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September 21, 2021



U.N. committee criticises CzechRep for approach to Romanies

Prague, 15.3.2007 13:37, (CTK)

The Czech Republic should take measures to prevent the re-location of Romanies from towns and villages and placing Romany children in special schools as well as staging neo-Nazi concerts, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended to Czech authorities after a debate on its annual report on the Czech Republic.

The conclusions have been released on the Internet.

The committee also criticised the Czech stance on the cases of forced sterilisation of Romany women and reiterated that the Czech Republic should adopt the anti-discrimination law as soon as possible and establish an institution to monitor its observance and help victims of discrimination.

The committee expressed a serious concern about the prevailing negative approach of Czech society to Romanies and prejudices about them.

The committee criticised the relocation of Czech Romanies against their will and their segregation and said that the Czech Republic has not taken any measures to prevent it and that it does not support the construction of social housing either.

The committee calls on the Czech Republic to secure equal access to housing without discrimination.

Jiri Cunek, Mayor of Vsetin, north Moravia, and current deputy PM, faces criticism for having relocated Romanies, allegedly rent-defaulters, from a dilapidated house in the town centre to a new house made of tin container-like houses on the town's outskirts last autumn. Further Romany families were sent away from Vsetin and resettled elsewhere in Moravia.

The U.N. committee also mentioned the "racial segregation" of Romany pupils, citing a high number of them in special schools for problem children.

The committee recommended that the state prepare efficient education programmes for Romany children with respect for their culture background.

The committee pointed out that a number of Romany children are taken from their families and end up in institutional care.

The committee also focused on forced sterilisations of Romany women. It appreciated that the Czech ombudsman dealt with the cases, but reproached the Czech authorities for not having recognised responsibility for them and secured compensation for possible victims.

The committee called on the Czech Republic to set up clear rules for patients' consent with surgery after being sufficiently informed about its course and consequences.

The committee pointed out that there is no independent body in the Czech Republic to investigate the police work. While Czech Romanies complain about policemen's discriminatory treatment, the Interior Minister's Inspection, investigating crimes committed by police, did not register a single case of policemen's racially motivated acts last year, the U.N. report adds.

The committee said that the Czech police fail to recruit more Romanies.

The committee also pointed to a rising number of neo-Nazi concerts in the Czech Republic. The staging of such concerts and participation in them should be prosecuted and punished. The state institutions and primarily the police should take active and resolute steps in this respect to prevent similar concerts as well as their promotion in the future, the U.N.committee noted in its report.

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