Health Ministry to Investigate Allegations that Romani Women were Sterilized Without Their Consent
Saturday, September 25, 2004 11:20 AM

After talks with state ombudsman Otakar Motejl, Health Minister Milada Emmerova has agreed to establish a special commission to investigate fresh allegations that Romani women were sterilized without their consent in the past decade. The birth rate among the Roma is significantly higher than the general population and documented evidence shows that from 1959 to 1990 the former Czechoslovakia encouraged Romani women to undergo sterilization by giving them cash payments, and in some cases doctors performed the operation without the women's consent.

The practice was condemned by international human rights groups as racist and halted as official policy. Charges that sterilizations continued in recent years have been brought forth by the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre, along with two Czech civil society groups, which are representing the legal interests of about 10 Romani women.

Cited from:  "Health Ministry to Investigate Allegations that Romani Women were Sterilised Without Their Consent," Brian Kenety, Radio Prague, News, 25 September, 2004.