MINELRES: NGOs Urge UN Human Rights Committee to Act on Human Rights Abuses of Czech Roma

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Jul 20 17:07:18 2007

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

Organisations Urge UN Human Rights Committee to Act on Human Rights
Abuses of Czech Roma 

13 July 2007

Today the UN Human Rights Committee (UN HRC) hears from civil society
organisations on the human rights situation of Roma in the Czech
Republic. The UN HRC is reviewing the Czech Republic’s compliance with
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 

A group of organisations working directly on these issues – the Centre
on Housing Rights and Evictions, the European Roma Rights Centre, Life
Together and the Peacework Development Fund -- today presented a joint
submission and provided oral testimony to the UN HRC. In this submission
the organisations urge the UN HRC to act firmly on ongoing, flagrant
human rights abuses of Romani communities in the Czech Republic. 
Issues raised include the coercive sterilisation of Romani women, an
extreme form of harm under the ICCPR.  Romani women have been subjected
to coercive sterilisation in Czech hospitals for decades and as recently
as 2004.  To date there has been no adequate remedy provided to victims
of this systemic practice. 

Roma also face life-threatening violence in the Czech Republic.
Anti-Romani hate speech is also a regular part of public discourse in
the Czech Republic. 
The major part of the material provided to the Committee involves racial
discrimination against Roma. International law requires the Czech
government to bring discrimination to an end.  Despite this obligation,
the Czech legislature has yet to adopt a comprehensive
anti-discrimination law. Roma in the Czech Republic are subjected to
systemic discrimination in education, employment, housing, and in social
services linked to child protection, as well as in a number of other
sectoral fields. There is near-total impunity for racial discrimination
against Roma in the Czech Republic.  Czech officials not only tolerate
the extreme, systemic exclusion of the Roma from all areas of life, in
some cases they actively promote it. The evidence indicates a
system-wide failure in the Czech Republic to ensure equal rights for the
Roma in administrative and judicial matters, and raises concerns as to
whether all persons in the Czech Republic enjoy adequate recognition
before the law. 
The full text of the joint submission, as well as an Appendix of
photographs related to the October 2006 collective expulsion of Roma
from the municipality of Vsetin, is at:



The United Nations Human Rights Committee reviews States’ compliance
with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
During July 2007, the Human Rights Committee will review the Czech
government’s second periodic report on implementation of the ICCPR in
the Czech Republic. In the context of this review, civil society
organisations have provided supplementary information for use by the
Committee. They are:

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) http://cohre.org.
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) http://www.errc.org.
The civic association Vzajemne Sou?iti (Life Together)
The Peacework Development Fund www.peacework.org.

Gwendolyn Albert (Peacework): gwen@peacework.org , (420 ) 774 895 444
Claude Cahn (COHRE): claudecahn@cohre.org , (41 76) 203 46 88
Ostalinda Maya Ovalle (ERRC): ostalinda@errc.org , (36 ) 141  322 00
Kumar Vishwanathan (Life Together): vishwanathan.kumar@gmail.com , (420
77) 776 01 91


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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