ERTF reproaches Czech Republic for being too restrained in combating racism
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) is reproaching several European states, the Czech Republic included, for their "restraint" in combating anti-Romani racism and improving everyday life for Romani people. Agence France-Presse reports that the ERTF named the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and four other countries in a report published yesterday as examples.
"The situation of Romani people is no better today than it was 40 years ago. In some aspects it is even worse," says the organization, which is headquartered in Strasbourg and has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe.
The ERTF is complaining that many recommendations about Roma issued by the Council of Europe to its member states have not been implemented. "What is even more serious is the restraint of certain member states when it comes to implementing legally binding judgments," issued, for example, by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the ERTF report complains.
"There is a lack of political will - most countries do not consider the Romani issue a priority, or they say they don't have enough money to improve the situation," the ERTF says. The report points to persistently "high levels of intolerance" or even "racism" toward Romani people, whom politicians frequently use as "scapegoats".
The ERTF report says the situation is "problematic in each of the 47 Council of Europe countries". However, the group believes it is especially disturbing in six countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia.
Agence France-Presse reports that the ERTF is reproaching the Czech Republic for the "segregation" of Romani children in the schools. The report recalls that Prague was found responsible for the practice by the ECtHR in 2007, but says "nothing has changed since then."
The ERTF says the same problem exists in Slovakia. Roma there are reportedly also treated unequally when it comes to housing conditions.
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