena Gorolová: Czech state compensation for illegal sterilizations is more of a gesture, it will never make up for the children we couldn't have
- US Embassy to the Czech Republic expresses appreciation to activists who fought for compensation for illegally sterilized people
- Slovak Government apologizes for illegal sterilizations, lawyer and Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community say compensation must follow
- Romani people have faced discrimination and exclusion since Czechoslovakia first became a state
- Czech appeals court upholds sentences against married non-Romani couple who assaulted Romani children, compensation for mental anguish still has to be sued for separately
- Romanian town must finally compensate some members of a forcibly evicted Romani community
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights discusses compensation procedure for forced sterilizations in interview for ROMEA TV
- Czech Senate approves increase to contributions for the care of people with disabilities, to be paid for by reductions to other social services
- Czech MPs abolish infant institutions and raise remuneration for foster parents, bill now heads to Senate
- Czech President signs law to compensate the victims of illegal sterilizations
- Czech Senate approves compensation for the victims of illegal sterilizations