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September 26, 2018
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Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić (photo taken in 2015, when he was Serbian Prime Minister). (PHOTO:  Leon E. Panetta, Flickr.com)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić (photo taken in 2015, when he was Serbian Prime Minister). (PHOTO: Leon E. Panetta, Flickr.com)

Romani NGOs around Europe ask why the OSCE is researching alleged radicalization of their communities in Serbia

18.7.2018 15:16 Representatives of Romani organizations from around Europe have contacted the head of the OSCE's mission to Serbia to express their alarm over the 10 July 2018 announcement of a search for a “Researcher on Radicalization among the Roma Community in Serbia”. The Romani representatives say they are deeply concerned about the growing insecurity of Roma in Europe as a result of extremist antigypsyism in a number of OSCE participating States.


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Jana Balážová: Not acceptable for teachers to see Romani children as a burden

28.4.2018 7:58 Members of the human rights community shined a spotlight on the situations faced by Romani children and their parents in Central Europe at a screening of the documentary “Europe: Which Children Matter?” The film was shown at Cinema Galeries in Brussels to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  full story

UN tells Czech Republic to improve Romani integration, compensate illegally sterilized women

9.11.2017 6:16 Improving the integration of Romani people into society, combating racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia, and continuing efforts to achieve equality between men and women were some of the recommendations made to the Czech Republic by the member countries of the United Nations (UN) on 6 November during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the state of human rights worldwide. Many countries expressed appreciation for the progress the Czech Republic has achieved on integrating disadvantaged children into the education system and on reaching an agreement to buy the pig farm at Lety u Písku, which stands on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people.  full story

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UN Human Rights Committee asks Slovak Government for independent body to investigate the forced sterilizations of Romani women

22.11.2016 17:13 The UN Human Rights Committee (UN HRC) has called on the Slovak Government to take responsibility for investigating past cases of forced sterilizations of Romani women and to establish an independent investigative body for that purpose. That is the outcome of the concluding recommendations published by the UN HRC after its October session of discussions with the Slovak Government delegation in Geneva.  full story

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International Organization for Migration data shows how biased reporting is about migrants in Europe

1.8.2016 17:35 Because the flood of (mainly negative) reporting about the so-called refugee crisis in the Czech Republic can make it seem like we are living at a time of unprecedented migration and that Europe is at risk of an exodus from the rest of the world onto its territory, it is worth taking a look at the data and statistics that are available about this phenomenon. A closer look at the numbers on migration to the Czech Republic, to Europe, and around the globe not only refutes many myths, it introduces some surprising findings.  full story

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UN internal human rights oversight body says it failed to hold Kosovo mission accountable for abuses such as housing Roma on contaminated land

16.7.2016 11:53 The online news server Prishtina Insight reports that an annual report published by the United Nations' own internal human rights mechanism, the Human Rights Advisory Panel (HRAP) has harshly criticized UN failures with respect to human rights in Kosovo. The HRAP called its efforts to achieve some sort of formal judgment regarding human rights abuses committed by the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) a "total failure" and said it apologized "profusely to the complainants for its role in this sham.”  full story

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United Nations criticizes growth of xenophobic behavior in Britain

30.6.2016 6:33 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is pressuring the British authorities to engage in halting the growth of xenophobic behavior in Britain that began after the results of the recent referendum there were announced. Last week British voters expressed themselves in favor of Britain leaving the EU.  full story

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Record high number of 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced last year worldwide

26.6.2016 12:59 Last year the number of people forcibly displaced rose to 65.3 million worldwide. On 20 June the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that figure is a record high, with the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide exceeding 60 million for the first time ever.  full story

OSCE/ODIHR Event to Focus on Justice and Redress to Roma Victims of Forced Sterilization in the Czech Republic

30.5.2016 18:50 On Wednesday, 1 June, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will convene an international conference on providing justice and compensation to Romani women who have been subjected to forced sterilization in the Czech Republic. Those attending will be representatives of the Czech Government, survivors of forced sterilization, civil society organizations including Roma community organizations, international experts, and representatives of the Council of Europe, the OSCE/ODIHR, and the United Nations.  full story

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Artist wakes Europe's conscience with a minute of silence symbolizing deafness to the cause of refugees

8.11.2015 20:56 Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that when the news spread at the end of October that another 11 children had drowned attempting to reach Greece, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch suddenly exploded: "Fuck the politicians," the otherwise meticulously cultivated actor told the upper classes of the theater-going public in London after a performance of "Hamlet". He followed that with an urgent intercession on behalf of the thousands of refugees who are disembarking daily on the beaches of Europe.  full story

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Commentary: The Czech Interior Minister's "Potemkin village" of a refugee facility

6.11.2015 20:44 Czech Interior Minister Chovanec invited European diplomats to visit the detention facility for refugees at Bělá-Jezová yesterday. Journalists from Aktuálně.cz report that in preparation for the visit he removed most of the detainees from the facility and installed completely new benches and a children's playground on the grounds.  full story

Ilustrated PHOTO: Romea.cz

Marek Szilvási: Czech Government should stop gambling with the country's reputation - the fight for compensation for forced sterilization is not over

4.11.2015 19:15 I remember being with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) just a couple of months when I was invited to Ostrava to an informal meeting with the Group of Women Harmed by Coercive Sterilization, an informal collective of harmed self-advocating Romani women. The meeting was organised by the local Life Together NGO in early April 2012 to celebrate the fact that after years of local activism, lawsuits and advocacy struggles, the Government’s Council for Human Rights had finally recommended the Government develop a compensation scheme for involuntarily sterilized women. A month earlier, the Group, Life Together and the ERRC had sent an official letter welcoming this government commitment. I took an early morning train and after a half-day journey from Budapest to Ostrava, I was warmly welcomed by the Life Together staff and the Romani women activists, whom until then I knew only through phone calls and email correspondence. After shedding my water-soaked coat I entered the second room and was introduced to Monika Šimúnková, the Czech Government’s Human Rights Commissioner, and Kateřina Valachová, now the current Minister of Education, who was at that time working for the Ombudsman. The atmosphere was relaxed, almost festive, and I soon succumbed to it and started expecting this controversy soon to be over.  full story

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UN migration representative: Lack of agreement on refugees risks the European project

28.10.2015 9:07 Peter Sutherland, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, warned last month that failure to agree on a united response to the current asylum-seeker crisis poses a danger to the very concept of European unity. “If there is no agreement to share refugees between the countries of the European Union, it risks undermining the very essence of the European project,” he told The Guardian.  full story

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Czech Republic deporting Afghan family whose case came before the European Court of Human Rights

28.10.2015 7:13 The Czech Republic will be releasing an Afghan family from the Bělá-Jezová detention facility in the Mladá Boleslav district after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg called on the Czech authorities to transfer them to a different facility. The Czech Interior Ministry, however, says its decision is not in reaction to the Court judgment.  full story

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Slovakia internationally criticized for forced sterilization, police impunity for brutality against Roma, position on refugee reception and segregated education

26.10.2015 12:00 The Slovak Spectator reports that the United Nations has sharply criticized reports of Slovak Police brutality against Romani residents. Repressive, systematic actions by police are occurring hand in hard with ineffective investigations of police misconduct.  full story

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Czech Republic is systematically violating refugees' rights, Czech President is a xenophobe

23.10.2015 7:24 The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has charged the Czech Republic with systematically violating the rights of refugees who have been arriving there since August. Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein also made it know that he is disturbed by the "xenophobic public pronouncements, including Islamophobic remarks" made by Czech President Miloš Zeman.  full story

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Commentary: Czech media mock UN recommendations on racism and Roma

31.8.2015 1:24 The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued its reports on the situation in several countries from around the world last week. The otherwise serious news server Aktuálně.cz reported the news with the headline "UN: Czechs should stop Romani ghettos, the Dutch should stop Black Pete", and I think that by so doing they quite knowingly indicated to the reader that all of the Committee's recommendations are to be seen as absurd.  full story

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UN Committee criticizes Czech Republic over Roma discrimination and xenophobia

28.8.2015 21:50 The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published a report today on its review of the Czech Republic, which took place on 12 and 13 August in Geneva. Its report begins with an overview of positive steps, including the adoption of the Romani Integration Strategy and an amendment to the Schools Act that promotes inclusive education.  full story

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Romea.cz editor says Czech policy toward Roma full of chaos, poor concepts and populism

14.8.2015 2:10 Michal Komárek, the editor of news server Romea.cz, discussed the degree to which the Czech Republic is managing to solve its "Romani problem" during a radio program on the ČRo Plus station yesterday. The discussion was occasioned by the current session of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviewing the situation in the Czech Republic.  full story

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Croatia: 500 stateless persons are mostly Roma

9.7.2015 4:12 News server dalje.com reports that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are approximately 500 stateless persons in Croatia and twice as many at risk of statelessness. They have no citizenship or personal identification and are therefore unable to exercise their rights, find jobs, get married or apply for health insurance.  full story

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