The reported torture of three Romani men in police custody, one of whom died in suspicious circumstances, dramatically underlines the urgency of the situation facing the Romani community in Slovakia, Amnesty International said today in a letter to the Slovak government.
Amnesty International is concerned that allegations of illegal, including forced, sterilization of Romani women in Slovakia were not being investigated independently, thoroughly and impartially as required by international law. In October 2003 the official investigation was concluded, finding that no criminal offence had been committed. Amnesty International reiterates its concern that this investigation failed to meet international standards. Furthermore, Amnesty International is concerned about the Slovak government's refusal to accept responsibility for failing to ensure that no sterilizations could be performed without free and informed consent.
(Bratislava) Huge numbers of Romani children are still being placed disproportionatelyin special schools and classes for children with mental disabilities and learning difficulties, or segregated in Roma-only mainstream schools across the country, Amnesty International said today.
Across the Council of Europe Member States racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination against Roma remains profound. Roma people continue to be largely excluded from public life and unable to enjoy access to adequate housing, health services and face discrimination in accessing employment. In many member states, the authorities are failing to ensure the rights of Romani children to access to education without discrimination. Some Member States continue to tolerate, and even promote, the diversion of Roma into special classes or schools where a reduced curriculum is taught.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned by the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of six Romani youngsters - three of them who are reported to be under the age of 18 – detained at a police station in Košice which was depicted on a video published on the internet.
Following yesterday’s approval by the Slovak National Assembly of the new coalition government’s programme for the next four years in office, Amnesty International welcomes the stated commitment to adopt measures to eliminate segregation in education on the basis of ethnic origin.
This document is a schoolbook of a fictional Romani child living in Slovakia. His story is drawn from the experiences and testimony of real Romani children across Slovakia. The segregation of Roma in Slovak schools is a result of racial discrimination within the education system. It reflects prejudice and intolerance in Slovak society in general and is a factor in the perpetuation of such attitudes.
In this open letter, Amnesty International, the European Roma Rights Centre and the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (hereby, the organizations) express their deep concern at the threat of forced evictions of Romani families in Plavecký Štvrtok. In addition, the organizations are concerned about recent statements by the Slovak Minister of Interior, Daniel Lipšic, endorsing, according to media reports, demolition plans for the Romani settlement.
Another school year has finished with thousands of Romani children segregated in inferior education, in separate mainstream schools and classes or in special schools and classes for pupils with “mild mental disabilities”.