Slovak Government program declaration says it counts on improving the position of Romani people
The Government of Slovakia approved its program declaration on Sunday as submitted by Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič. In its program, the Government says it plans to adopt a law on the position of national minorities that should contribute to decelerating pressures on minorities to assimilate.
Protection and support for national minorities is said to be considered a natural part of the Government's mission, and the program declaration discusses improving the civic, economic and social position of Romani people and reducing poverty, above all in segregated areas in less developed regions. Special emphasis should be placed on improving housing standards, access to potable water, access to basic infrastructure, and access to health care.
"The Government of the Slovak Republic will, in this context, actively support fairly settling the legal relationships to plots of land in municipalities with a presence of marginalized Romani communities," the declaration reads. The program declaration also mentions increasing employment, stopping the unjustified assignment of Romani children to "special" primary schools, and strengthening Romani cultural identity and the Romanes language, as well as support for the creation and operation of social enterprises in municipalities and regions.
The Government also recalls the option of establishing a National Minority Authority, which would involve abolishing the Office of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for National Minorities and the Slovak Government Council on Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality. The declaration also mentions the option of expanding the scope of the law on the use of national minority languages to apply to higher territorial units.
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