Support the Campaign of Romani Survivors of Coerced Sterilisation for Apologies and Compensation

03 July 2008

Budapest, Madrid, Ostrava, Prague: Today, a coalition comprised of the Ostrava-based Group of Women Harmed by Sterilisation, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the Peacework Development Fund launch a global campaign seeking support for Romani women victimised by coerced sterilisation practices in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The campaign is supported by the Open Society Institute's Public Health Program and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Warsaw.

The governments concerned have failed to react, through public apologies and compensation for the harms inflicted upon Romani women, to 5 years of targeted advocacy and lobbying by the victims and their advocates. Today, the survivors and their advocates turn to the global human rights movement to strengthen their efforts to secure justice, beginning with action around the 2008 Women's Worlds Congress in Madrid, Spain, from 3-9 July, where the most pressing women's rights matters from around the world will feature.

The campaign includes a panel discussion on coerced sterilisation practices in Central Europe by survivors and their advocates, as well as a letter-writing campaign targeting key officials in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, calling on the respective governments to recognise the extreme human rights violations perpetrated on their territory and to ensure apologies and compensation for the survivors.

Key dates:

  • From 3-9 July, the Coalition will conduct a series of meetings with Romani organisations around Spain and hold various television and radio interviews, and distribute information brochures and advocacy letters and postcards to send to the responsible governments.
  • On 4 July, the Coalition will be distributing information pamphlets and advocacy postcards/letters in Madrid and Budapest (Godor Klub, 14:00 – 18:00 PM).
  • On 5 July, the Coalition will host a panel discussion comprised of coercively sterilised Romani women and their advocates to raise awareness within the global women's movement and initiate global lobbying efforts (16:30, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España), habitación ODO-Fernando del Rio, Facultad de Odontología, Ciudad Universitaria).
  • On 6 July, women from the Group of Women Harmed by Sterilisation will distribute advocacy postcards/letters in Ostrava for submission to the Czech Government.

Tell the governments concerned that it is time for action! Support the Romani survivors of coerced sterilisation in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia by sending our postcard or letter, available on the ERRC website in English, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian and Slovak.

For updates on our work at the Madrid Congress, the pamphlet and the postcards/letters, please visit the ERRC website at: Compensation Now: Campaign on Coerced Sterilisation.

Tell us you sent the letter or postcard, or otherwise supported the campaign, and join our online list of supporters by writing us at:

For further information or interviews, please contact:

Group of Women Harmed by Sterilisation: 

During the Congress, the representatives can be reached on the following mobile numbers: +34.627.212.118 or +36.20.398.8303 or +420.774.895.444.

Otherwise, please contact the ERRC office at: +36.1.413.2200.


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