Saturday, 19 April 2014

Young Roma call on gov't to keep human rights section

16 January 2013

Prague, Jan 15 (CTK) - Romany students and young activists have asked the Czech government to preserve the human rights section at its office and not to move its agenda to particular ministries, in a letter by the "emergency committee" of young Romanies the government office has passed to CTK.

The Romanies write that the step would threaten the protection of the "most vulnerable groups," that is children, seniors, the disabled and minorities.

The government may discuss at its Wednesday meeting the proposed austerity measures in the public administration, including the merger or abolition of offices.

Human rights protectors from various organisations have called on the government to quit its plans for transferring government councils to particular ministries over budget cuts.

"The government's intention to abolish the human rights section and to assign its agenda to particular ministries may threaten the quality of human rights protection in our country," the young Romanies wrote.

They wrote that the government councils' members work in their leisure time and do not burden taxpayers. They prepared many proposals that have helped improve the deprived people's lives.

The agenda of government human rights commissioner Monika Simunkova comprises the government councils for human rights, Romany minority affairs, ethnic minorities, NGOs, the government committee of people with a health handicap and the agency for social inclusion.

The government council coordinating anti-drug policy and the national anti-drug coordinator would also no longer fall under the government office under the plan.

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