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Discrimination

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Czech Senator wants Constitutional Court to review ordinance about "sitting in public"

19.10.2015 23:09 News server iDNES.cz reports that Czech Senator Václav Láska is planning to bring the town of Rotava before the Constitutional Court over its ordinance restricting "sitting in public" in some parts of its territory. "The expert opinion I have commissioned says the ordinance is not constitutional. The problem is that it is endeavoring achieve an aim other than its stated aim. The restrictions concern just certain sections of the town without any logical reason as to why they should apply to that particular area," he explained.  full story

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Canadian airline could be sued for not honoring tickets purchased by Romani passengers

14.10.2015 23:54 CBC News reports that a human rights group based in Hungary wants Canadian-based Air Transat and other airlines that have rejected Romani passengers travelling to Canada to refund their fares. The group says as many as 50 passengers have been prevented from boarding flights to Canada recently because they either actually were or appeared to be Romani and their fares have not been refunded.  full story

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Bulgarian Helsinki Committee: Opportunistic politicians evicting Roma for political gain

13.10.2015 20:39 On 9 October, Kaloyan Stanev of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee published an opinion piece through the Open Society Foundations about the evictions of Roma that have been ongoing there. He describes police giving families one hour to leave their dwellings before they are bulldozed.  full story

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Commentary: Won't Czech education reform just rename the schools (again) without achieving equality for Roma?

3.10.2015 1:09 Confusion, incessant attacks by critics, and uncertainties - these are evidently the main characteristics of the current state of Czech education reform. The proposals now on offer are yet another attempt to close the country's "special schools" and achieve inclusion.  full story

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Czech town's "zero tolerance" policy generates police abuse

1.9.2015 1:12 A reporter for news server Romea.cz is mapping the current situation at the Janov housing estate in the town of Litvínov. The estate is an excluded locality that experienced one of the first big anti-Romani actions organized in the Czech Republic by right-wing extremists seven years ago.  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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Two Romani families not allowed to board flight from Prague to Canada, no explanation given

24.8.2015 17:34 During the past two months approximately 20 Romani people from the Czech Republic have not been allowed to board flights to Canada. They were informed that they would not be let on board by airline private security staff at Václav Havel Airport in Prague.
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Ethnic, religious, sexual minorities now suffering more discrimination in occupied Crimea and Donbas

23.8.2015 20:55 The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency reports that human rights activists have issued a report entitled "In the Crosscurrents: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Ukraine" that finds discrimination has significantly increased against minorities in occupied Crimea and Donbas. Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Trust, presented the report at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.  full story

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Czech Education Ministry says inclusion will cost more than one billion crowns per year

11.8.2015 20:52 The recently approved amendment to the Schools Act that is meant to improve conditions for including disadvantaged children in mainstream schools could mean additional demands on the state budget in excess of one billion crowns in 2017 and 1.5 billion in 2018, according to Czech Education Ministry estimates. The ministry has now published online its Action Plan for Inclusive Education for 2016-2018.  full story

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Andrzej Mirga, Roma Education Fund's new chair, on the European Roma Institute and more

25.7.2015 19:40 Andrzej Mirga, previously Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, has recently been appointed chair of the Roma Education Fund. Mr Mirga has a long record as a civic and human rights activist, having co-founded Poland's first Romani association after the fall of communism.  full story

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Ireland: Roma immigrant challenges state's refusal to award her welfare

22.7.2015 0:35 The Irish Times reports that a Roma citizen of Romania with two young children is suing Ireland's Department of Social Protection for refusing to award her various welfare benefits, claiming the refusal is a violation of EU law. Her counsel, Derek Shorthall, told the High Court that the case raises "very weighty legal issues".  full story

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Bulgaria: European Court of Human Rights says Gov't must stop house demolition in Garmen

12.7.2015 21:45 The Equal Opportunities Inititative Association (EOIA) in Bulgaria reports that on 10 July the European Court of Human Rights issued "urgent interim measures" over the house demolitions planned for tomorrow in the town of Garmen. Under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court, the measures urge the Bulgarian government to “stop the demolitions, until alternative housing is secured for the vulnerable claimants”.  full story

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Canada accused of racially profiling Roma travellers from Hungary at European airport

9.7.2015 0:28 In an echo of the approach taken by the UK toward Romani air passengers from the Czech Republic in 2001, Romani citizens of Hungary say Canadian border officials are stopping them in Europe from boarding flights to Canada, according to thestar.com. Romani author Eva Kalla (age 60), a citizen of Hungary, was stopped at the airport in Vienna and referred to a Canadian border official who refused to let her fly to Toronto - even though EU citizens need no visas to do so.  full story

Roma instructor at Harvard calls for an end to injustice

6.7.2015 18:17 Recent European Roma integration policies have failed, and we need to find out why, according to Margareta Matache, Roma rights activist and instructor at Harvard University, speaking at Central European University’s Roma Graduate Preparation Program End-of-Year Student Seminar on June 15.  full story

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Czech trial hears recording of real estate broker rejecting Romani customer

27.6.2015 20:12 A court in Litoměřice began to review an alleged case of discrimination this past Wednesday against a Romani woman, Lenka Balogová. The plaintiff is seeking a public apology from real estate broker Eliška Nosková and CZK 100 000 (EUR 3 670) in compensation because Nosková's brokerage refused to discuss leasing an apartment to Balogová because of her ethnicity.  full story

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Italian court rules that official camps for Roma only are discriminatory as evictions continue

23.6.2015 19:28 On 9 June the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) reported the Italian media as saying that approximately 100 Romani people are to be evicted from a facility called the Ferrotel building by the Municipality of Cosenza and relocated to an official, segregated tent camp. A total of 400 Romani people now living in the informal Vaglio Lise camp there have also been targeted for removal for some time.  full story

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Czech town's chamber of commerce wants to deploy the Army against Roma

22.6.2015 19:57 The District Chamber of Commerce (Okresní hospodářská komora - OHK) in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem has published an "Open Call to Local Politicians and Citizens" that reads as follows: "In Ústí nad Labem and other towns we are threatened by a demographic catastrophe that may already be unavoidable. We must have the courage to describe this problem and propose solutions."  full story

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UN side event on discrimination as a root cause of Romani marginalization

15.6.2015 20:03 Tomorrow, 16 June, a side event to the UN Human Rights Council session will further discuss the findings and recommendations of the recent study released by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues on the human rights situation of Roma. The report was officially presented on 15 June.  full story

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Bulgaria: Mayor plans referendum in which Roma cannot vote

12.6.2015 20:45 News server focus-fen.net reported on 9 June that Petar Paunov, Mayor of Kyustendil, told a Bulgarian television station that he plans to call a local referendum to ask whether he should run for a third term this fall - one that would exclude Romani voters. The mayor said that vote-buying in the Roma community is always widely-covered by the media and that he did "not want to discredit the poll”.  full story

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