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A Brief History and Timeline 

Release year: 2017
Organization: Open Society Fund Prague
Program: Education and youth
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IN NOVEMBER, 2007, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Roma students were being subject to discriminatory treatment in the Czech educational system. The complaint was brought by a group of 18 Roma teenagers from the town of Ostrava, who as young children had been directed into “special” primary schools for children with mild mental disabilities. In in the case, D.H. and others v. Czech Republic, the court found Roma were disproportionally represented in these schools, which offered only a limited curriculum that constrained future educational and career opportunities. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is responsible for working with member states to ensure the implementation of decisions of the ECHR. The committee has repeatedly identified shortcomings in the Czech Republic’s policy response to the D.H ruling, issuing ten decisions on the case since 2010. Other groups also continue to press the government to deliver change, including local Roma parent organizations, national and international human rights NGOs, the European Commission, and the Czech Republic’s Public Defender of Rights. All agree: ten years after the D.H. ruling, Czech Roma still face institutional discrimination and segregation at school.