Amnesty International Unhappy with Roma Discrimination

In its annual report published on Friday last week, Amnesty International has declared that Slovakia is not sticking to its commitment in the field of Human Rights, pinpointing chiefly how Roma in Slovakia are still being subjected to discrimination.

The report points to shortcomings in education, housing and healthcare, with the segregation of Roma children in schools being one of the key issues. The report also mentions the walls that were built in some municipalities last year to separate Roma communities from other residents. The first of these walls was built in the village of Ostrovany in 2009, followed by one in Michalovce and one in Presov, among others.

The report mentions specifically also how around 90 Romani families in Plavecký Štvrtok near Bratislava had been threatened with forced eviction from their homes, with the village demanding that they demolish their homes due to the absence of documents demonstrating their structural compliance with the law.

Bad timing could therefore be put down to yesterday’s ‘clearance’ of around 100 shanty homes of Roma citizens in Ťahanovce, Kosice. The Roma had erected their makeshift homes on municipal land and had been warned several times in advance that the city planned to demolish them. Yesterday their homes were bulldozed after they were given 15 minutes to get anything out they could.

Other issues that Amnesty International is not happy about include the extradition of asylum-seeker Mustafa Labsi from Algeria, who was sent back to face possible torture and persecution despite a contrary ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.

The report is critical of how the current coalition has not done enough to deal with Human Rights issues, as it promised back in August last year to eliminate segregation in schools, for instance. Recent attempts to achieve this, though, have led some families to move their children to other schools not attended by Roma children.

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