5 July - Romani coercive sterilization survivors speak in Madrid


Roma Health Project awarded a grant to ERRC to support organizing a panel discussion on the issue of coerced sterilization of Romani women in Europe, as part of the 2008 Women's World Congress taking place in Madrid on July 3-9, 2008.
The panel will be led by Romani women who survived this racial and gender violence, and their advocates. The panelists will also produce and distribute a publication on the coerced sterilization of Romani women in Europe to raise awareness within the international women's movement of the extreme violence and harm to personal integrity experienced by Romani women forcibly sterilized, and to garner support for their continuing struggle for justice.

DATE: Saturday 5 July 2008

Who: Romani women survivors of coercive sterilisations in Central Europe and their advocates

What: Presentation on the efforts to seek redress for these human rights violations at the 10th annual Women's Worlds 2008 conference (http://www.mmww08.org)

When: Saturday 5 July 2008 at 16:30

Where: Universidad Complente de Madrid, Room 8 M25, Edificio Multiusos I, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 – Madrid.

Why: Romani women survivors of coercive sterilisations in Central Europe and their advocates will give a presentation on their efforts to seek redress for these human rights violations at the Women's Worlds 2008 conference. The survivors are reaching out to the larger women's rights movement for solidarity and assistance in their efforts to pressure the Czech, Hungarian and Slovak governments to apologise to these victims and compensate them for these harms.

In view of the upcoming Czech Presidency of the European Union; the repeated calls for remedy from these countries by the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which will review Slovakia at the same time the congress takes place (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws41.htm); and calls by the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Human Rights Committee for these violations to be addressed, it is imperative that Czech, Slovak and Hungarian officials address these unresolved human rights violations and take all the necessary steps to prevent similar infringements in the future.

The presenters are available for interview as follows:

Elena Gorolov√° (Czech, Romanes) – Ms Gorolov√° is the spokesperson of the Ostrava-based Group of Women Harmed by Sterilisation and is a civil society member of the Council for Roma Community Affairs, an advisory body to the Czech government. Contact: +420 603 921 255 or elena.gorolova@seznam.cz.

Anita Danka (Hungarian, English) – Ms. Danka is a Staff Attorney at the European Roma Rights Centre (www.errc.org) and has represented Ms. A.S. before the UN CEDAW Committee on behalf of ERRC in her complaint concerning her coercive sterilisation in Hungary. Contact: +36-30-303-6140 or +36-20-398-8303 (July3-10), anita.danka@errc.org

Gwendolyn Albert (Czech, English) – Ms. Albert is the Director of the Women's Initiatives Network of the Peacework Development Fund (http://www.peacework.org/) and has been assisting the Group with its advocacy efforts both inside the Czech Republic and internationally. Contact: +420 774 895 444, gwendolyn.albert@gmail.com, gwen@peacework.org

Ostalinda Maya Ovalles (Spanish, English) – Ms. Maya is the European Roma Rights Centre's Women's Rights Consultant and has been working for the advancement of the rights of Romani women. Contact: ostalinda@gmail.com or (from 23 June) +34 627212118

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