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Coercive Sterilisation of Romani Women in the Czech and Slovak Republics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes what is known about the coercive sterilisation of Romani women in Czechoslovakia and, after 1993, in its successor states, the Czech and Slovak Republics. Romani women have been targeted by Czech and Slovak doctors and social workers - as Roma and as women - for interference with their autonomy and bodily integrity via surgical procedure over the period of at least the past 40 years and continuing to the present. Finally, the international human rights law concerns at issue - and therefore the considerations around which Czech and Slovak public officials have mediated go far beyond the norm of free and informed consent, to encompass also the development of anti-discrimination law (in Europe driven heavily by concern at the human rights situation of Roma), as well as positive obligations on the state to end practices degrading to women.

Keywords: anti-discrimination law; coercive sterilisation; Czechoslovakia; international human rights law; Romani women; Slovak Republic



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