A study conducted by the non-governmental organisation People in Need, together with Millward Brown, gauging how Czech secondary school students view Czech society and the world around them, has produced some worrying results. Along with the ‘usual’ dissatisfaction over issues such as poor governance (highlighted in a previous study in 2009) the majority of 1,100 students queried now perceived the number one issue as problems with the Roma minority – citing an alleged unwillingness on their part to work, improve in their studies and so on.
According to a fresh survey by the Milward Brown agency, students of Czech secondary schools believe that there are three main problems in the Czech Republic. The poll found that the majority of the 1100 respondents believe the relationship between mainstream Czechs and Romanies is especially problematic; unemployment and politics in general were also cited as factors that make life in this country more difficult. Commenting on the result, sociologist Ivan Gabal said that Czech secondary school students are even more rigid and prejudiced towards the Romany minority than most adults. Frustration with politics is also on the rise and an increasing number of students would vote for radical parties. Some 12 percent would give their vote to the far-right Workers’ Party for Social Justice, while 13 percent would cast their ballot in favor of the Czech Pirate Party, the survey found.
Three Czech students reached the final round in an international competition (Social Impact Award) recognizing socially-beneficial projects, idnes reports. The three – all students at Charles University – came up with a project called Pragulic (a play on the word Prague and the Czech word for street), by which homeless people could give foreign tourists somewhat atypical tours of Prague: namely of areas they know well. The students behind the project say they want to begin looking for reliable candidates soon. Similar projects already exist in London and Munich, the daily notes.
A homeless man sleeping in a garbage container was killed on Saturday morning when sanitation workers failed to register his presence and dumped him along with the contents into a garbage truck compactor. By the time they realised their mistake, it was too late. The man, a foreign national, was in his mid-forties, a police spokeswoman said. The tragedy happened in Prague’s Žižkov. According to the spokeswoman two similar incidents happened last winter; she said that although workers regularly checked containers, it was sometimes hard to see sleeping figures hidden beneath paper. The tragedy was reported by the ČTK news agency.
They call it the biggest Roma culture festival in the world, and it’s back in Prague for the 14th year. The Khamoro, or World Roma Festival, means nine days of some of the best gypsy bands from all corners of Europe, but also a wide array of cultural and sociological events all aimed at promoting unity and understanding.
The government’s human rights commissioner Monika Šimůnková says the fabricated attack on a Moravian boy by Roma was damaging to the Roma community and those who work with stopping social exclusion. She said she hoped the incident would be a permanent reminder to locals of how cautiously people should approach media information and warned against blaming groups of people for the acts of individuals. Residents of Břeclav took to the streets en masse when a fifteen-year-old boy reported he had been beaten by three Roma. He was hospitalised and lost a kidney. On Thursday he admitted to police that he had in fact fallen off one balcony railing on to another and had invented the story for his mother.
Police in the South Moravian town of Břeclav have called off an investigation into three Roma who allegedly beat up a 15-year-old boy, in an incident that raised racial tensions around the country. The boy has confessed that the attack never took place, he injured himself in a fall, and the mass demonstrations that followed now look like just another sign of widespread prejudice against the Roma minority.
Some Czech municipalities abuse the welfare accommodation system, according to an analysis by the Labour and Social Affairs ministry, the news agency ČTK reported. Some cities and towns establish welfare accommodation facilities in which they charge high rent and then cash in on welfare benefits. The system, which has been abused for years, has now become a strategy in some municipalities, according to the report. The analysis also found out the situation of those living in socially-excluded areas deteriorated as dependence on welfare and social benefits has never been higher.
Around 200 people commemorated Romany victims of the Holocaust at the site of the former Lety concentration camp in southern Bohemia on Sunday. Speaking at the memorial service, member of the government board for minorities, Štefan Tišer said political parties should not try to win support using xenophobia present in parts of the Czech society. The participants criticized the government for having failed to remove a large pig farm from the site of the camp. Some 5,000 Czech Romanies were transported into concentration camps during WWII; 90 percent of were killed.
An adolescent boy who was brutally beaten by three men, allegedly Roma, in Břeclav in April was selling marijuana, which might be the reason for the attack, according to the news website iDnes.cz. The site says that the boy has changed his testimony in this respect, originally saying that the three men had asked him for a cigarette. As he did not have any, they beat him up so brutally that he lost his kidney. Citing a source informed about the investigation, iDnes writes that boy was selling marijuana and his customers were not satisfied with the product and attacked him. Anti-Romany rallies, organised in part by the ultra-right extremist Workers' Party of Social Justice, have been held in the town because of the crime.
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