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July 6, 2022



Jarmila Balážová: Condemnation of refugee Romani children and their mothers from Ukraine is unfair when their brothers, fathers and sons are fighting back at home!

13.5.2022 13:20
Jarmila Balážová (personal archive).
Jarmila Balážová (personal archive).

“I deeply admire all those who have been able to help refugees [in the Czech Republic] for weeks on the front line, 12 hours a day. They come face to face with suffering, despair and frequently with a lack of coordination,” journalist Jarmila Balážová said in an interview for Czech Radio Plus. 

“I see that in Prague's main railway station and in other cities, it's mainly Romani children and their mothers who are sleeping there, and that impacts public opinion such that allegations about their abusing social benefits predominate," the journalist said. "What completely disappears from the picture is the fact that their brothers, sons and fathers are fighting in Ukraine.”

“These people are also fleeing a war zone. So this is unpleasant for me, it makes me terribly angry, and I consider it extremely unfair,” said Balážová, adding that it seems the coordination between the Interior Ministry and municipal or regional representatives is failing.

According to Balážová, data are lacking on how many Romani refugees in the Czech Republic there are at all and how many of them have dual citizenship. "We have over 300 000 refugees from Ukraine, but we do not exactly know how many of them are Romani," she said. 

"Estimates are around 1 500 to 2 000 people, which is an extremely small number," the journalist told Czech Radio Plus. "Yes, some have dual [Hungarian/Ukrainian] citizenship, but we don't know how many." 

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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