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Rights Group to Sue Ministry
Radio Prague, June 16th - An Roma-rights organisation launched a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Czech Ministry of Education, who they claim are violating international human rights with discriminatory policies towards Roma children.

The Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) announced Tuesday that after collecting extensive evidence from schools and the families of Roma children in the North Moravian town of Ostrava, they are ready to proceed with their landmark action against the Ministry of Education.

The crux of the case is the seemingly disproportionate number of Roma children sent to what are termed 'special schools'.. institutions for the mentally handicapped between the ages of 9 and 15.

I spoke to James Goldstone, the ERRC's Legal Director, asking him first whether such discrepancies were consistent with other countries in Europe..

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The Ministry of Education, on the other hand, responded by acknowledging that the testing methods were unsatisfactory and that a new draft programme for mental education in the Czech Republic was presently being drawn-up. However, they stressed that the final decision regarding the education of a child still rests with the parents.

The ERRC's British lawyer, Debbie Winterbourne, disagrees..

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