First Civil Complaint Filed Regarding Coercive Sterilisations of Romani women
21 July 2005
On 4 March 2005, the first in a series of civil complaints was filed in an Ostrava court with the assistance of the ERRC, on behalf of Helena Ferencikova, coercively sterilised by doctors in an Ostrava hospital in 2001. Helena Ferencikova, who is 23, is seeking compensation of one million Czech crowns (approximately 35,000 Euro).
Human Rights Advocate Michaela Tomisová, Ms Ferenčiková's legal representative said, "Following first news of this action, we have been swamped with calls from other Romani women from all over the Czech Republic. The lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Ferenčiková is only a first step. The Czech government needs to provide basic recognition that this problem exists and that there are many victims awaiting redress." As of April 7, 2005, seventy-six victims of coercive sterilisation -- all but one of them women and the overwhelming majority of them Romani -- have submitted complaints to the Czech Public Defender of Rights ("the Ombudsman"). A summer of action in these matters by the ERRC and partner organisations Life Together, the League of Human Rights and IQ Roma Service is available at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2228.