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Czech Republic

    April 23, 2015

    Romani children face daily discrimination and segregation in schools due to the Czech government’s longstanding failure to address deeply engrained prejudice within the education system, said Amnesty International in a new report launched today.

    Must try harder: Ethnic discrimination of Romani Children in Czech schools, documents how the Czech authorities are violating the human rights of Romani children in schools across the country. Romani children are segregated in mainstream education in Roma-only separate classes, buildings and schools and even placed in schools for pupils with “mild mental disabilities”. Those in ethnically mixed schools experience bullying, and harassment. 

    “The widespread segregation of Romani children is a horrifying example of systematic prejudice, with schools introducing children to bitter discrimination at an early age,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, who launched the report in Prague, Czech Republic today.

    September 25, 2014

    Amnesty International today welcomed the European Commission’s announcement that it would use its powers to initiate infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic for breaching European Union (EU) anti-discrimination legislation.

    “For years, Amnesty International has documented systemic discrimination against Roma children in Czech schools. Yet the Czech government has so far failed to take effective measures to prevent, address and remedy this,” said Nicolas J. Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

    “In agreeing to launch infringement proceedings, the Commission has sent a clear message to the Czech Republic and other member states - systemic discrimination towards Roma cannot and will not be tolerated.”

    The pre-litigation mechanism enables the Commission to hold the Czech government accountable for, and publicly and politically put pressure on it to end, the ongoing, systemic and unlawful practice of discrimination against Romani children in Czech schools.

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