Europe's Highest Human Rights Court Set to Rule on Landmark Segregation Case
In January 2007, the European Court of Human Rights head oral arguments in the case D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic, a segregation case launched 8 years ago by the ERRC on behalf of 18 Romani children who were forced to attend racially segregated schools in the Czech Republic.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court will rule on the case, which raises issues concerning Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights' prohibition against discrimination. The case is the first of its kind at the European level to challenge the practice of education discrimination in central and southeastern Europe whereby Romani children are routinely placed in schools for the mentally disabled, irrespective of their actual intellectual abilities.
In a previous ruling in February 2006, the Court's Second Section ruled that while the Romani children had suffered from a pattern of adverse treatment, the applicants had failed to prove the Czech government's intent to discriminate. A decision in the case was expected during the summer of 2007.