Time of the Skinheads

This report provides an overview of human rights violations against Roma in Slovakia during the years 1993-1996, a period in which the state itself came into existence and began to act as sole competent authority on the territory of the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic. Although several reports on Roma in Slovakia have been published domestically during this period, the primary focus of these reports has been cultural issues, while human rights concerns remained secondary or were left unaddressed. The intention of this report is to bring the picture of the human rights situation of Roma in Slovakia up-to-date. The ERRC noted three trends dominating the problematic relations between the Slovak state and Roma. In the first place, competent authorities often deny that the rights of Roma have been violated, even if there is convincing evidence that violations have indeed taken place. Secondly, there are presently exclusionary legal, administrative and social practices which prevent Roma from joining the mainstream of Slovak society and keep them marginalized. Finally, there are long-term historical patterns, daily consciously or unconsciously reenacted, whereby the Slovak state intervenes as caretaker state, effectively demoralizing Roma through paternalism and pressure toward a kind of neutralized conformity. Time of the Skinheads addresses each of these themes.

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Author: Roma Center

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