Toggle navigation menu.
Helsinki Default Banner

Helsinki Commission Leadership Praise Landmark Desegregation Case in Europe

WASHINGTON – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), welcomed Tuesday’s decision of the European Court of Human Rights in a school desegregation case brought by 18 Romani children in the Czech Republic. Chairman Hastings praised the outcome of the case, observing that, “Europe’s highest court has held that channeling Romani children into so-called ‘special schools’ constitutes, in fact, a form of pernicious race discrimination. This decision should compel governments throughout the region to accelerate their efforts to end de facto segregation and ensure that there is equality of opportunity for all children in the field of education.”

The European Court of Human Rights hears cases arising under the European Convention on Human Rights, a legally binding treaty adopted by the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. All 47 member states are also participating States in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Co-Chairman Cardin stated, “This case originates in the Czech Republic, but the sad fact is that artificial barriers have been created in numerous OSCE participating States that impede access to education for Romani children. In some places, Romani efforts to go to school are met with open hostility. For example, arsonists burned down a Romani school in Greece in April, and at the beginning of this academic year, 29 Romani pupils in Csorog, Hungary, were left without a school when their own school closed and neighboring jurisdictions refused to enroll them.”

Chairman Hastings continued, “Every OSCE participating State with a significant Romani minority claims that improving Romani participation in education is a government priority. But too often, government practices don’t match up with that stated policy. I hope the European Court’s decision will spur governments to take a long hard look at whether their actions live up to their stated goals, and take the necessary steps to ensure that Roma have equal access to all levels of education.”

On November 15, Slovakia’s Amnesty International will unveil a report entitled, “Still Separate, Still Unequal: Violations of the Right to Education for Romani Children in Slovakia.” The report will highlight the grave disparity and discrimination in the education of Romani children. More specifically, the report stresses the fact that a significant number of Romani children are still being placed in special schools and classes for children with mental disabilities and learning difficulties, or segregated in Roma-only schools.
 

Media contact

Category
Country
Issue
Date
Filter Topics Open Close
Hearings

Hamas’ Hostages, Putin’s Prisoners, and Freeing Inte...

Oct 25, 2023

The practice of seizing hostages and political prisoners, as well as actively terrorizing civilians is a constant displayed by Hamas in Israel and Russia’s war against Ukraine. To highlight issues related to the United States’ strategy to free hostages and political prisoners, last year the Commission’s Ranking Member Congressman Steve Cohen and Chairman Joe Wilson […]

screen-reader-text
Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest May 2022

Jun 01, 2022

screen-reader-text
Briefings

Russia’s Swiss Enablers

May 05, 2022

Long known as a destination for war criminals and kleptocrats to stash their plunder, Switzerland is a leading enabler of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and his cronies. After looting Russia, Putin and his oligarchs use Swiss secrecy laws to hide and protect the proceeds of their crimes. Close relations between Swiss and Russian authorities have […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

May 04, 2022

Well-documented Russian bombings and missile strikes in Ukraine have decimated hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings, including a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of children were sheltering and the Kramatorsk rail station where thousands were waiting to escape the Russian onslaught. The withdrawal of Russian troops from towns like Bucha, Chernihiv, and Sumy has revealed horrific […]

screen-reader-text
Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest April 2022

Apr 29, 2022

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Briefing to Examine Swiss Enabli...

Apr 29, 2022

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following online briefing: RUSSIA’S SWISS ENABLERS Thursday, May 5, 2022 10:00 a.m. Register: https://ushr.webex.com/ushr/j.php?RGID=r72f85e0c40a09b609b328a9481f54063 Long known as a destination for war criminals and kleptocrats to stash their plunder, Switzerland is a leading enabler of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and […]

screen-reader-text
Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest March 2022

Mar 31, 2022

screen-reader-text
Statements

Chairman Cardin Emphasizes the Importance of the Glo...

Mar 23, 2022

Madam President, reserving the right to object to the request from the Senator from Idaho, it is my understanding that the Senator’s modification would not include provisions that were included in the Housepassed legislation that modifies the global Magnitsky sanction regime. I just would like to speak for a moment, if I might. There is […]

screen-reader-text
helsinki commission logo 368x331
Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest January 2022

Jan 31, 2022

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Welcomes Passage of Trap Provisi...

Dec 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Cardin (MD), Co-Chairman Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), and Ranking Member Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) today welcomed the passage of the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention (TRAP) provision as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. “By co-opting and undermining the […]

screen-reader-text
Articles

Fifteen Years of the Recommendations of Policing in ...

Nov 15, 2021

By Nathaniel Haas, Max Kampelman Fellow On November 5, 2021, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities convened a hybrid conference commemorating the 15th anniversary of “Recommendations on Policing in Multi-Ethnic Societies.” The conference focused on continuing challenges and new perspectives related to policing in diverse societies and was attended by more than 200 participants […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Co-Chairman Cohen, Ranking Member Wilson Introduce T...

Jul 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Ranking Member Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) yesterday introduced the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention (TRAP) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation makes fighting abuse of INTERPOL a key goal of the United States at the organization, mandates that the United States examine its own […]

screen-reader-text