Investigation into Forced Sterilization of Roma Women in Slovakia
Monday, October 24, 2005 3:20 PM

An investigation has been conducted regarding the forced sterilization of Roma women in Slovakia in response to allegations that Slovakian Roma women were sterilized against their will.  Body and Soul, a 2003 report, enumerated more than one hundred and ten stories of sterilized Roma women. 


Jozef Centes, deputy director of the criminal department of the General Prosecutor’s office, stated that in August the Office received a report from the United Nations stating that the claim of forced sterilization will not be investigated.  Based on this United Nations decision, Centes concluded that illegal sterilization of Roma women has not been taking place.


Human rights activists, however, have drawn attention to the loopholes of the argument that forced sterilizations did not take place.  While Centes states that each sterilized woman did sign a consent form permitting the procedure, human rights activist have noted that these signatures may have been attained under extreme circumstances without the patients understanding what they were signing.


The issue has been taken to the European Union human rights court.  There are also many civil court cases regarding this matter that have not yet been resolved.  However, the United Nations decision not to investigate the case seems to have provided relief to Slovakia.


Compiled from:

"Slovakia Investigates Allegations that Romany Women Were Sterilized Without Consent," Insight Central Europe, 21 October 2005.