Roma communities in the Czech Republic face discrimination in many areas, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović said after her visit to the country on Monday.
According to the commissioner, there were some positive developments but problems remain in education, housing, employment and interaction with the police.
For example, the country should ensure that children of all backgrounds, including Roma children or children with disabilities, can learn together and should not be separated.
“The Czech Republic should spare no effort to address the long-standing problem of the exclusion of Roma people and people with disabilities, and to ensure that they can live in equality and dignity,” Mijatović said on Monday.
Moreover, the Commissioner warn against the different treatment of Roma refugees coming to the Czech Republic from Ukraine. While Ukrainian people fleeing from the country found housing or employment quite easily, Roma Ukrainians faced severe obstacles.
According to the Council of Europe statement, the treatment of Roma Ukrainians “highlighted the deep-rooted prejudices against Roma that still exist in Czech society.”
After the outbreak of the war, hundreds of Ukrainian-Romani people asked for help in the Czech Republic. Some of them returned to Ukraine, others found a place in Ireland or Germany. Only around 300 landed in the Czech Republic, according to Czech NGOs.
Many of the Roma-Ukrainian refugees were discouraged from settling in the Czech Republic by the initial unfriendly conditions. Particularly, many regions and their accommodation facilities did not provide refuge for the Romani Ukrainians – a move which was criticised by NGOs.
Moreover, as EURACTIV reported before, Roma Ukrainian refugees with dual Ukrainian-Hungarian citizenship faced difficulties while asking for aid.