Has anything changed for Czech Roma since the Ostrava case?

Ray Furlong on tonight’s BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight (and partly transcribed on the BBC site) asks whether there have been improvements in the circumstances of Czech Roma since the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, on a case first filed eight years ago and widely considered as landmark, that 18 children had suffered racial discrimination. The seven minute piece begins:

“There are about 10 million Roma and Sinti people in Europe. They make up Europe’s largest ethnic minority and for generations they have been excluded from many of the social welfare provisions that are available to everyone else”.

The conclusion is that little has changed, that large numbers of Czech’s teachers – to many to lose without a collapse in the system – believe that Roma children are incapable of learning in a conventional education system, and that Roma parents, alienated, themselves partly the product of a racist education system, must somehow be persuaded to engage on behalf of their children. A Czech education minister made convincing noises while simultaneously sounding slightly daunted.

You can listen to the streamed recording on the World Tonight site. Back in 2005, the Justice Initiative told the story of Ostrava, talking to many of the same people.

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