Czech town hires Romani lifeguards, swimmers respond positively

The Brná Thermal Pool in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem has employed several Romani people as attendants and lifeguards, and according to Martina Mata, director of the Municipal Services of Ústí nad Labem, which operates the facility, visitors are responding very positively to the Romani staff.

Last summer conflicts happened at several different swimming facilities between non-Romani and Romani swimmers around the country.

The Brná facility had to deal with deceptive reports last year alleging that a Romani boy had defecated in the pool. Mata said the Romani staffers were not even specifically recruited by the city.

"They all applied by themselves to the advertisement we posted to social media, on public transportation, at the university and at the Labor Office. They all underwent the standard selection procedure," he told

"These people want to work. A total of two male Romani lifeguards, one female Romani lifeguard and an attendant are working at the Brná Thermal Pool - the attendant does some cleaning as necessary and other small jobs," Mata said.


Why are Roma unwanted neighbors?

 "I wonder if the protests would be done without being at stake in the Roma people?" Was the first comment by the representative of the Roma in the Croatian Parliament, Veljko Kitasi, on the request of Al Jazeera to comment on this moment that 29 Romani families were recently relocated a residential building in Zagreb's Petrusevac settlement

The city of Zagreb for these needs bought real estate and Roma families were supposed to take over the keys, but were prevented. Protestants claimed that the objects were not adapted for living, and prevented their relocation, with the emphasis that they were not here to protest only because they were Roma.
Later on, with police assistance, Roma families were moved.

But this was not the first time that citizens from this settlement protested against the Roma. It is also not the first time in Zagreb to protest against Roma.

But such images when it comes to Roma and improving their living conditions there are everywhere in the Balkans. But also not only in the Balkans, sociologist and political scientist Srdjan Dvornik warned, but also in Europe, citing examples in the Czech Republic, "a state that is considered by the post-socialist community as being civilized, and which does not treat the Roma better than these "Our region.


Stereotype: Baby Stealers

Perception: Roma often steal non-Roma children and babies to either raise them as their own or exploit them for financial gain.

Reality: Throughout history, Roma have been used as scapegoats when a child goes missing.

In the last 20 years, however, a number of studies have shown that it is, in fact, the Roma population that is most vulnerable to having their children taken from them by the state, Church, and/ or charities.

Roma children are routinely removed from their families for discriminatory reasons ranging from not “looking Roma” to Roma families possessing “too many children”.

Due to poverty and marginalization, Roma children are also at a higher risk of being trafficked.

The mortality of the Romani infants is 1.5 times higher than the Macedonian population in 2017

Roma face less favorable health than the rest of the population. Newborn mortality among Roma is by 1.5 times higher than the Macedonian population in 2017.

In the same year, almost 50% of Roma deaths occurred before 65 years of age, compared to 23% in the rest of the population, say an association of organizations that held a press conference today.

According to the organizations, preventive health care in terms of reproductive health, as well as the health of mothers and children is crucial in providing a healthy start to life and thus improving the health of the entire population.

Through the work of the associations in the field of immunization of Roma children in the municipalities of Suto Orizari, Delcevo, Vinica and Pehcevo, the coverage of Roma children with vaccination increased significantly from 2012 to date and currently the coverage is over 90%.

"However, the Roma community of these municipalities still faced problems in access to preventive health care for the advancement of women's reproductive health and maternal and child health. Key detected problems are: insufficient coverage with visits by patronage nurses, insufficient coverage with health education, insufficient coverage with systematic examinations for children outside the education system, insufficient coverage with the Cervical Screen Cancer Screening Program and service charges by the parent gynecologists, "the organizations said.

FaLang translation system by Faboba


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