Coercive sterilization is one of the most grievous forms of violence against women and an impermissible violation of human rights. In several Member States, Roma women have been subject to coercive sterilization aiming to reduce their “high, unhealthy” birth rate. Despite several cases being recorded and judicial verdicts having been reached in favour of the victims, adequate compensations and official apologies in most cases are still pending.
I would herein like to welcome the apologies of Prime Minister Jan Fischer, as well as the recent motion by the Government of the Czech Republic requiring that by 31 December 2009 the Ministry of Health would undertake a series of measures to ensure that such violations do not occur anymore. I hope that other countries, such as Slovakia will adjoin the Czech initiative and will establish a mechanism to provide adequate compensation to women whose reproductive capacities were destroyed without their consent.
It is indispensable that Member States investigate without delay the extreme human rights abuses against Roma women, penalise the perpetrators and ensure that all victims are identified and provided redress. It’s the common goal of European countries to safeguard the health and physical integrity of all women in the continent.