Let’s end segregation of Roma children in schools

The situation in Slovakia

Right now in Slovakia Romani children are being placed in segregated schools and classes. They’re being put there solely because they are Roma. These schools and classes often offer inferior education, which means these children are being denied a real chance in life. Instead of school being a place of learning and development they are in schools that set them up for a future of humiliation and stigma based on their ethnicity.

“All children, including Roma children, must be able to enjoy quality education in inclusive mainstream schools with all the necessary support they need.” – Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Regional Campaign Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia.

Recent cases in the courtroom

The Court ruled on Tuesday that Hungary had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by segregating Romani children in a special school. The judgment brought to an end a legal struggle that began in 2006.

In the case of Horváth and Kiss v Hungary the European Court of Human Rights found that both men had been wrongly placed in a school designed for pupils with “mental disabilities”.

The Court said the men were “isolated from pupils, from the wider population”, and that the education they received “compounded their difficulties and compromised their subsequent personal development instead of helping them to integrate into the ordinary schools and develop the skills that would facilitate life among the majority population”.

The Court noted that the misplacement of Roma children in special schools has a long history across Europe and shared “the disquiet of the other Council of Europe institutions which have expressed concerns about the more basic curriculum followed in these schools and, in particular, the segregation which the system causes”.

“School segregation is the result of widespread prejudice and historic discrimination; this educational apartheid not only has a disastrous effect on Romani children’s future – but also fuels back into a cycle of racism and intolerance against Roma. It is bad for all society.” Fotis Filippou.

Supporting Amnesty International

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Amnesty International as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:


How you can help

“You’d hope educating children in special schools simply because of their ethnicity would be unthinkable in Europe in 2013.” – Fotis Filippou

Take action now by signing the petition to help end school segregation in Slovakia.



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