Making History: A Romani Woman Awarded Compensation for Sterilization Against Her Will
Monday, October 15, 2007 4:29 PM

For the first time in Czech history, the Regional Court of Ostrava granted a 30 year old Romani woman, Iveta Cervenáková, compensation for the sterilization procedure performed on her against her will.

In 2004, the European Roma Rights Center presented its suspicions of forced sterilizations of Roma women in the Czech Republic. After investigations, an omsbudsman concluded that sterilizations were, in fact, taking place. Many women filed petitions to the courts, however, most were only granted an apology and no compensation.  In May 2007, the state attorney's office finally concluded that forced sterilization is a crime and by July guidelines for compensation had been completed. 

The award amounted to Ms. Cervenáková is a step towards the compensation for women's human rights violations. Organizations, like the League of Human Rights, are using this historical moment to put pressure on the government to pay attention to the human rights violation of women who cannot afford to hire their own legal representation. 

Compiled from: "Historic Verdict: Court Awards Compensation to a Romani Woman for Sterilization for the First Time,", 12 October 2007.