Roma Prohibited from Registering Residences in Slovakia

29 October 2003

Mr Miklos Hlavác, a Romani man from the village of Jarabina in Slovakia's Prešov region, informed the ERRC, in partnership with the Košice-based Slovak Roma Press Agency (SRPA) that approximately one hundred and forty-five Roma from the Stará Lubovňa district in the village have experienced difficulties in registering their residences for the past several years. According to Mr Hlavác, Roma in the district had been applying for several years to obtain either permanent or temporary resident status in Jarabina. However, Mr Mikulás Kana, the mayor of Jarabina, has reportedly refused to register women from other areas who have married local men and have been living in the village for years. The children of such women are not registered either. Mayor Kana informed the ERRC/SRPA that "Roma do not have rights to the land they have built on [?]." Mayor Kana further stated that if he allowed the Roma to register, they would request the improvement of their poor living conditions, which would create problems for him.

Approximately thirty Roma from Jarabina submitted a petition to the Jarabina Local Council, requesting that the issue be solved. Roma in Jarabina who have been prohibited from registering their residence are unable to register with the Employment Office in the village, so they must travel to their place of origin to inquire about employment opportunities.



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