Presentation on theme: "D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic How can we benefit from the judgment? Košice, May 2011."— Presentation transcript:
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic How can we benefit from the judgment? Košice, May 2011
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic Timeline 1999 Data from 8 special schools and 69 primary schools in Ostrava: Out of 1,360 children placed into special schools 762 (56%) were Roma. Conversely, Roma represented only 2.26% of the total of 33,372 pupils at mainstream schools; While 1.8% of non-Roma were placed into special schools, the proportion of Romani pupils assigned to such schools was 50.3%. A Romani child in Ostrava was 27 times more likely to be placed into a special school compared to a non- Romani child; 2000 Eighteen Romani children from Ostrava represented by the ERRC complained to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) arguing that their treatment amounted discrimination in violation of European Convention on Human Rights; 13 November 2007 In a landmark decision the Grand Chamber ruled in favour of the applicants and found that the applicants had suffered discrimination when denied their right to education.
The judgment is path breaking in a number of respects: Patterns of Discrimination Segregation is Discrimination Equal Access to Education for Roma is a Persistent Problem Throughout Europe The Court further established, clarified or re-affirmed the following principles: Indirect Discrimination Intent Not Required Facially Neutral Law Statistics No Waiver of Right to Non-Discrimination The Special Situation of Roma D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic Significance
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic Similar Cases Similar judgments of the European Court of Human Rights In Sampanis and Others v Greece (June 2008) the Court found that the assignment of Romani school children to a separately built annex to the mainstream school constituted discrimination; In Oršuš and Others v Croatia (March 2010) the Court held that the segregation of Romani school children due to alleged language difficulties amounts to discrimination.
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic Slovakia Overrepresentation of Roma in special education Findings of the research commissioned by the Roma Education Fund, conducted on a statistically representative sample, show that approximately 60% of the total number of pupils enrolled in special primary schools and around 85% of the total number of pupils in special classes at mainstream schools are Roma. Neglecting of systemic failure Even though prohibition of segregation has been introduced into the School Act, it is perceived as a result of individual failure and a systemic approach in addressing it is lacking. Focus only on the children While the governments focus on eliminating deficiencies on the side of the children is very important, measures, projects and policies it is important to address failures on the side of teachers, school management and municipalities.
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic What needs to be changed? Prevention of Segregation Slovak government officials need to clearly denounce segregation and the ministry must, at minimum: Make segregation and financing of segregation illegal; Develop a desegregation policy; Move children from special schools into mainstream schools; Train teachers and education professionals to adequately support Romani children; Allocate specific national and EU funds to support the inclusion of Romani children in mainstream schools. Multicultural Approach Government needs to address the prevailing anti-Romani hostility at mainstream schools. Maximizing Childs Potential All children, Romani or non-Romani, with or without disability should be provided with an individually tailored curriculum at mainstream school maximizing their learning potential. Monitoring and evaluation The government must monitor and evaluate the impact of all measures, projects, policies and modify or stop them immediately when a disproportionate affect on a particular group is seen. In line with this recommendation the government must collect data disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, disability and other criteria which may lead to discrimination.
D.H. and Others v the Czech Republic What needs to be changed? Financing of Schools Mainstream schools need to be able to finance individual educational needs regardless of how many children with specific needs they have. Unified System of Access to Subsidies The government must assess all funds distributed to the schools from the perspective inclusion and not support schools contributing to segregation. Schools promoting inclusion should be given a priority in accessing funds to cover operational as well as structural funds. ***************************************************************************************************** Role of the European Commission All of the above-listed principles need to be implemented into practice under the supervision of the European Commission as a condition for access to the EU Structural Funds.
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