Saturday, November 10, 2012


Czech Republic: Romani march to mark D.H. anniversary


PHOTO  --ilustrační foto

On 7 November 2012, a group of Romani residents will peacefully march in Ostrava to mark the anniversary of the judgment handed down by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in the matter of "D.H. and Others versus the Czech Republic". That judgment confirmed that Romani children were being discriminated against in their access to education.

"I emphasize that this will be a completely peaceful action. We want to express our uneasiness over the ongoing discriminatory approaches inside educational institutions that are restricting the development of Romani children and their opportunities for subsequent education. People also want to draw attention to the insufficient education of the teachers now working with Romani children, who often are unable to create the conditions for a conflict-free coexistence between the majority and minorities because their interventions are ignorant of ethnic specifics," Martin Grinvalský, the convener of the event, told news server Grinvalský and other Romani residents of Ostrava belong to a civic initiative that meets regularly and wants to motivate other Romani people to become more engaged.

The event is planned to start at 16:30 CET in front of the Ostrava town hall. Speeches will be made and a cross and lighted candles will then be laid there to symbolically express the systematic burial of hopes for better integration into society or for improving the conditions of young Romani people's lives. Romani solidarity will be expressed through singing the Romani national anthem.

Those gathered will then march to the offices of the Czech School Inspection Authority (Česká školní inspekce). Organizers of the event believe the insufficient interventions of this authority also amount to the burial of Romani hopes at the moment when Romani children are assigned to attend the "practical elementary schools", precluding the possibility of their enjoying equal access to quality education.
jab, mg, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

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