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May 24, 2022

 

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Slovak MEP Peter Pollák tells ROMEA TV Romani coordinators are working at the Slovak-Ukraine border to forestall discrimination of Romani refugee Ukrainians

9.3.2022 8:50
Slovak MEP Peter Pollák (2022) (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
Slovak MEP Peter Pollák (2022) (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

Romani coordinators are going to begin operations at the Slovak-Ukrainian border to ensure that all refugees from Ukraine are treated equally and Romani refugees are not discriminated against according to Slovak MEP Peter Pollák who announced the news in an interview given to ROMEA TV yesterday. "I have received more than one report of volunteers arriving at the borders with great enthusiasm to aid the Ukrainians, who are then choosing which refugees to assist and which not," the MEP said in the interview, adding that a survey had been immediately undertaken at border crossings by the Human Rights Committee of the Slovak national legislature and the Office of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities.

"[Representatives of the state] have done their best, directly on the spot, to eliminate these problems," Pollák said, adding that if discrimination against Romani people has happened, it was the failure of individual volunteers, not a problem that is systemic. "Under no circumstances will the state support such discrimination."

"Under no circumstances will the state engage in such discriminatory practices," the MEP told ROMEA TV. "That has been communicated during all coordination meetings of the crisis staffs."

Pollák believes measures have been taken to prevent similar excesses and discrimination against Romani Ukrainians fleeing Russian military occupation. "In each coordinating committee in the crisis staffs there will be representatives of the Office of the Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities," he told ROMEA TV. 

"We've created a coalition of Romani people comprised of the Office of the Plenipotentiary and NGOs dedicated to Romani-related subjects," he said. "The result is that at each border crossing there will be the constant participation of representatives of the Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities to forestall such problems and actually provide humanitarian aid to people of Romani nationality arriving from Ukraine and fleeing the Russian tanks and rockets."

News server Romea.cz has reported on different cases of discrimination against Romani Ukrainians happening recently. For example, one story involved two Romani refugee Ukrainian women and their four children who have been twice asked to leave accommodation facilities in the Czech Republic for no reason, or Czech bus drivers who refused to go pick up Romani refugee Ukrainian mothers, originally from the Kyiv area, and bring them to safety, as well as other cases where volunteers do not want to transport Romani refugee Ukrainian families further into the Slovak interior. 

ryz, sam, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Discrimination, Peter Pollák, Racism, refugee, Ukraine



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