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April 26, 2018
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The Romani flag was flown on the building of the Czech Foreign Ministry on 9 April 2018 to mark International Romani Day. (PHOTO:  Richard Samko)
The Romani flag was flown on the building of the Czech Foreign Ministry on 9 April 2018 to mark International Romani Day. (PHOTO: Richard Samko)

Czech Foreign Ministry flies Romani flag, outgoing Foreign Minister and Justice Minister meet with Roma

10.4.2018 8:46 On the occasion of International Roma Day, the outgoing Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Martin Stropnický and outgoing Justice Minister Robert Pelikán met at the Czech Foreign Ministry on 9 April 2018 with several Romani figures. The main subject of the meeting was support for the Romani minority and improvement of interethnic coexistence and tolerance between the majority society and the Romani minority in the Czech Republic and the international context.
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Czech Justice Minister now in charge of human rights agenda, but will he join the next Government?

12.3.2018 7:08 The Friday edition of the daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported that outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is rumored to have agreed with Czech President Miloš Zeman that Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO), currently entrusted with the human rights agenda, will not be in the next Government. LN reported that he will be replaced by Deputy Interior Minister Petr Mlsna, who is a lawyer.  full story

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Czech Constitutional Court receives complaint over buyout of pig farm on Romani genocide site

2.2.2018 7:03 The Czech Constitutional Court received a complaint in mid-January about the approval of the handover of the pig farm in Lety (Písek district) to the state. The daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported yesterday that the filing concerns the decree through which the previous coalition government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) approved of the purchase last August.  full story

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Czech Republic: ROMEA plans public debates about future of Roma genocide site once Museum of Romani Culture takes over

12.1.2018 9:25 Kristina Kohoutová, spokesperson for the Museum of Romani Culture in the Czech Republic, announced in a press release on 9 January that the Museum will be assuming ownership of the grounds of the soon-to-be closed pig farm at Lety (Písek district) in March. During WWII the location was used as a labor camp and as a detention camp for Romani people.  full story

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It's official! Czech state to pay roughly CZK 450 million to buy out pig farm on Roma genocide site

24.10.2017 8:07 The Czech state will pay roughly CZK 450 million [EUR 17,548,758], including VAT, to buy out the pig farm at Lety located on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people. The purchase contract was published by the Czech Government yesterday.

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Czech Deputy Trade Minister's pay is docked after posting to Facebook that "Gypsies are like jellyfish - poisonous and useless"

15.9.2017 14:43 Czech news server Aktuálně.cz reported yesterday that Karel Novotný, the Czech Deputy Trade Minister who is running for Parliament for the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) in the Ústecký Region, has posted to Facebook the remark that Romani people are like jellyfish because they are, in his opinion, "poisonous and useless".
He will be losing his quarterly salary as a result.  full story

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Czech Gov't human rights report finds Romani children are still discriminated against in education

1.9.2017 8:18 Children of Romani origin continue to be discriminated against in their access to education in the Czech Republic even after the launch of inclusive measures - while they are no longer being recommended for enrolment into the so-called "special schools", they are frequently taught separately from non-Romani children in "Romani" classes or schools. That is just one finding of the annual report on the state of human rights in the Czech Republic for last year that the Czech Government is scheduled to discuss on Monday.  full story

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Czech Republic: Pig farm shareholders to vote again on sale before year-end

24.8.2017 17:39 The Czech News Agency reported on 22 August that after the AGPI firm, which owns the pig farm at Lety, signs the purchase agreement to sell the farm buildings to the state, its shareholders must still agree to the sale at a general assembly. The purchase agreement will then take effect after the new year.  full story

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Czech company accepts state offer to buy pig farm on Roma genocide site

7.8.2017 17:43 The AGPI company is accepting the Czech Government's offer to buy the pig farm in Lety u Písku that is standing on the site of the Protectorate-era concentration camp for Romani people there. Neither side is publicizing the price.
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Czech union demands severance pay for staff at pig farm closing on Roma genocide site, firm says employees are not members

1.8.2017 20:05 The Union of Agricultural and Food Workers in the Czech Republic is demanding the employer at the pig farm in Lety which may soon be sold pay severance equivalent to two years' salary if the state buys out the farm. The union believes financial compensation for the workers at Lety must be part of the contract on selling the farm.  full story

Czech firm able to negotiate sale of pig farm on Roma genocide site for first time

31.7.2017 15:40 Czech Radio's Radiožurnál station reports that the AGPI agricultural company has held its general meeting and agreed to transfer the pig farm at Lety to the Czech state. The board will now be entrusted with negotiating the price and other conditions of the sale with the state.  full story

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Czech Government "takes note" of Report on the State of the Romani Minority for 2016

28.7.2017 10:19 The Czech Government at the beginning of this week discussed and took note of the "Report on the State of the Romani Minority for 2016", which assesses the development of the situation for Romani people in the Czech Republic and the success of state measures to support Romani integration. Documents entitled "Information about the Fulfillment of the Roma Integration Strategy to 2020" and "Information about the Fulfillment of Government Decrees" on the integration of the Romani minority and the active approach of the state administration to implementing measures adopted by related Government decrees as of 31 December 2016 were part of the review.  full story

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Czech Government to resign: Technocratic cabinet could endanger the buy-out of the pig farm at Romani genocide site

3.5.2017 17:28 The current political situation around the upcoming resignation of the Government could impact the negotiations about the buy-out of the industrial pig farm at Lety u Písku, the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people during WWII. A decision about buying the site was originally to be made in June.  full story

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Czech Republic: David Beňák is now Deputy Human Rights Minister, his priority is the law on social enterprises

7.4.2017 7:44 David Beňák (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) has become the new political deputy to Czech Human Rights and Legislation Minister Jan Chvojka (ČSSD) on Monday, 3 April. He replaces Marek Ondroušek, who is now moving to the Trade Ministry to be Deputy Minister for Electronic Communications.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister meets with management of Hate Free project to discuss its future

16.2.2017 8:21 Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met on 7 February with the leadership of the Czech Government's campaign against hate violence, Hate Free Culture. The three-year project, scheduled to end in April, combats hate speech and xenophobia as well as refuting fake news and hoaxes, mainly in the online environment.
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Czech Regional Development Minister reluctantly supports social housing law

13.2.2017 8:21 Czech Regional Development Minister Karla Šlechtová (for ANO) has signed off on the Government's proposed social housing legislation, with reservations. The minister used online social networks to make her disagreement known at the start of February.  full story

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Czech Government withdraws bill to strengthen Public Defender of Rights

3.2.2017 6:20 Because MPs have been unable to reach agreement, the Czech Government has withdrawn the amendment it previously submitted to the Chamber of Deputies about the Public Defender of Rights that would have beefed up the powers of that authority. Instead, Czech Human Rights and Legislation Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) will prepare a separate bill that will only empower the office to monitor the situation of people living with disabilities.  full story

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Civil society members of Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs recap past three years of work

28.1.2017 10:15 The civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs (also referred to as the Inter-ministerial Commission for Roma Community Affairs) have recapitulated the Council's activities during the past three years for news server Romea.cz. Those members see as essential the fact that they enforced the concept of Romani people as a national minority - not as a social group - in the Government's Roma Integration Strategy to 2020.  full story

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Czech coalition Government reaches agreement on social housing, will the law pass?

16.1.2017 7:56 The parties in the Czech governing coalition met on Thursday, 12 January and agreed that the law on social housing will not create a new central office to administer such housing, as Labor and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) proposed before Christmas, and that municipal involvement in the system will also be voluntary. Vice-chair of the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) Jan Bartošek said the law would make possible a pilot program and if municipalities do not voluntarily step up, they will be obligated to provide social housing through an amendment to the law.  full story

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Outgoing Czech Human Rights Minister claims successes

1.12.2016 7:21 The adoption of Government strategies on equality of women and men or on social inclusion, enforcement of measures against corruption, and the publicizing of planned legislation are all considered successes by outgoing Czech Minister for Human Rights and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD). He told the Czech News Agency that he believes his successor must see through the adoption of the amendment to expand the ombudsman's powers and the negotiations to buy the pig farm located on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people in Lety before next year's elections.  full story

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