Report suggests Czech Roma suffer more discrimination than any other minority in EU|
It is well known that the Czech Republic’s Roma minority suffer from a
wide variety of social problems, including relatively high levels of
unemployment and low levels of educational attainment. Many say they are
frequently the victims of discrimination – a claim that has now been
borne out by a new European Union study. In fact, it found that Czech Roma
suffer more discrimination than any other ethnic minority in the whole of
According to a newly released study by the European Union’s Fundamental
Rights Association (FRA), nearly two thirds of Czech Roma say they have
suffered discrimination in the last year. The figure is higher than for any
other ethnic minority in the entire 27-member bloc.
The report is based on an independent study carried out across the EU, in
which over 23,000 randomly selected refugees and members of ethnic
minorities were asked whether they felt they had been discriminated
Among Czech Roma respondents, some 45 percent, for instance, said they had
suffered prejudice when applying for a job in the previous 12 months, while
30 percent said they had experienced it in restaurants.
The study was headed by the FRA’s Jo Goodey.
“When we looked at nine areas of everyday life and we asked, do you
think you were discriminated against on the basis of your ethnicity or
minority status, in the Czech Republic 64 percent of the Roma said they
felt they were discriminated against.
“If you look at Hungary, 62 percent said they were discriminated
against. So the levels are pretty similar. If we look at Slovakia, 41
percent said they were discriminated against. So although the Czech
Republic does come out at the highest level of the groups we surveyed,
it’s only two percent higher than the Roma reporting discrimination in
Though levels of perceived discrimination in the Czech Republic may not be
that much above those than in Hungary, 64 percent does seem like extremely
high. Gabriela Hrabaňová is the head of the Czech government’s Romani
council. She offers one possible explanation as to why.
“I think one reason why we came out in this study as a country with
highest level of discrimination is that our people actually know what
discrimination is. They have an overview when it comes to how they are
dealt with by various offices and institutions, or even
individuals…Discrimination here is recognised because there is so much
talk about it.”
Perhaps broader discussion has led to a greater awareness of when
discrimination is taking place. But if nearly two thirds of the Czech
Republic’s Roma say they are regularly the victims of prejudice, one
might imagine that ought to be some kind of wake-up call for the