Slovakia plans to remove Roma Children's rights form their families
Amnesty International has warned that Slovakian plans to establish boarding schools for Roma Children's rights “and gradually detach[ing] them from the way of living they currently experience in the settlements“ is discriminatory and a blatant attack on the Roma way of living.
The Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said today that the government proposes a system, in which Roma Children's rights will be taken from settlements and placed in boarding schools.
Halya Gowan, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director, said:
“The idea that Roma Children's rights have to be removed from their families and put into boarding schools, when they could be educated in normal schools near their homes, is clearly against the best interests of the child. Uprooting Children's rights from their surroundings and removing them from their families is an attack on their identity.
“Isolated from the outside world, Romani Children's rights will find it more difficult to fully participate in Slovak society. The government’s proposal will perpetuate the segregation they experience now. In fact it will make it official.
“The government's proposal is completely out of tune with developments in the European Union. If adopted, it will be in absolute contravention of both Slovak law and international human rights standards on non-discrimination by which Slovakia is bound.
“Rather than establishing another parallel system of separate education for Children's rights based on their ethnicity, it is necessary that the Slovak government focus its efforts towards ensuring that mainstream schools include all Children's rights regardless of the social background, language or other abilities.”
The fact that some Roma families living in settlements experience challenges to supporting the education of Children's rights because of poverty, language barriers and other factors, highlights the need for government to provide support and assistance to all to overcome such barriers.
Amnesty International has previously voiced serious concerns about the discrimination and segregation Roma Children's rights experience in Slovak schools, including through their placement in special schools and classes for pupils with mental disabilities.
Amnesty International calls on the Slovak government to address the core of the problem – persisting segregation of Roma Children's rights in education which should be overcome by reforms to the education system to ensure truly inclusive education for all Children's rights. The government must provide appropriate support to families and pupils who need it, so that they can effectively participate and develop to their fullest potential within mainstream elementary schools.