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ECHR rules sterilisation was illegal

A ROMA woman from Prešov will receive €31,000 in compensation after the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that she had been forcibly sterilised 11 years ago, the SITA newswire reported on November 8.

A ROMA woman from Prešov will receive €31,000 in compensation after the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that she had been forcibly sterilised 11 years ago, the SITA newswire reported on November 8.

In its verdict, the court stated that the hospital at which the operation was performed had violated her right to protection against inhuman and humiliating behaviour as well as her private and family rights. The judges rejected doctors’ claims that the sterilisation had to be done to save the life of the woman.

“The way that the staff in the hospital behaved was paternalistic, because in practice they did not offer the plaintiff any other choice but to agree to the procedure which the doctors considered to be best,” the court found, as quoted by SITA, adding that the sterilisation seriously harmed the physical integrity of the woman as she could not have more children.

“We welcome the verdict, as the court has confirmed what the Advisory Centre for Civil and Human Rights has been claiming since its establishment ten years ago – that Roma women underwent forced sterilisation in hospitals without their informed consent,” said Vanda Durbáková, the lawyer of the complainant, as quoted by SITA. She added that the verdict is a significant turning point in efforts to stop the forced sterilisation of Roma women in Slovakia.


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