Recent Romnews postings

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 10:16:33 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Recent Romnews postings

From: MINELRES moderator <>

Original sender: Roma National Congress <>

Recent Romnews postings

London/UK (Romnews Correspondent) 20.10.1998

British officials say that a further increase in the number of Czech
Roma applying for asylum in Great Britain could lead to the imposition
of a visa regime for Czech citizens. London reimposed visa regulations
for Slovak citizens last week because of the high number of Roma from
Slovakia requesting asylum in Britain in August and September. The
British Home Office said on 14 October that in those two months, 1,611
Slovak Roma and 460 Czech Roma requested asylum. The issue is expected
to be a major topic of discussion when President Vaclav Havel, Foreign
Minister Jan Kavan, and Human Rights Commissioner Petr Uhl make an
official visit to London next week. The British ambassador to Prague,
David Broucher, was recently quoted on Czech television as saying that
Roma have no reason to leave the Czech Republic.

An Unique Specimen in Europe
Roma children are trained to be social workers

Czech Rep./Prague (Romnews Correspondent) 21.10.98

The school year in Czechia began with a European unique specimen. In
Kolin near Prague a "social Roma secondary school" has opened. The
children of a minority of 200.000 persons shall be lead to their
school-leaving exam over four years, in order to work afterwards on
the integration of their own ethnic group. The first success was that
more children over 15 years than expected applied for the lessons.
This is remarkable because a school education of Roma is not only very
rare, but very often the  pater familias does not want his children
knowing more than he does.

The aim of the education is to enable the pupils to work afterwards f.
e. as a crisis manager in special Roma districts or as an authorized
Roma-representative of the government. It is a serious attempt for a
long lasting integration.

The pressure on the government is great. Since 1990 there were
numerous cases of racist acts of violence. The court often judged with
incomprehensive leniency. On the other hand the unemployment of the
mostly unqualified Roma increased to over 70%. And as a matter of
fact, the Roma are involved in crimes to an extremely high extent.
Over 90% of the Czechs do not want a Roma as a neighbour.

So far an integration failed also because of the fact, that Roma did
not at all cooperate. This shall be changed now. The pupils have come
from all parts of the country and will live in a boarding school. They
are meant to become some kind of specialists for the solutions of
problems. Besides the languages Czech, English, or German, also their
own language and "romistic" is on the syllabus. This imparts to them
the history of their people and the problems with the social
environment. A knowledge of hygiene and health will be imparted to
them as well.

There is a consensus between all political representatives that a
seriously meant integration must start in the kindergarten or in
school. So far Roma children mostly ended in special schools. The new
programme that is financed partly by the government and partly by an
international Roma foundation shall show that Roma children can reach
the same school levels like other children when they are looked after
in an adequate way.

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