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Czech Republic: Minorities rights experts highlight “limited progress” in tackling school segregation of Roma children

A new expert report on the Czech Republic, points to the “limited progress” of efforts to eradicate the segregation of Roma children in schools.

The Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities ‘Opinion,’ also highlighlights the widespread discrimination faced by Roma people and an increase in xenophobia and intolerance in the country.

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said: “Ensuring Roma children have adequate access to education is essential to combat discrimination of Roma people in all areas of society. The Czech Republic has made some progress, but it needs to do more.”

The Opinion, published together with the government’s comments, contains an assessment of the Czech Republic’s compliance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and a set of recommendations.

Based on a visit to the country in 2015, the Opinion underlines that the situation of the Roma is the most urgent social problem in the Czech Republic.

Many Roma children continue to be segregated into schools for students with special needs, with a limited curriculum and separated from the mainstream student population. In fact the proportion of Roma children in these schools grew from 28% during the 2012-13 school year to 32.4% in 2013-14.

The committee regrets that the Action Plan on Inclusive Education and the 2012 Consolidated Action Plan for the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment on the D.H. case have failed to achieve their aims.

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