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March 24, 2017
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Press Releases

Members of the Platform for Social Housing protested on 29 September 2015 in front of the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in Prague against draft legislation proposing to reduce the amount of housing benefits paid to landlords on behalf of tenants in residential hotels, where a lack of price ceilings has created a situation in which landlords charge extortionate rents. The sign reads
Members of the Platform for Social Housing protested on 29 September 2015 in front of the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in Prague against draft legislation proposing to reduce the amount of housing benefits paid to landlords on behalf of tenants in residential hotels, where a lack of price ceilings has created a situation in which landlords charge extortionate rents. The sign reads "Don't turn residential hotel tenants into hostages". (PHOTO: Jan Čonka, Romea.cz)

Czech initiative says those in need of housing will not receive it unless law requires it

17.1.2017 8:59 The "Have a Home" (Mít svůj domov) initiative, which brings together more than 90 organizations working in the social sphere, resolutely rejects the Czech Government's proposal not to legally require municipalities to provide social housing in the Law on Social Housing now being drafted. The initiative says that if the law does not require municipalities to provide social housing for needy groups or create some other guarantee that aid will be provided by the state to those in need of housing, most of the 200 000 people now in need of housing will not be housed.  full story

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How you can aid the people trapped in Aleppo, Syria

18.12.2016 22:58 The horrifying photographs and video footage of what is currently happening in Aleppo are probably being seen right now by all of us. Many of us are asking ourselves: What can I do?  full story

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US Embassy to the Czech Republic gives Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to the "We Aid Refugees" organization

18.12.2016 19:38 On the occasion of International Human Rights Day (10 December), US Ambassador to the Czech Republic Andrew H. Schapiro gave the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award on 8 December to the organization "We Aid Refugees" (Pomáháme lidem na útěku - PLNU) for its work in the human rights area coordinating and supporting the aid provided by Czech volunteers to refugees on the so-called "Balkan route". "We are giving this award for the enthusiasm with which this organization aids people fleeing war-torn countries," Ambassador Schapiro said during the ceremony at his residence in Prague 6.  full story

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Czech NGO offers course on including Romani children in education

25.11.2016 17:36 From 6-7 December the final opportunity will happen this year to attend a course for educators and other educational staff members who want to better understand Romani children. The accredited course, offered by the R-Mosty NGO, is free of charge thanks to support from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.  full story

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Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance holds round table in Prague on Thursday

1.11.2016 17:46 On Thursday, 3 November, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), in collaboration with Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier and Public Defender of Rights Anna Šabatová, will convene a round table to discuss the measures that have been undertaken in response to the recommendations made by ECRI during its most recent monitoring report about the Czech Republic in 2015. The round table will take place in the building of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic from 9:00 to 17:00.  full story

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Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council demand thorough investigation of Romani man's death as soon as possible

23.10.2016 17:03 Several members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs are demanding that the criminal justice authorities thoroughly investigate the death of a young Romani in Žatec as soon as possible. News server Romea.cz publishes their declaration here in full translation.  full story

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Czech Republic: Roma Spirit 2016 announces final candidates

20.10.2016 15:48 Two expert juries, one in Brno and one in Prague, have chosen the candidates for the Roma Spirit award in the Czech Republic this year. Of a total of 216 nominations submitted by the public, 15 finalists have been chosen.  full story

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Slovakia: Czech Human Rights Minister speaks at EU conference on Romani youth

11.10.2016 11:13 On 10 October the Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation attended the High Level Event on Roma Youth Empowerment in his role as chair of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs. The topic of the conference was "Promoting the key role of Roma youth as a driving force in the process of Roma integration" and it was held in Bratislava from 9-11 October as part of the Slovak Presidency of the European Union.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Ministry: Database of Roma victims of the Holocaust project discussed with Working Group

10.10.2016 13:46 On Friday, 7 October 2016, the Working Group for the Redress of Romani people, which advises the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, convened for the second time this year. Representatives of the Terezín Initiative Institute were invited and presented the Working Group members with their project on developing a database of Romani victims of the Holocaust.
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Civil society members of Czech Government's Roma advisory body outraged by Vice PM's remarks about Roma Holocaust site

7.9.2016 7:49 The Romani civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs are outraged by the Czech Vice Prime Minister's recent remarks about the former so-called "Gypsy camp" at Lety u Písku. Members of the council have called on Andrej Babiš, who is also Finance Minister, to keep his publicly-declared promise and arrange financing for the purchase of the pig farm now located on the site.  full story

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Amnesty International: How are the Czech schools educating Romani children?

3.9.2016 8:20 Amnesty International Czech Republic issued the following press release on 1 September to mark the start of the new school year:  full story

Roma at Prague Pride festival say sexual minorities are still taboo in their community

11.8.2016 13:17 Part of the ongoing Prague Pride week traditionally is a segment of the program produced by the Romani association ARA ART. This association has long been involved not just in art with an educational and social scope, but also in specializing on the issue of multiple discrimination and working with the Romani LGBT community.  full story

Flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia Commons)

EU Commissioners on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Too many Roma are victims of hate crime in Europe

2.8.2016 14:44 News server NewEurope.eu reports that First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová have issued a joint statement on the occasion of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. The statement recalls that on the night of 2 to 3 August 1944, around 3 000 Roma men, women and children from the "Gypsy family camp" of Auschwitz-Birkenau were murdered in the gas chambers.  full story

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International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and ODIHR issue joint statement on need to ensure dignity for Roma Holocaust remembrance

2.8.2016 14:13 Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), called today for greater efforts to protect endangered memorial sites related to the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the liquidation of the “Gypsy family camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, when almost 3 000 Roma and Sinti in the camp were murdered, they stressed that states have to do more to demonstrate their sincere and strong commitment to education about and remembrance of the genocide.  full story

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Czech Republic: Record numbers of parents seek after-school tutoring for their children from Museum of Romani Culture

20.7.2016 8:45 During the past school year the trend of Romani parents seeking tutoring for their children has reached an all-time high in Brno, Czech Republic. The observation that
the Romani community is becoming more and more aware of how necessary an education is to a successful future is being confirmed.  full story

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European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (Berlin) seeks Executive Director

16.7.2016 12:59 The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), a joint initiative of the Alliance for the European Roma Institute, the Council of Europe, and the Open Society Foundations, has announced it is seeking its first Executive Director. ERIAC will be a foundation registered under German law and based in Berlin.  full story

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Czech Republic: Terezín Commission refuses NGO request to officially fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during commemoration

5.5.2016 22:26 Jan Munk, the director of the Terezín Memorial who also chairs the Commission for the Preparation of the Terezín Commemoration, has refused a request from 14 organizations that the LGBTQ (rainbow) and Romani flags be flown next to the flags of various states during the 15 May event. "At the national cemetery in Terezín where this commemoration takes place, the flags of all the nations whose members fell victim to Nazi persecution and who passed through the concentration camps are flown during the commemoration ceremony. For many of those people, their distressing journey began by being transported to Terezín. To our great surprise, there is no Romani flag flown at Terezín even though, together with Jewish people, it is the Roma as a group who were affected most by Nazi persecution in the Czech lands," the organizations said in an open letter.  full story

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Czech Republic: 11 organizations call on Terezín to fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during traditional commemoration

29.4.2016 11:22 Eleven organizations working on LGBTQ and Romani topics have called on the Terezín Memorial to fly the LGBTQ (Rainbow) flag and the Romani flag next to the flags of nations whose members fell victim to Nazi persecution. "To our great surprise, there is no Romani flag flown at Terezín even though, together with Jewish people, it is the Roma as a group who were affected most by Nazi persecution in the Czech lands. More than 90 % of the interwar Romani population did not survive racial persecution and the war itself," the organizations write in an open letter to the members of the Commission for the Organization of the Terezín commemoration, which news server Romea.cz is publishing here in full translation.  full story

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John Kerry on International Romani Day: Today we celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Roma and their contributions to society

8.4.2016 14:28 The Secretary of State of the United States of America, John Kerry, has issued a statement on International Romani Day thanking the Romani nation for their rich cultural heritage and wishing Romani people worldwide a future free of discrimination. News server Romea.cz publishes the press release in full here:  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister on International Romani Day: Quality education, more awareness of Romani culture, history, language all important

8.4.2016 11:56 According to Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier, a quality education is an essential prerequisite for improving the position of Romani people in society. It is also important to increase awareness of Romani culture, history and language.  full story

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