Roma minority calls for Romani rights commissioner
Prague, 26/04/2012 – The National Association of Romanies (CRO) in the Czech Republic Thursday called on the government to establish the post of commissioner for the ethnic Romany minority, the server Romea has said.
The organisation should have a “strong mandate and capacity” to resolve problems in the regions and the government agency for Romany’s social inclusion should report to it.
The CRO was established last year. It wants to establish contact with all Romany groups, link their work, create a Romany representation and be a partner to the government and authorities.
Previously, the minister for human rights and ethnic minorities was in charge of the Romany affairs, but now it is within the power of the government human rights commissioner.
The CRO said the office did not have enough money to solve the situation of Romanies.
“We are calling on the Czech government to establish the post of commissioner for ethnic minorities with a strong mandate and a capacity to resolve the complex situation of Romanies in individual regions,” CRO chairman Vladimir Galbavy said.
Galbavy said a great deal of money from the domestic and EU budgets was being spent on the Romany issue in the Czech Republic, but often it was not spent in an efficient way and it did not help resolve the difficulties.
The appeal says the EU money should be sent to an independent programme for the support of excluded localities.
This should enhance employment and education of the people living in Romany ghettoes, it adds.
The CRO went on to condemn racist violence, also on the part of Romanies.
“Unfortunately, the majority society tends to blame the whole Romany population for individuals’ crime,” it added.
The recession is increasing the risk of intolerance, which plays into the hands extremists, the CRO said.
However, the situation cannot be resolved by anti-Romany marches and demonstrations, it added.
A recent brutal beating of a 15-year boy in Breclav, south Moravia, allegedly by three Romany thugs has caused in the town and a number of rallies have been held against the crime.
The ultra-right extremist Workers’ Party of Social Justice (DSSS) has helped organise the protests.