Roma continue to face discrimination in education

Beyond setting boundaries, some idea of the extent of antigypsyism in the Czech Republic was made clear in the report by the then Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović, following her February 2023 visit. The enormity of the task ahead, and what is needed to move beyond the rhetoric is spelled out in her report. 

The Commissioner expressed her deep concern that “Tangible progress on the advancement of the rights of Roma and their equal treatment has by and large been lacking”; that Roma continue to face discrimination in education, housing, employment and their interactions with police; and that the implementation of policy and legislation was stymied by the fragmentation of responsibilities and diffusion of powers between the state government and regional and municipal authorities.

More than 15 years after the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic, the Commissioner found that progress remained minimal, and that there had been “no reduction of Roma pupils in special classes, nor of their segregation within regular classes and schools, over the past five years.” 

Concerning housing, Commissioner Mijatović found that the consequence of years of deliberate discrimination and neglect was that “Many Roma continue to live in unsuitable housing, which can lead to situations that seriously infringe on their private and family lives, as well as on their right to health, and in some cases their right to life is put at risk.”