Czech Republic accepts the competence of United Nations race discrimination body
10 April 2001
The Secretariat of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued statements confirming that the Czech Republic has recently accepted the competence of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to hear individual cases, as specified under Article 14 of the Convention. The ERRC welcomes the Czech Republic’s recognition of the authority of the Committee to review individual claims, and hopes advocates will make use of this new possibility for redressing Roma rights violations. More information on the CERD and possibilities for individual claims under Article 14 is available at www.errc.org.
In other Czech news, in late 2000, the Czech Foreign Ministry published the “Conception of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Relation to the Romani Problematic” (doc # Č.j. 140892/2000-LP) which includes, under the heading of “Goals and Tasks for the Organs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Connected with the Romani Problematic”, the following five goals: “1. Promotion of the concept of the Europeanisation of the Romani problematic; 2. Active informational politics; 3. Denial of exaggerated racial and discriminatory criticism from abroad; 4. Denial of the distortative description of the Romani problematic exclusively as a human rights issue; 5. Communication with the shaping of the Romani political representation.” The Czech Republic is not alone among Central and Eastern European states in responding to criticism concerning the human rights situation of Roma with reference to the necessity of dealing with the issue at a “European level”. However, the ERRC is not aware of any other governments putting this cynical combination of strategies into writing officially.