Almost 20 years after the start of discussions on the illegal sterilization of Roma women, the government of Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger apologized on Wednesday for violating their rights. In the years 1966-1989 and 1990-2004, Roma women were sterilized without their knowledge during hospital stays.
The Slovak government found that such practices of the communist regime were unacceptable and regretted that they were also used in later years, i.e. already in independent Slovakia.
The government’s commentary on the Heger cabinet’s decision noted that sterilization was often performed after women had been deliberately misled. Many of them did not know that the procedure they were undergoing was irreversible.
The sterilization violated human rights
Such behavior, according to the government, is unacceptable and violates human rights and freedoms and the principles of democracy to which Slovakia has committed itself to observing.
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The problem of illegal sterilization was pointed out in 2003 by the non-governmental Clinic for Civil Rights and Human Rights, but Slovak politicians avoided discussing this topic.
In connection with the sterilization of Roma women, Bratislava lost several cases in the European Court of Human Rights, which also awarded compensation to the victims. According to estimates by non-governmental organizations, the authorities should pay compensation to around 200 women.
mad / PAP