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February 17, 2019
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Features and Commentary

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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

Romani Rose (PHOTO:

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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Drahomír Radek Horváth (photo: Saša Uhlová)

Drahomír R. Horváth: Czech Romani Integration Strategy is pure discrimination

19.2.2015 20:37, (ROMEA) From time to time I receive first drafts of Government materials to comment on before they make their way, as bills proposed by the Government, to the lower house. These materials are various concepts, strategies, strategic plans - even strategic "wars".  full story

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Czech anti-Muslim group tries to incite Roma against Muslims

Prague, 12.2.2015 23:03, (ROMEA) The ambitious xenophobes in the group called "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" use an intellectual perspective and language of manipulative half-truths and would-be humorous, unctuous servility toward the stereotypical lack of thought here about immigrants, intellectuals, minorities, multiculturalism, nonprofits - and, naturally, Muslims. It is an open question whether there is any point in dealing with them or responding to them.  full story

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Renata Berkyová: Slovak reporting on same-sex adoption and marriage casts aspersions on Roma

Prague, 12.2.2015 0:26, (ROMEA) Last Saturday an eighth referendum was held in Slovakia, a referendum "for the family" which has sparked a rather large fuss. The "Alliance for the Family" group, as the initiator of the referendum, has been haunting the public with the idea that the Slovak family is at risk, talking about freedom of speech and of the press, human rights violations, and forced, ideologically-driven sex education.  full story

--ilustrační foto-- exclusive: Romani quintuplets' family responds to critique

Milovice, 23.1.2015 1:16, (ROMEA) A recent interview with Ms Klára Vítková-Rulíková on news server about the family of Romani quintuplets has sparked a wave of passionate debate on the Czech internet. Vítková-Rulíková, the founder of the Club of Twins and Higher Multiples (Klubu dvojčat a vícerčat - KDV) discussed private family matters in that interview, among other things, accused them of wasting food, and said they were incapable of establishing a functioning system of care for their children, all of which then culminated in her claim that without her direct aid, the family risked having their children taken away by the state.  full story

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Czech Republic enters next round of the fight over Romani children and special education

Prague, 14.1.2015 18:22, (ROMEA) The fact that too many children, particularly Romani ones, attend "special schools" in the Czech Republic is a problem that experts and politicians have been discussing here for 25 years. It is also being discussed abroad, because the Czech Republic has reaped criticism from the European Union for it as well.  full story

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Czech religious organizations call on public to resist radicalism

Prague, 10.1.2015 23:02, (ROMEA) The chair of the Czech Bishop's Conference, Dominik Duka, the chair of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, Daniel Fakfr, and the chair of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, Petr Papoušek, jointly called on the public today not to succumb to radicalism as a result of the anger they might feel over the Islamist terrorists in France. "It is still necessary to insist on the basic principles of an open society. We must primarily insist on freedom of speech, on human rights, and on mutual respect between cultures and religions, as well as on seeking the road of common coexistence," the religious leaders say in a statement made available to the Czech News Agency.  full story

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Commentary: Czech anger and the Roma

Prague, 10.1.2015 21:34, (ROMEA) The most recent survey of Czech public opinion and trust in political institutions shows falling voter preferences for the ultra-right DSSS party, confirming the good feeling shared by many people, including this author, that our society is rebounding after hitting rock bottom. However, that is no reason to be rocked into complacency.  full story

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Czech Republic: Muslim representative touts conspiracy theories about the murders in Paris

Prague, 9.1.2015 18:07, (ROMEA) Mohammed Abbas, the director of the Muslim Union in the Czech Republic, has given media appearances in which he has doubted whether Islamists were responsible for several high-profile terrorist attacks. Speaking in an interview with Daniela Drtinová on the internet television station DVTV and then on yesterday's episode of Czech Television's "Hyde Park" program, Abbas said the 9/11 attack on New York could have been committed by the U.S. Government; that since no one had ever found the terrorists who committed murder on a London bus it could not be proven that they were Muslim; and that now in Paris it is far from certain that it was actually Muslims who committed these attacks and that a secret service game could well be behind it all.  full story

Miroslav Kováč

Miroslav Kováč: Let's be better parents in 2015

Prague, 8.1.2015 0:26, (ROMEA) The year 2014 was, from my perspective, a test for the "maturity" of Romani people in the Czech Republic, their ability to adapt to today's conditions and take advantage of the options offered by democracy to improve their position. A quarter of a century is enough time for us to start drawing on those experiences.  full story

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Czech publicity about family of Romani quintuplets crosses the line

Prague, 7.1.2015 21:53, (ROMEA) Klára Vítková-Rulíková has become a celebrity. She became one by supporting the first quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic and their family.  full story

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