A British study has shown that Romany children who were placed in Czech special schools have no problems following the mainstream curriculum when they attend regular schools in the UK. The research, carried out buy the UK-based NGO Equality, is grist to the mill of critics calling for a fundamental change to the unfair Czech schooling system.
The Czech NGO IQ Roma servis has just launched a new campaign aimed at tackling prejudices against the minority ingrained in parts of Czech society. Making use of snappy headlines in its ads, as well as a video clip showing Roma ‘invisible’ in society unless they are performing music (another stereotype), the NGO hopes to shake up the status quo.
Czech NGO IQ Roma Servis on Tuesday announced the start of a new campaign aimed at fighting prejudices against Romanies. The campaign lampoons some of the anti-Romany stereotypes rooted in the Czech society, and cleverly plays with the fact that Czechs might perceive some words differently in a Romany-related context. The campaign which also targets Czech employers, will be launched on Wednesday.
Around 130 ultra right-wing extremists took part in a procession in Svitavy on Saturday to express support for one of their own serving a prison sentence for the racially-motivated murder of a Romany man. Dozens of police officers, including a riot unit, monitored the march. Skinheads and other right-wing radicals have held the event for several years now.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Monday attended a commemorative ceremony for the victims of the Romany Holocaust. At the site of a former concentration camp in Lety, Mr Nečas admitted the Czech responsibility for the murder of over 5,000 Romanies during the war. But the official event sparked controversy among the Romany community which says the government should first make sure the victims were giving a dignified memorial.
Several Czech Romany groups on Saturday called for a boycott of Monday’s official ceremony in commemoration of Romany victims of the Holocaust. Prime Minister Petr Nečas and other officials are to attend the event held at the site of a former concentration camp in Lety, in southern Bohemia; however, some Romany representatives said the government should first remove a large pig farm built on the site of the camp after the war. The farm’s existence has been a controversial issue in the Czech society for years; attempts by several Czech governments to remove failed due to high relocation costs demanded by the farm’s owners.
A group of Romany students has launched a “crisis response project” to improve the public image of Romanies in the Czech Republic and help ease tensions that have been building in Czech society. The group is hoping to cooperate with local and national state institutions. According to one of the members, David Tišer, some 160 young Romanies have joined the group so far. He added that the impulse to found the initiative had come from an incident that happened in Slovakia on the weekend. A police officer shot three Romanies and injured two others. Czech Romanies are also the target of violence, he added.
Representatives of a new Roma civic association had their first audience with Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Monday. As the Roma community’s problems seem to be worsening the group is seeking other support from that government than investment, and have petitioned the prime minister for a Roma cabinet position with real authority to effect change.
Representatives of the Roma minority met with Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Monday to discuss ways to improve ethnic relations. The leaders of the Nationwide Association of Roma, which was created late last year, hope to find more effective solutions to the community’s problems, which many say are worsening in spite of investments. The association requested of Mr Nečas that the government establish a Roma representative to the cabinet that would not be a minister but not be without authority. The Prime Minister told a press conference afterwards that the idea was woth considering.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas is set to meet with officials from the national association of Romanies living in the Czech Republic on Monday. The prime minister is set to discuss ways to help ease tensions between mainstream Czechs and Romanies as well as what can be done to help address problems that plague the Romany community. This is the first time that a Czech prime minister meets with a Romany interest group in his offices; the group had previously made it clear that more initiative on the part of the government regarding the worsening racial tensions in the country would be appreciated.
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