Condemn lack of quality education for Roma in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary

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The Roma people (commonly and incorrectly refered to as Gypsies) are Europe’s largest minority, and have faced widespread discrimination and persecution for hundreds of years. The most insidious form of discrimination in recent years is the denial of Roma children’s right to quality education.  The worst offenders are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In these three countries, Roma children are found to have “mild mental disabilities” and are sent to “special schools” for disabled children at a disproportionate rate. In Slovakia, 88% of children in special schools are Roma. Roma children are also often placed in ethnically segregated classes, which offer reduced curriculums and fail to provide students with an adequate level of education.

Despite actions by the European Commission, these three countries continue to promote and support discriminatory education practices and none of them have introduced any systematic reforms to address and solve the problem. Without any real change, thousands of children will slip through the cracks and remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.

We, the undersigned, request that the Canadian government through the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally condemn the discriminatory practices of these countries.

[Image credit: Amnesty International]



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