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April 21, 2019
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Czech Govt Roma Council, Public Defender of Rights release handbook on how Czech citizens can return from Britain

13.4.2019 11:38
Petr Torák (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
Petr Torák (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

The 27 countries of the European Union and the outgoing Member State of Great Britain have agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October with the provision that if the British Parliament approves an exit agreement earlier than that, Brexit could happen even sooner. For Czech citizens who will have to return to the Czech Republic from England after Brexit (or who will want to do so) the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs has designed a handbook on "Returning from Abroad" in collaboration with the Office of the Public Defender of Rights.

While the handbook is intended for all persons returning from abroad, it focuses especially on returns from Great Britain. Petr Torák, the director of the Compas organization in Peterborough in the east of England, which aids Romani emigres from the Czech Republic and Slovakia living there, has also contributed to the handbook.

In an interview for news server irozhlas.cz, Torák said the handbook features instructions on what to do prior to leaving the UK and what to do after arriving in the Czech Republic. The most frequent question asked by those interested in returning is how to enrol their children into school.

"In Britain the education system is a bit different, a child begins attending school at the age of four. Parents are asking what grade their children should enrol into here," Torák said.

Returnees are also interested in housing and jobs. Torák believes housing will be one of the biggest barriers to their return, as will the approach taken toward them by society in general.

"In Britain they are accustomed to people not being bothered about whether they are of a different ethnicity, or what their sexuality is, or what their hair color is. I believe that if they come here, they will begin to feel people are approaching them differently, behaving differently toward them," Torák said.

Torák said it is possible for those considering relocation to turn to organizations like Compas, the Czech Embassy in London, or British authorities collaborating with the Czech Republic. "In this document they will find contact information for authorities that can aid them - the social security administration, the Labor Office, the ministries and other authorities that could be of assistance if necessary," the director said.

According to Torák, the British documents needed for resuming Czech residency can be collected by those interested in Britain right now while simultaneously contacting the relevant Czech authorities. He said it will not make any difference whether those interested in relocating begin dealing with the process before or after Brexit

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Brexit, Ombud, příručka, Rada vlády pro záležitosti romské menšiny



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