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March 29, 2020
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Czech Human Rights Minister opens important expert conference on social housing

21.9.2016 17:07 On Friday, 16 September, an expert conference entitled "Social housing: Sharing practices and draft legislation" was held at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic and attended by academic experts, representatives of organizations involved in social housing, and social workers. The conference discussed experiences and practical problems, familiarizing those present with the current draft of legislative changes in this area.  full story

Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry responds to the myths now multiplying about social housing

10.8.2016 17:14 The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry has responded to the distorted information and multiple myths that are currently spreading about the law on social housing. The ministry has published a list of "Eight Delusions" about this law that describes it in detail, including how it will be applied in practice.
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Czech Supreme Audit Office: People who are not disadvantaged at all are being awarded "social housing"

29.3.2016 23:27 State-subsidized apartments are being leased by people in the Czech Republic who are not living with any kind of medical or social disadvantage. What's more, the Czech Regional Development Ministry is not keeping track of who is actually taking advantage of such subsidized properties.  full story

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Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry's amendment counts on reducing benefits for residential hotel tenants

20.2.2016 20:28 The Czech Labor Ministry is preparing to reduce the amount of housing benefits disbursed to people living in residential hotels. The amount of the benefit should be calculated based on lower base rates than have been used to date.  full story

One of the residential hotels in Ostrava on Cihelná street (2013). (Photo:  František Kostlán)

Residential hotel tenants petition Czech PM over discrimination against the impoverished

8.12.2015 18:26 "The poverty caused by the ill-considered amendments to the social laws is unlike any that has ever existed in the modern history of our country," reads a press release sent out by an informal initiative of residential hotel tenants asserting that the situation of the families with children, senior citizens and unemployed occupants of such facilities is so critical it could become a cause of social unrest. The tenants have written a petition to the Czech Prime Minister protesting against a planned amendment to the law on aid to those in material distress.  full story

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Romani evictees seek compensation from town, Czech Supreme Court to review case

9.11.2015 4:38 The case of the Romani residents of Vsetín who were removed from its territory and relocated to villages outside of the Zlín Region nine years ago will be addressed by the Czech Supreme Court. The Romani plaintiffs believe the town violated their fundamental human rights by removing them.  full story

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Czech sociologists: Economic crisis contributed to rising exclusion, but society is mainly to blame

8.11.2015 0:26 Why has there been growth recently in the number of excluded localities and the number of people living in them? Czech MP Ivan Gabal, who is also a sociologist, and his colleague from the GAC company, Karel Čada, have contributed their analysis of the issue to the Czech daily Hospodářské noviny.  full story

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Czech court acquits activist who used removable paint on sidewalk in front of Parliament

4.11.2015 23:18 Today the Prague 1 District Court acquitted two activists who used removable paint to outline the figure of a man and write the name "Tomáš" on the sidewalk in front of the Czech lower house in July. Judge Dana Šindelářová said no crime had been committed and there had been no intention to commit property damage.  full story

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Slovakia: Roma build new homes with EU money

3.11.2015 22:08 The Office of the Slovak Government's Plenipotentiary for Romani Community Affairs allocated financing last year for three local administrations to build lower-standard small apartment buildings. That successful project can now continue thanks to a subsidy in the amount of EUR 70 million to be provided to Slovakia by the European Union for the purpose of building more such dwellings.  full story

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Czech Republic: Building owner demolishing controversial properties on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava

31.10.2015 16:47 The buildings on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava from which about 25 Romani families had to move away two years ago have been under new ownership since mid-October. After several unsuccessful auctions, the buildings were bought for almost CZK 600 000 (EUR 22 000) by the Ostrava Engineering and Repair Plant (Ostravské opravny a strojírny), which also owns a production facility nearby.  full story

UK: Traveller people have to "prove" their ethnicity under new planning rules

28.10.2015 7:44 Dan Allen, a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Salford, reported for The Conversation last month that recent actions by the UK Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) might make the lives of Traveller communities worse. The department has introduced new planning rules that Allen says will adversely directly affect the health of these people.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister rejects notion that mayors can decide who will live in a municipality

25.10.2015 8:26 Mayor of Obrnice Drahomíra Miklošová is calling for increased powers to be granted to mayors so they can decide who can live in their communities. She has repeatedly called the situation in her own municipality grave recently because a larger number of Romani families are now returning there after having attempted to settle in England.  full story

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Czech Deputy PM: Responsible politicians go against the "voice of the people" to do the right thing

15.10.2015 19:01 Disadvantaged children should attend "normal" schools, people should not live in residential hotels in ghettos but in normal apartments, women should be paid the same as men and more must be done to protect women from violence, and society must learn how to avoid an energy crisis. These are interrelated topics, but we are not used to considering them as such.  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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Czech Republic: Activists sentenced for stunt to draw attention to a suicide say police made hateful, racist remarks

8.10.2015 5:31 News server Aktuálně.cz reported on 6 October that a verdict has been handed down in the case of two activists who tried to draw attention in June to the story of a man from Ostrava who committed suicide out of fear that he would become homeless after his eviction from a residential hotel. The local authority where the man was living did not approve his request for housing benefits, which meant he would no longer be able to afford to stay in the facility.  full story

Women from four Albanian cities meet to discuss their advocacy work as part of what would become the Roma and Egyptian Women Network. The group’s mission is to coordinate actions aimed at improving the socioeconomic and political situation of Roma and Egyptian women in Albania. (PHOTO:  Albi Veizi/Roma and Egyptian Women Network)

As evictions continue in Albania, Romani women reach out to local elected officials

7.10.2015 21:58 Activist Ola Tare in Albania has contacted the Roma Virtual Network to report the planned eviction of Roma families living in an informal encampment near a man-made lake in the capital, Tirana. The municipality reportedly announced the eviction on 2 October because of redevelopment plans and alleged that the families were "harm[ing]... the environment and their [own] health."  full story

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Bulgarian NGOs get injunction suspending demolition of Roma homes in Peshtera

17.9.2015 20:48 A Bulgarian coalition of Romani NGOs called the National Roma Coalition "Intellect" has issued a press release in response to the advice given to the Bulgarian Government by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 15 September. The ECtHR has advised that “without a definite commitment on its part to ensure the accommodation of the vulnerable members of the applicants’ families before the demolition of their homes, the Court will, in application of Rule 39 of its Rules, indicate to that Government not to proceed with this measure”.
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Bulgaria and France reprimanded by UN Human Rights Commissioner over Roma displacement

12.9.2015 20:38 Yesterday the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on Bulgaria and France to stop forcibly clearing Romani encampments. The High Commissioner said that French authorities evidently have been engaging in a "systematic policy" of this practice since 2012.  full story

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Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 holds its closing meeting in Sarajevo

11.9.2015 2:49 On 10 and 11 September the 28th and final International Steering Committee Meeting of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 is being held in Sarajevo. The meeting is being attended by the national coordinators of the countries involved as well as many collaborating individuals and institutional partners and aims to draw attention to the lessons learned and successes achieved during the past decade.  full story

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European Roma and Travellers Forum calls summer demolitions of Romani dwellings "unprecedented"

3.9.2015 22:03 The European Roma and Travellers Forum has released a statement called "Evictions Unlimited" on what it calls an "unprecedented upsurge" in the demolition of Romani housing and eviction of Romani people both in EU Member States and in countries such as Albania. Whether the demolitions and evictions have involved the use of force or not, the ERTF says they have all been "marked by the policy of rejection".  full story

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