Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Human Rights Commissioner: No Progress on Segregation in Czech Republic

As we prepare for the premiere of Our School at the One World Prague Film Festival and at Thessaloniki Doc Fest, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, issued a report on his recent visit to the Czech Republic, highlighting segregated education as a main concern:

“Deeply-rooted anti-Gypsyism and hate crimes as well as continued segregation in education and housing are the main obstacles to inclusion that Roma face in the Czech Republic [...] Three years after a landmark judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which found that the Czech Republic had discriminated against Roma with respect to their right to education, little has changed on the ground. It is necessary to take resolute and urgent action. Tangible progress for transfers of children from special to ordinary education and overall desegregation of the school system should be made already in the next school year.”

A nuanced story about what it  truly takes to give whole generation of Roma children a real chance in life, Our School intends to contribute to the ongoing conversation on Roma education all over Europe. By telling a compelling human story that is part of a broader rights movement, Our School seeks to mobilize new energies at a moment that is ripe for change.