International human rights agency Amnesty International has criticized the
position taken by Czech politicians on refugees and immigrants.
In its latest report on human rights, Amnesty said politicians, including the president and minister of interior, made xenophobic remarks last year.
The report also criticised the country for the unequal access of Roma to education and the long running failure to buy out a pig farm at the site of a WWII Roma camp used by the Nazis. An agreement to buy out the farm has since been signed.
Former interior minister Milan Chovanec said the Czech position saved the country from the biggest waves of immigrants. The president’s spokesman denounced the report as insignificant nonsense.
Monday marks 10 years since a landmark discrimination ruling was handed to
the Czech Republic by the European Court of Human Rights. The court ruled
that the Czech Republic had violated the European Convention of Human
Rights by segregating Roma children into schools for the mentally disabled.
Eighteen Roma children were discriminated against and their rights to
education trampled on.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner, the OSCE and other organisations have called on states to increase their efforts to integrate Roma children at regular state schools.
More than 80 Roma students, at high schools and vocational schools,
officially received stipends on Friday from the NGO Romea. Recipients are
students whose study is threatened by poor domestic or financial
The stipend system covering the high school and vocational schools is in its second year and was founded by the NGO after repeated requests from parents in the Roma community. Stipends for high school students are 14,000 crowns per year and 21,000 for vocational school students.
The NGO already ran a program helping students at the university level.
The European Commission is to come to a decision in the autumn as to
whether to take the infringement proceedings launched against the Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Hungary over discrimination of Romany children in
schools further, Czech Euro Commissioner Vera Jourova told the ctk news
In her annual human right report released this week Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová said that although Romany children were no longer segregated in special schools for children with learning disabilities, the practice of segregation continued in regular schools by putting Roma children in separate classrooms.
For more than 10 years, the Roma Education Fund has been helping young Roma students to receive higher education and become professionals in their fields. At the moment, the programme is operating in 15 European countries, including the Czech Republic. I spoke to Yveta Kenety from the Czech Republic’s leading Roma advocacy group Romea, who is in charge of the programme here in this country, and I first asked her to tell me a bit more about its objectives.
A newly released Amnesty International report on the state of human rights around the world says that anti-refugee and anti-migrant protests continued in the Czech Republic in the last year. Groups supporting refugees also faced threats from far-right groups, the survey says. At the same time, AI highlighted the Czech government’s adoption of measures to address European Commission concerns on discrimination against Roma children in education.
The Czech Republic has come in for some criticism in Amnesty International’s latest annual report on the human rights situation around the world. Not for the first time, the organisation highlights the fact that many Czech Roma children are being sent to schools for children with mental disabilities. The report also points to shortcomings in the country’s treatment of refugees and migrants. I began with that particular aspect when I called the spokeswoman for the Czech branch of Amnesty, Martina Pařízková.
The human rights organisation Amnesty International has highlighted the poor treatment of refugees in the Czech Republic and the high number of Romany children in "practical" schools (former special schools) in its annual report on the state of human rights around the world. The document refers to anti-migration rallies held in the country last year and the Czech Republic’s rejection of compulsory quotas of refugees imposed by the European Union. On the positive side, the report praises legal changes aimed at the integration of Romany children into mainstream schools and a court decision to recognise adoption by a male couple.
US Ambassador Andrew Shapiro has presented the 2015 Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award to Marie Gottfriedová, headmistress of a primary school in Trmice in the region of Ústí nad Labem, which is regarded as a socially excluded locality. According to the US Embassy, the school effectively promotes the idea of inclusive education, and is successful in integrating the local Roma community. The award was established in 2004 to recognize persons and institutions in the Czech Republic who have made exceptional and continuing contributions to the advancement of human rights. Previous award winners include the ombudswoman Anna Šabatová or head of Transparency International David Ondráčka.
Czech schools have repeatedly been criticised by international watchdogs and advocacy groups for their practice of placing disproportionately large numbers of Romany children in segregated schools. In a most recent case, a school in the small town of Krásná Lípa in north Bohemia has come into the spotlight after creating a special Roma class, allegedly to help the Roma children catch up with the rest of their schoolmates.