Roma in the Czech Republic
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The Roma people (Czech: Romové), commonly known as Gypsies (Czech: Cikáni), constitute a minority in the Czech Republic. According to the last census from 2011, The Roma nationality was reported by the total of 13,150 inhabitants. Only a small part of them filled in only the Roma nationality (5 199). Most of them stated the Roma nationality in combination with another one, for example, the Roma and Czech, the Roma and Moravian and the like (7,951). In the 2001 Census, 11,746 people reported the Roma nationality – at that time it was 0.1% of those claiming some nationality. In 2011, the result 13,150 is 0.2% of those, who reported some nationality.
However, at the same census, 40 370 inhabitants reported Romani language as their language and, according to estimates by European Roma Rights Centre, the size of the population is between 250,000 and 300,000.
Roma were exterminated by Nazi German mobile killing units and in camps such as the ones at Lety and Auschwitz. 90% of native Roma died, the Roma there now are mostly post-war immigrants from Slovakia or Hungary, or the descendants thereof.
During the communist years unsuccessful attempts to change the nomadic living style of Roma were undertaken by the regime. Many Romani people were settled in panel houses that were, however, sooner or later utterly demolished (Chánov near Most). After 1989, some Romani women started to accuse the state of "forced sterilizations" arguing that they were not properly informed of what the "sterilization" meant. According to Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl, "at least 50 Romani women were unlawfully sterilized". However, Czech representative at UN protested against such accusations, claiming that the accusation was "false" and Romani women "exaggerate in all cases". A hospital in Vitkovice (Ostrava) recently apologized to a Romani woman, who was sterilized after her second caesarean, but a request for a compensation of 1 million Czech crowns was rejected by the court.
According to a recent opinion poll, 68% Czechs have less or higher antipathy towards Roma and 82% Czechs refuse any form of a "special care of Roma rights". According to a 2010 survey, 83% of Czechs consider Roma asocial and 45% of Czechs would like to expel them out of the Czech Republic. This attitude remains virtually unchanged. Police statistics from the early 90's show that the crime rate of the Romani population in Czechoslovakia was highly disproportional, especially among burglaries. According to Říčan (1998), Roma make up more than 60% of Czech prisoners and about 50% habitual offenders.
Many Roma fled after the independence of the Czech Republic claiming that they felt insecure due to a surge in right wing activity. Countries such as Ireland, the UK, Norway and Sweden took in large numbers, but most Roma returned home after a few years. Their immigration to Great Britain suddenly dropped, after financial support for refugees started to be paid out in the forms of food-tickets in summer 2000 (due to the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999). One year later, British customs officers began to check the ethnicity of Czech passengers at the Prague airport and routinely rejected those of Romani origin. Due to the continuing wave of unsubstantiated requests for asylum, Canada set up a visa regime for Czech citizens in October 1997.
- Vítkov arson attack of 2009
- D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic
- Roma in Slovakia
- Roma people in Central and Eastern Europe
- MF Dnes 4.5. 2007: STEM: Dvě třetiny Čechů nemají rády Romy [STEM: Two-thirds of Czechs dislike Roma] http://zpravy.idnes.cz/stem-dve-tretiny-cechu-nemaji-rady-romy-fc1-/domaci.asp?c=A070504_141136_domaci_mr
- Romany communities: ways of living in relation to criminality (in the known of the Czech Republic and Slovakia) http://www.epolis.cz/download/pdf/materials_31_1.pdf
- Roma And Emigration (http://www.varianty.cz/cdrom/podkapitoly/b02romove.pdf); Postoj politiků k emigraci Romů [The Attitude Of Politicians To The Romani Emigration], p. 219
- Chanov - urban settlement without trees and flowers, http://www.sweb.cz/whitewoman/chanov/english.htm
- Roma Gypsies Slovakia, Lunik IX (http://nigeldickinson.com/gallery/slovakiaroma?page=1)
- Otakar Motejl: Nezákonně bylo sterilizováno nejméně 50 žen [Otakar Motejl: At Least 50 Women Were Unlawfully Sterilized] http://aktualne.centrum.cz/clanek.phtml?id=40065
- Česko řeklo v OSN, že Romky přehánějí [Czechia said in the UN that Roma women exaggerate] http://aktualne.centrum.cz/domaci/spolecnost/clanek.phtml?id=218615
- Radim Uzel: Jak to bylo s násilnou sterilizací u Romů v Československu? http://www.psychologia.sk/empatia/11.htm
- Soud:Za sterilizaci jen omluva,peníze ne [Court: Apology for sterilization, no money] http://aktualne.centrum.cz/domaci/spolecnost/clanek.phtml?id=333188
- Pozdní důkaz u britských soudů: Britští imigrační úředníci v Ruzyni Romy skutečně rasisticky diskriminovali [A late proof of British justice: British immigration officers really racially discriminated Roma at Ruzyně airport], http://www.britske-listy.cz/2004/11/3/art20418.html
- Canada limits Czech visitors, http://wpni.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/canada/stories/gypsies101097.htm