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European Network Against Racism criticises Slovak government

Miroslav Lacko, the Director of the Slovak branch of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), an international non-governmental organisation, presented the European Shadow Report 2009/2010 on March 21 reporting on its analysis of racism in Europe to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the TASR newswire reported. "The data collected by non-governmental organisations across Europe confirm that there are displays of racism in various spheres of life... They also show that extremism and racial violence are on the increase," said Lacko.

Miroslav Lacko, the Director of the Slovak branch of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), an international non-governmental organisation, presented the European Shadow Report 2009/2010 on March 21 reporting on its analysis of racism in Europe to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the TASR newswire reported.

"The data collected by non-governmental organisations across Europe confirm that there are displays of racism in various spheres of life... They also show that extremism and racial violence are on the increase," said Lacko.

ENAR's report states that discrimination is faced especially by Roma, migrants, asylum seekers, Muslims, Jews and people of African origin. "In the sphere of education, this leads to low quality education, segregation, racial bullying, poor school attendance ... and language barriers. Members of ethnic and religious minorities, especially the Roma and asylum seekers, represent the largest share of homeless people and those with poor quality housing," said Lacko, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The report points to certain areas that have seen improvement, especially regarding the emphasis that the European Union has put on anti-discrimination legislation.

"Legislation itself doesn't guarantee results if it isn't implemented in practice, however. The same applies to Slovakia, where this problem mainly concerns the Roma minority and where anti-discrimination legislation has been adopted but anti-Roma feelings and activities ... have risen," said Lacko.

Lacko added that the Slovak government is currently financing projects aimed at the construction of segregated Roma settlements which is at odds with Slovakia's commitments under anti-discrimination laws. He stated that there are many examples of state bodies in Slovakia acting in a racist and discriminatory way, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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