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Life Sentence: Romani Children in State Care in the Czech Republic

20 June 2011

Life Sentence: Romani Children in State Care in the Czech Republic

Romani children are disadvantaged within the Czech child protection system and highly overrepresented within the system of Czech institutional care. Relevant legislative and policy is not unified or sufficiently defined. A legal definition of child endangerment and legally binding guidelines for assessing child endangerment are lacking. Preventative social work is inadequate to address the problems experienced by marginalised Romani families. Significant problems experienced by a great number of Romani families in the Czech Republic, such as structural poverty, inadequate housing, unemployment and indebtedness are rarely addressed effectively and often form the basis for child removal, although the highest Czech courts have confirmed that this is not permissible. Low rights awareness negatively affects the position of Romani families during related court proceedings. Social work with Romani families while their children are in State care rarely results sufficient improvements to enable the return of affected children to their families. Romani children experience various problems while in institutional care, including physical abuse, ill-treatment and ethnic discrimination. Very few children’s homes offer programmes to support the development of positive ethnic identity. Romani children are less likely to be adopted than non-Romani children in the Czech Republic due to their ethnicity, and Romani children diagnosed as having a disability have limited educational and adoption opportunities. It is very difficult if not impossible for many Romani children to escape the existing system.

Life Sentence: Romani Children in State Care in the Czech Republic

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ERRC submission to UN HRC on Hungary (February 2018)

14 February 2018

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Hungary to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 122nd session (12 Narch - 6 April 2018).

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The Fragility of Professional Competence: A Preliminary Account of Child Protection Practice with Romani and Traveller Children in England

24 January 2018

Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be 3 times more likely be taken into public care than any other child. 

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Families Divided: Romani and Egyptian Children in Albanian Institutions

21 November 2017

There’s a high percentage of Romani and Egyptian children in children’s homes in Albania – a disproportionate number. These children are often put into institutions because of poverty, and then find it impossible ever to return to their families. Because of centuries of discrimination Roma and Egyptians in Albania are less likely to live in adequate housing, less likely to be employed and more likely to feel the effects of extreme poverty.

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