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9579RE: [S-R] Re: Roma?

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  • Jackie and Mike Kadlec
    Mar 24, 2004
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      Hi all, I am curious about this e-mail that was about the Romas. I believe
      they are what we have all been told as Gypsies, correct? What I don't
      understand is the culture involved. Can anyone give me any websites or
      general information of what is going on? I know little about the culture in
      the Czech Republic and Slovakia and would appreciate any information that
      could be given or any websites that could offer some insight. I figure that
      any information might be able to help me with tracking down my husband's
      family and the conditions that they lived in during the 1800's while they
      lived in Bohemia. Thanks.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: amiak27 [mailto:rmat@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 8:16 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [S-R] Re: Roma?

      I will think more highly of the critics when they open their own
      borders to the free transit & settlement of Roma. Until that time
      they are running an academic exercise, criticizing the Slovaks for
      not solving problems they, themselves are not willing to face.

      Since Slovakia wishes to join the EU, then let the EU open the
      borders to free transit for free citizens and at the same time insist
      that Slovakia meet minimum standards of EU. Then criticism will be

      I see the article as pure propaganda for a perceived cause.


      --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Ranchik" <ranchik@p...>
      > What do you make of this article?
      > http://www.ihf-hr.org/viewbinary/viewhtml.php?doc_id=5367
      > Text included here for ease of reading:
      > ----------------------------------------------------------
      > Roma in Slovakia: Discrimination, Inequality, Neglect
      > Bratislava and Vienna, 16 March 2004 - In a press conference today,
      > the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and
      > Slovak Helsinki Committee (SHV) expressed their concerns at the
      > failure of the Slovak government to respect human rights principles
      > and standards before and in the context of the series of riots
      > recently conducted by members of the Roma community in Central and
      > Eastern Slovakia.
      > The riots emerged in February, in reaction to the entry into force
      > a new Slovak law on social benefits (Amendment no. 45/2004 to the
      > no. 195/1998 on Social Aid). The IHF and the SHV are concerned that
      > parts of this law have a clearly discriminatory intent, such as a
      > provision limiting financial help to large families, which in
      > Slovakia are mostly present among the Roma community. These
      > would see their benefits reduced after the fourth child -- a highly
      > questionable, discriminatory policy.
      > The IHF and the SHV stressed the failure of the state, over the
      > decade, to appropriately address widespread discrimination against
      > the Roma population, in spite of expectations that improvements
      > be brought before the country's entry into the European Union.
      > No significant steps have been undertaken to develop a
      > strategy vis-à-vis the problems of the large Slovak Roma community,
      > and to address the growing anti-Roma sentiment that has followed
      > February events. "Discrimination, inequality, and neglect of the
      > question continue, while the authorities concentrate their energies
      > into countering the alleged damage caused by the Roma on Slovakia's
      > image abroad", said Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director.
      > Discrimination against the Roma population in Slovakia has been
      > rampant for many years, and was only exacerbated by the new law.
      > Racial segregation, including depriving Roma from residence permits
      > in a number of Slovak towns and other unofficial measures carried
      > by local authorities and apartment owners, have led to the
      > isolation of Roma in slum settlements lacking the minimum modern
      > utilities. The extremely high unemployment rate, which the Slovak
      > authorities often put on account of the "Roma culture" and other
      > stereotypes, is largely due to widespread racial discrimination,
      > e.g. local employment offices accepting to post job announcements
      > stating that Roma would not be considered. The practice of
      > segregating Roma pupils in special neighbourhood schools or placing
      > them in schools for children with developmental disabilities
      > a burning issue raised regularly by the European Roma Rights
      > an IHF cooperating organisation.
      > Concerned about reports of abuse committed by the large police and
      > military forces deployed in the context of the February riots, the
      > IHF and the SHC are calling upon the state to carry out proper,
      > independent investigations into these abuses. The case of the death
      > of Radoslav Puky is of particular concern for both organisations,
      > which are urging the authorities to carry out proper investigations
      > into the circumstances of the death and to establish an independent
      > committee in charge of the civil supervision of the investigative
      > results.
      > Urgent steps must be undertaken by the authorities to address the
      > increasing intolerance within the majority Slovak population
      > Roma people.
      > For more information:
      > Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director: +43-1-408 88 22 or +43-676-
      > 6612
      > Ingrid Baumannova, SHC Executive Director: +421-2-5296 8875
      > Henriette Schroeder, IHF Press Officer: +43-676-725 4829

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