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September 30, 2016
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Human Rights Watch report mentions Czech Republic for discrimination of Roma in education

Prague, 30.1.2015 0:30, (ROMEA)
EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia commons)
EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia commons)

The organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued its annual report today which found that European Union countries overall have made some progress in advancing human rights. The report also mentions the European Commission's move to initiate infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic over its discrimination of Romani children in the education system.

According to the European Union section of the report, the Commission has introduced a "rule of law mechanism for crisis situations". The Council of the European Union, comprised of the ministers of EU Member States, also "endorsed the idea of an EU internal human rights strategy" last year.

In this context, the report mentions the Commission initiating proceedings against the Czech Republic last September over the discrimination of Romani children in the Czech education system. The document makes no other mention of the Czech Republic.  

The HRW report also mentions coexistence with the Romani minority in other European countries. "Roma continue to experience discrimination, social exclusion, and deprivation across the EU," the report says.  

HRW expresses concern over the insufficient level of education attained by Romani children in Belarus. With respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the report mentions a recent judgment from the European Court of Human Rights about the "government’s ongoing failure to end restrictions on Jews, Roma, and other minorities running for political office."  

The report also says that Roma in BiH are the country's most vulnerable community, facing extensive discrimination in access to education, employment, health care and public life. Croatia and Kosovo are also criticized for restricting access to education and health care, and increased discrimination on the labor market was also reported there.

Another country criticized is France, where Romani people have been evicted from informal settlements without being provided adequate alternative housing. The HRW report also mentions the still-unsolved case of a 16-year-old Romani youth who was brutally battered by an organized group of aggressors and left unconscious in a shopping cart.  

The report also mentions Hungary in connection with a bomb attack on a Romani-occupied building and deportations of Romani families. Italy was another EU Member State mentioned. where the segregation of Romani people into officially established camps continues.

Last year eight men were brought to trial there for a 2011 arson attack on such a camp.  Roma faced Molotov cocktail attacks in Serbia last year as well.

HRW's annual report for 2014 found that intolerance was rising in the EU and criticized the approach taken by several countries toward asylum seekers, Muslims, and Romani people. The Czech Republic was not mentioned in that report, nor was it mentioned in the report for 2013.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Diskriminace, Evropa, Evropská unie, human rights, Soužití, zpráva



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