COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CALLS FOR A ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ TO END ROMA EXCLUSION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, has criticised 20 years of persistent anti-Roma discrimination in the Czech Republic
Despite the fact that the Council of Europe has been dealing with these issues for two decades, Mijatović stated that “although there have been some positive developments, I am concerned that many of the problems of discrimination and exclusion that were identified by all my predecessors persist”. He noted that Roma continue to face discrimination in almost all aspects of life, including in their relations with the police.
On the issue of inclusive education, the Commissioner expressed concern about the lack of progress and the failure of ongoing efforts to refine testing tools to prevent Roma children from being placed in poorer quality or segregated education. “A real paradigm shift is needed to move away from a focus on testing, which is still used as a tool of exclusion in the education system,” the Commissioner said.
During her visit, the Commissioner met with the authorities, the Public Defender of Rights, UNHCR, and numerous representatives of civil society. The Commissioner’s report on her visit to the Czech Republic is forthcoming.