Together with representatives of the Carpathian Foundation and UNHCR, we met with the US Ambassador to Slovakia Gautam A. Rana and his team at a working lunch in Košice yesterday.

We discussed the ongoing structural inequalities faced by Roma minority in Slovakia. In particular, we touched on:

  • The illegal sterilizations of Roma women, who are still waiting for legislation that will allow for their compensation
  • Shortcomings in the investigation of cases of police violence
  • The segregation of Roma children in the Slovak school system and of the Roma minority in housing
  • The creation of conditions for equal opportunities in the employment of Roma in the region by large foreign corporations.

We agreed with the Ambassador that state institutions have a duty to take systemic measures to redress the above inequalities, and that they should be helped to do so by a relatively large sum of money from the Recovery Plan. On behalf of Poradňa, we expressed our concern and shared with the Ambassador and his team our findings that the government is also spending the funds to deepen segregation of the Roma minority, whether to support the expansion of the capacity of purely Roma schools or segregation in housing.

At the end of the meeting, the Ambassador expressed his support for the work of NGOs, which we very much appreciate.

Photo: U.S. embassy in Slovakia