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Report reveals that Romani women were sterilised against their will in Sweden

7 November 1997

According to various press reports in late August, authorities in Sweden carried out forced sterilisations on 60,000 Romani women, in order to cleanse society of what they regarded as inferior racial types. The operations began in 1935 and ended only in 1976, according to a report in the online version of the Dutch news paper, De Telegraaf. The report alleges that the sterilisations were 'officially voluntary', although it goes on to add that many of the women did not understand what was being done to them.

An Associated Press release noted that the program had its roots in the pursuit of eugenics, a movement popular at the turn of the century, which aimed to 'improve humanity' by controlling genetic factors in reproduction and developed from widely-accepted 19th century racist doctrine. AP reported that the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter cited documents pertaining to the Swedish program, one of which stated "Grounds for recommending sterilisation: unmistakable Gypsy features, psychopathy, vagabond life." According to AP, the issue is even more controversial because of the fact that the sterilisations were carried out under a government of the Social Democrats, the party that built Sweden's welfare state.

(AP)

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Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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