The Greatest Problem is the Anti-Romani Sentiment

“Muslims in Europe are experiencing bad times, but in the Czech Republic the greatest problem is Anti-Romani sentiment”, said Åubica Turzová a representative of the Czech Helsinki Committee.
In the frame of the International Day Against Racism, the Czech Helsinki Committee has published a shadow report on racism in the Czech Republic. This report is issued annually by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) and it monitors the situation during 2011 and part of 2012. According to representatives of the Czech Helsinki Committee, the report describes how racism continues to be deeply rooted in Czech society. Anti-Romani sentiment, as manifested by anti-Romani demonstrations and protests, represents the greatest problem. Even though both the media and the public are criticizing the state for its insufficient response to this problem, the authors of the report note that certain short-term solutions have been rather successful. The shadow report criticises the Czech Republic for the fact that a large number of Romani children end up attending “practical primary schools” designed for pupils with light mental disability. Last year’s ENAR shadow report found that racial discrimination and racism was increasing in Europe and that the economic crisis had worsened the situation. “It is disturbing that neo-Nazism is part of government in several countries and that in most countries, the public is open to expressions of racism”, the report states. The authors also note that anti-discrimination measures are being stinted because of budget cuts and the economic crisis. The data collected by civil society representatives across Europe show that discrimination continues to negatively influence the lives of many ethnic and religious groups, specifically in their access to the criminal justice system, education, employment, goods and services, housing and police.

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