MINELRES: ERRC: Rights Groups Urge Council of Europe Action on Coerced Sterilisation Matters

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Feb 21 19:04:41 2009

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

Rights Groups Urge Council of Europe Action on Coerced Sterilisation
Today, a coalition of human rights organizations sent a letter to the
Council of Europe to voice its concern about the coerced sterilization
of Romani women in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The letter,
addressed to the Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, was
endorsed by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Peacework
Development Fund, Life Together, League of Human Rights, Center for
Reproductive Rights and the Group of Women Harmed by Sterilisation. 

The letter noted that, while coercive sterilization is usually
considered a legacy of the Communist past, there is evidence that the
practice is continuing to this day, with cases reported as recently as
last year.   For this reason, the governments concerned must officially
acknowledge the problem, amend their laws and practices, and provide
compensation to victims.  

The letter underlines that there is a pressing need for a general review
in the Central European region of the persistence of this practice, and
called on the Commissioner to take the lead in this review.  The letter
also asked the Commissioner to follow up directly with the three
governments on recommendations already made by domestic bodies and
international organizations that remain unimplemented.  The general
public and medical professionals must receive a clear message about the
need to safeguard women’s human rights so that this odious practice is
finally ended.

The full text of the letter is available at:


Gwendolyn Albert, Director, Peacework Development Fund

Claude Cahn, Consultant, Think International

Robert Kushen, ERRC Managing Director

Kumar Vishwanathan, Director, Life Together

David Zahumensky, League of Human Rights

Christina Zampas, Center for Reproductive Rights

Elena Gorolova, Spokesperson for the Group of Women Harmed by


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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