"White or Roma?" Skin colour seems to matter in accommodation services

A hostel in Trenčín denies racism despite SMS sent to guest

Two Roma enjoy a cup of tea in Košice on November 10, 2018. Two Roma enjoy a cup of tea in Košice on November 10, 2018. (Source: TASR)

An accommodation provider faces racism allegations after they refused to offer services to Roma people.

Lawyer Lívia Svetlošáková, who educates children from the socially disadvantaged background through the Teach for Slovakia programme, posted her recent experience on Facebook.

Read alsoForeigners grapple with hate speech in Slovakia Read more 

Svetlošáková tried to help her father and urgently find accommodation for a group of workers to stay at for several months. When she first approached Hostel Janka in Trenčín, its manager, Martin Chleban, told her it was possible to accommodate a group of up to 10 people, the Sme daily reported.

However, in the following text, he asked: “White or Roma?”

When she replied that there were some “decent and hard-working” Roma among them, he texted back, saying: “I have no space to accommodate Roma.”

The lawyer expressed her disappointment and anger on Facebook, writing: “This is what racism looks like in real life.”

Asking out of curiosity

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