Rights Coalition Calls on Canada to Take a Leading Role in Protecting Czech Roma from Persecution
05 May 2009
One day ahead of the EU-Canada Summit in Prague, a coalition of human rights groups addressed Mr Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, expressing concern about Canadian officials apparently calling on Czech authorities to take action to prevent Romani asylum claimants from arriving in Canada. The coalition consisted of the European Roma Rights Centre, Peacework Development Fund, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the Roma Community Centre – Toronto, European Dialogue, the European Roma Information Office, The Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas and Z§vůle práva o.s.
Noting a sharp rise in extremist activities targeting Roma in 2008 and 2009 in Czech Republic, as well as the failure of the Czech government to adopt a comprehensive law banning discrimination, end systemic discrimination against Romani children in Czech schools or acknowledge or remedy the coerced sterilisation of hundreds of Romani women in the country, the submitting organisations called on Minister Kenney and the Canadian government to assist in ensuring that these and similarly needed measures are adopted in the Czech Republic. The Canadian government was urged to make clear that Canada takes seriously the need to protect Roma from persecution and to foster the social inclusion of Roma in all countries in which they live.
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Sinan Gokcen, ERRC Information Officer, email@example.com, +36.1.413.2200
Gwen Albert, Peacework Development Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org, +420.774.895.444