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May 24, 2019
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Features and Commentary

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Address of His Holiness Pope Francis: Meeting with participants in the pilgrimage of Gypsies

27.10.2015 17:46 Dear Brothers and Sisters, I welcome and greet you all cordially. I thank Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò for his words and for having organized this event in collaboration with: the “Migrantes” Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference; the “Migrantes” Office of the Diocese of Rome and the Sant’Egidio Community.
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Gwendolyn Albert: The long train ride to justice for forcibly sterilized women

2.10.2015 16:36 It has been more than 10 years since I first learned of the forced sterilization of women in the former Czechoslovakia and how it was still continuing in the 21st century. It is now almost 10 years since I first met Elena Gorolová and many of the other women to whom this actually happened. When I imagine what their journey toward justice has been like, I picture them all on a train ride. Sometimes the train abruptly stops on the tracks, but no one never explains to the passengers - or the rest of us – when exactly the doors are going to open.  full story

Qristina Zavačková Cummings and T-shirt

Qristina Zavačková Cummings: Hunter to Hunted

23.9.2015 23:37 Yesterday, I discovered (via Facebook) that someone was attempting to sell a shirt via the popular website "Zazzle" (an online retailer that allows users to upload images and create their own merchandise, or buy merchandise created by other users, as well as use images from participating companies), that was extremely offensive.  full story

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Renata Berkyová: Slovak party wants to take Romani children from their families to counter public fears

16.9.2015 22:50 One might think that the state removing children from the care of their own parents in order to re-educate them is an historical phenomenon only. In Slovakia, though, Ms Nicholsonová of the "Freedom and Solidarity" Party has said she believes such a concept could spare Romani children from "inhuman treatment" in the settlements.  full story

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Czech pizzeria has the answer: It won't serve immigrants and wants to "Stop Islam"

16.9.2015 2:50 The Grand Italia Ristorante Pizzeria in the Czech town of Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou posted the slogans "We don't serve immigrants" and "Stop Islam" to its Facebook profile at the start of September. After members of the public responded to his messaging, restaurant manager Tomáš Ševčík then posted the following: "Yesterday I was called a Nazi because I expressed my opinion about the problem with refugees - we got 200 negative reviews, insults and threats. When I looked at the profiles of those posting I couldn't believe it. They either work for a 'nonprofit' or are foreigners and don't understand at all what is going on - this is just a gimmick so we'll be afraid of them. I don't mind foreigners, what I mind is this invasion OF ILLEGAL REFUGEES WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING."  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 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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Petra Gelbart: "Black Mugs" in the Prague metro

27.8.2015 18:53 I was on my way home from a successful Romani event here recently at the Prague Pride festival, full of impressions, feeling happy and proud. My own children and some others whom I had taken there, including a girlfriend in a long colorful skirt, had participated in a program organized by the ARA ART association.  full story

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Czech scandal of pig farm on Holocaust site has a precedent - in Germany

15.8.2015 19:28 For 20 years, domestic and foreign organizations have been protesting against the operation of an industrial pig farm on the territory of the former concentration camp at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic. Few in the Czech Republic know, however, that a similar problem existed for decades in Germany.  full story

Violeta Naydenova (PHOTO:

Bulgaria Must Stop Its Anti-Roma Attacks

5.8.2015 0:12 Since May, anti-Roma protests in Bulgaria have led to Roma families being attacked and beaten. Riots escalated after tensions rose between Roma and non-Roma in Garmen, in southwest Bulgaria, and Orlandovzi in Sofia. Dozens have been injured.  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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Czech management professional on hiring of Roma

21.6.2015 2:36 Right at the start of my work with the Civil Society Studies Department at Charles University in Prague I became involved in a new area in which I had not done much research, that of disadvantaged candidates and minorities on the labor market. My specialization is personnel management, and here I must state that the issue of employing people from these groups is not focused on by many experts, with the exception of those social enterprises that specifically target the employment of the disadvantaged or minorities.  full story

Zeljko Jovanovic, director, Roma Initiatives Office

Interview with Zeljko Jovanovic, Director of the Roma Initiatives Office at the Open Society Foundations

18.5.2015 13:53 Zeljko Jovanovic is director of the Roma Initiatives Office (RIO), which aims to strengthen the voices and leadership of Roma with respect to improving public policies and services in Europe. Since the fall of the socialist regimes in Europe, Zeljko says he has witnessed "new claims for justice" being made in the context of those emerging democracies. He has published several articles in a variety of media such as The Guardian, La Repubblica, Foreign Policy Blogs, and on the RIO blog and is the co-author of the book From Victimhood to Citizenship: The path of Roma integration (2013, CEU Press).  full story

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Democratic education - where every child can find his or her own way

14.5.2015 9:49 When he was going to nursery school, little Yaacov Hecht was frequently naughty. His teacher punished him more than once by locking him into an adjacent room, which was dark.  full story

Yaron Matras, linguist at the University of Manchester specializing in Romani and other languages (PHOTO:

Commentary: Why are they setting up a European Roma Institute?

5.4.2015 21:30, (ROMEA) Under this heading - substitute with "we" - billionaire George Soros and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland published this comment week before last.  full story

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Promoter of status quo segregation believes the Czech state takes excellent care of Romani children

30.3.2015 2:55 Jiří Pilař, chair of the Association of Special Educators (Asociace speciálních pedagogů - ASP) is a longtime defender of the "special schools" who has been fighting with the advocates promoting what he calls "inclusion at any price". He recently published a commentary on the educational news server Česká škola (Czech School) about the current state of his fight on behalf of the "practical schools" (previously called "special schools") and the recent amendment of the Schools Act.  full story

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Commentary: European Roma Institute will use the power of culture

27.3.2015 21:49, (Frankfurter Rundschau) The German Sinti and Roma can look back on some good weeks: Recently, Federal Supreme Court President Bettina Limperg signaled the readiness of the court for a historical investigation into its "unreasonable jurisdiction" concerning Sinti and Roma. As a result of a discriminatory Supreme Court ruling from 1956 victims of National Socialism had been denied the compensation of their suffering for decade  full story

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Why we are setting up a European Roma Institute

27.3.2015 20:23, (European Voice) For more than four decades Europe’s Roma community have wanted to establish an institution that would give their music, art and unique traditions their own stage. Across the continent, such bodies exist to celebrate an array of cultures, nationalities and identities. Yet, there is nothing of this kind for Roma. Many feel this absence, particularly among Romani campaigners, educators and intellectuals. It compounds a sense of exclusion and denies all of us the opportunity to celebrate the Roma influence on our shared cultural life. We are joining forces to help put this right.  full story

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Commentary: America's "Bloody Sunday" 50 years on - racism is not yet defeated

9.3.2015 20:53 Fifty years ago, police in Selma, a town in the southern United States, attacked a peaceful demonstration by roughly 600 activists, most of them Black. Officers used tear gas and truncheons, and images flew around the world of one of the organizers, Amelie Obynton, lying unconscious on the ground.  full story

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Czech Republic: Audit of Romani newspaper finds no wrongdoing

9.3.2015 16:31, (ROMEA) On 11 January, Pavel Pečinka, the former Editor-in-Chief of the Romano hangos periodical, wrote to Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman to say the publication had become a family business run in a non-transparent way with strange accounting practices and demanding an investigation. Several days ago the ministry undertook an audit and found no such problems at the editorial office.  full story

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Czech Republic: Did Romani people traffic in votes in Brno?

20.2.2015 1:55, (ROMEA) The question of whether a racketeering operation was involved in vote-buying during last fall's municipal elections in Brno depends on how racketeering is defined. On 17 February the Czech Constitutional Court overturned a decision that had invalidated the results of that poll in the Brno-sever municipal department.
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