Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

11 August 2010

Slovak government commits to end segregated education

Slovak government commits to end segregated education

Amnesty International welcomes the commitment by the new Slovakian coalition government to take measures to eliminate segregation in education on ethnic lines as a first step in the right direction.

The commitment is part of a government programme approved on Tuesday by the Slovak National Assembly. If put into practice it could benefit Romani children, many of whom are segregated in sub-standard education.

“This is the first time that a Slovak government has demonstrated political will to address segregation in education on the basis of ethnic origin as a systemic failure,” said Barbora Cernusakova, Amnesty International’s expert on Slovakia.

“Slovak authorities now need to implement comprehensive, measures that will help bring an end to decades of discrimination and segregation of Romani children in inferior education in Slovakia.”

Thousands of Romani children in Slovakia are placed in special schools and classes designed for pupils with “mild mental disabilities” or in ethnically segregated mainstream schools and classes that provide a substandard education.

This excludes Roma in Slovakia from full participation in society and locks them into a cycle of poverty and marginalization.  

“The government will have to address the institutional failure to enforce the existing prohibition of discrimination in access to quality education.

“In doing so, it will also have to fight existing prejudices against Romani children and promote the principle of equal treatment among teachers and professionals involved in the process of education,” Barbora Cernusakova said.

“The government will further have to provide the economic resources to eliminate segregation so that Romani children can be integrated in mainstream schools.” 

Concrete measures towards enforcing the ban on segregation could include providing the State School Inspectorate with adequate capacities and resources on how to identify, monitor and combat segregation in practice.

This will also require the systematic collection of statistical data on education disaggregated on the basis of gender and ethnicity.

Amnesty International has been campaigning against segregated education of Romani children in Slovakia since 2007.

The organization will continue to monitor the government’s efforts against its stated commitment and will continue to campaign for concrete measures to ensure that Romani children in the country can enjoy their right to education free from discrimination.

Read More

Roma children still lose out: Segregation persists in Slovak schools despite new law  (Research, 30 June 2009 )
A tale of two schools: Segregating Roma into special education in Slovakia (Research, 24 July 2008)
Still separate, still unequal: Violations of the right to education of Romani children in Slovakia (Research, 15 November 2007)
Slovakia plans to remove Romani children from their families (News, 9 March 2010)

Issue

Children 
Discrimination 
Human Rights Standards 
Medical And Health 
Poverty 
Roma Rights 

Country

Slovak Republic 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

18 September 2014

Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children – some as young as 12 – using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape... Read more »

25 September 2014

El Salvador has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Abortion is totally banned in all circumstances and harsh prison sentences befall those accused of... Read more »

01 October 2014

The Chinese authorities must release all those detained for peacefully showing support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Read more »
01 October 2014

Ukrainian and rebel forces must immediately end indiscriminate attacks in residential areas, Amnesty International said after at least nine civilians were killed in... Read more »

29 September 2014

Iranian authorities have today confirmed that a woman convicted of killing a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her will be hanged tomorrow morning at a prison... Read more »