MINELRES: Hundreds of Activists Support Campaign for Compensation for Coercively Sterilised

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jul 30 15:13:23 2008

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

Romani Women’s Rights Coalition Successfully Reaches Global Women’s

15 July 2008, Budapest, Prague, Ostrava: Starting at the beginning of
July, members of the Ostrava-based Group of Women Harmed by
Sterilisation and their advocates from European Roma Rights Centre and
Peacework Development Fund initiated a campaign to activate the global
women’s rights movement in lobbying efforts for public recognition of
coerced sterilisation and compensation for Romani survivors of these
practices in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The campaign was launched around the 2008 Women’s Worlds Congress in
Madrid, Spain, which brought together thousands of women’s rights
advocates from around the world, and was supported by the Open Society
Institute’s Public Health Program and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Warsaw. 

During the Congress, supported by simultaneous actions in Czech Republic
and Hungary, activists from more than 40 countries signed and sent
hundreds of postcards and letters to the Czech, Hungarian and Slovak
governments urging them to respond to calls for public apologies and
compensation for coerced sterilisation survivors.

The survivors and their advocates turned to the global human rights
movement to strengthen their efforts to secure justice after the
governments concerned failed to react, through public apologies and
compensation for the harms inflicted upon Romani women, to 5 years of
targeted advocacy and lobbying by the victims and their advocates.  

During a panel discussion at the Congress on the issue, the survivors
informed women’s rights activists, academics and politicians about the
coercive sterilisation of Romani women in Central Europe, generating an
invigorating discussion, with women from around the world sharing their
knowledge about similar abuses elsewhere. 

The coerced sterilisation of Romani women in Central Europe was
highlighted in the concluding session of the Congress and will feature
in the concluding recommendations coming out of the Congress, at:
http://www.mmww08.org/. The issue is also featured in the documentary
film, “Trial of a Child Denied” by Mortal Coil Media, which aired on CNN
between 9 and 13 July (see:

The survivors gained much strength from the strong support they received
from NGOs, human rights advocates from around the world and different
media outlets during the Congress. “Don’t give up, fight on,” is the
message that Elena Gorolova, spokesperson for the Group of Women Harmed
by Sterilisation would like to send to all who demand redress for the
harms they have suffered. 

The letters of support for the survivors to the Czech, Hungarian and
Slovak governments are available for download on the ERRC’s website,
together with comprehensive information about the practice and the
Congress. See: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2965. 

For further information, please contact: 

Elena Gorolova (Czech, Romanes), Representative of the Group of Women
Harmed by Sterilisation, elena.gorolova@seznam.cz 
Anita Danka (Hungarian, English), ERRC Staff Attorney,
Ostalinda Maya (Spanish, English), ERRC Women’s Rights Consultant,
Monika Pacziga (Hungarian, English), ERRC Women’s Rights Officer,
Gwendolyn Albert (Czech, English), Director of Peacework’s Women’s
Initiatives Network, gwendolyn.albert@gmail.com


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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