OPEN LETTER (IRWN): Sterilisation of Roma women in Slovakia
The purpose of this letter is to stress the following:
1. We welcome the fact that the Slovak government intends to investigate these reports and we urge the authorities to conduct these investigations in compliance with democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights standards.
2. Forced sterilisation of women clearly constitutes a crime against humanity and has been recognized as such in international human rights agreements. It is similar to rape as a war crime, which has been addressed in the context of the wars in the Balkan region. Forced sterilisation is also a violation of the right to bodily integrity and reproductive self-determination.
3. We have been informed that forced sterilisation of Roma women is no longer an official government policy in Slovakia. However, these reports show that this practice is still taking place, and thus urge the Slovak Government to address this issue through a comprehensive, inclusive and transparent investigation and to take appropriate action to prevent such crimes in future, punish the perpetrators and compensate women for the violations that have occurred.
4. We consider these human rights violations as a crime not only against the Roma community but against all women.
5. Slovakia’s duties as a future member state of the European Union is to respect the human rights of its inhabitants and to protect minorities, Slovakia must demonstrate this commitment to human rights and to the values shared by all democratic states by addressing this issue in a manner that respects the rule of law.
IRWN has a duty to make these cases of forced sterilisation widely known and we will continue to fight for this cause until justice is served.
PS If you want to send your comments please post you e-mail to
Irwn@romawomen.org( this is the mailing list of IRWN)
eRider - Macedonia
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