Welcome to Talkback, a forum to voice you opinion on today’s Czech news.
This week’s topic:What should be done to prevent ethnic conflict in ČR?
A week ago, a group of some 500 far-right radicals gathered in Litvínov to protest against the local Romani community. They were stopped by the riot police. Some locals were seen cheering on the far-right group. The Workers’ Party, which organised the meeting, said more gatherings will take place.
Romani communities now fear more possible attacks. An association representing Roma in the Moravia-Silesia region has sent a letter to PM Mirek Topolánek calling for a speedy adoption of laws that would ban far-right groups. The group warned that a “mass emigration of Roma” might take place if the government fails to interfere. Interior Minister Ivan Langer proposed that the party be banned.
Some experts say discrimination against Roma is growing among Czechs and that the country is entering an era of ethnic conflict. Kumar Vishwanathan, an activist dealing with the Romani population in Ostrava, says young Roma could turn to radicalism to fight extremists.
Far-right groups are not the only problem the Czech Romani population is facing. The World Bank recently called on the Czech Republic to support the employment of Czech Roma as more than half of Roma at a productive age do not have work and are not registered at employment offices. Human rights experts say one of the reasons behind the high unemployment rate among Roma is that Romani children are often placed in schools designed for children with mental disabilities, and therefore can’t get a proper education.
Regional Development Minister Jiří Čunek has unveiled plans to help solve the Roma problem: dividing Roma into three groups and placing the most problematic individuals in facilities with a tougher regime and supervision.
Email us at: [email protected].