Intergovernmental bodies, NGOs and human rights experts voiced strong criticism of the government’s failure to take effective measures to address segregation of Romani pupils in education. Roma continued to be forcibly evicted.
Intimidation and violent attacks against Roma continued. The European Roma Rights Centre reported arson attacks on the homes of Romani families, anti-Roma rallies and other attacks.
The Minister of Education, Josef Dobeš – in the past heavily criticized by NGOs for stalling efforts to end Roma segregation in schools – resigned in March and was replaced by Petr Fiala in May. The new Minister made a commitment to end discrimination of Romani children in access to education.
In October, the Czech Republic’s human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. The Czech Republic was urged to eliminate continued segregation of Romani children at school and fully implement the National Plan of Action for Inclusive Education.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, stated in November that “practical schools” (formerly “special schools”) perpetuate Roma segregation, inequality and racism. He called for such schools to be phased out and replaced by mainstream schools prepared to host, and provide support to, all pupils, irrespective of their ethnic origin.
In December, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers expressed concerns that, five years after the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic, there had been little progress in addressing the causes of discrimination against Roma in schools. The Committee, however, acknowledged the government’s renewed commitment to end Roma segregation in education.
Enforced sterilization of Romani women
NGOs continued to criticize the detention of asylum-seekers and the absence of effective legal remedies against this practice.