Czech Government still discriminates against Romani school children

Czech Government still discriminates against Romani school children
(Brussels, 8 November 2012) Five years after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that sending Romani children in the Czech Republic to ‘special’ and Roma-only schools is discriminatory, Amnesty International and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) have urged the European Union to press the Czech Government to comply with EU anti-discrimination laws, including the Race Equality Directive, backed by the threat of action for non-compliance.
A new report by Amnesty International and the ERRC, released today, Five more years of injustice: Segregated education for Roma in the Czech Republic, finds there has been minimal progress in securing non-discriminatory access to education for Romani children in the Czech city of Ostrava. The report includes a request to the EU to prioritise anti-discrimination measures which improve access to education. In programming its structural funds, the EU should ensure that use of these funds does not result in racial segregation in education, housing and health care.
The Czech Government still hasn’t reformed the system, nor has it delivered on its own commitment to end discriminatory segregation of Romani school children”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “These children are still being denied the educational opportunities other students enjoy, with devastating consequences for their future. This is a serious breach of international human rights law, and it’s high time the EU put pressure on the Czech Government.
On the fifth anniversary of DH and Others v the Czech Republic ruling, Romani children continue to be over-represented in schools and classes designed for children with learning disabilities, and Roma-only schools continue to operate. The report exposes shortcomings in the Czech educational system, which excludes Romani children from mainstream education. The government’s failure to resolve the problem has meant a new generation of children endure the same violation of their right to equal education as their parents. Romani children consequently have few chances of further education and are trapped in a cycle of poverty and marginalisation. 
The report calls on the Czech Government to end school segregation immediately, by implementing the existing National Action Plan on Inclusive Education & Strategy for Combating Social Exclusion, urgently mandating school desegregation, and ensuring all measures comply with international and regional standards on education and non-discrimination.
The report is available at the following location:
For more information or an embargoed copy of the report, please contact:
Peter Clarke 
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Amnesty International
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773