Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )
In what could be called a big win for the oppressed. Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman signed a bill into law this week. This law will help women, who were sterilised without their consent, get a compensation of around 300,000 Czech Korunas (14,000 US dollars)
In what could be called a big win, Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman signed a bill into law this week. This law will help women, who were sterilised without their consent, get compensation.
The government has announced a compensation of around 300,000 Czech Korunas (14,000 US dollars) for these women, most of whom were Roma.
Roma or Romani people, an ethnic minority in the Czech Republic, are believed to be originally migrated from India long time back.
Human rights activist Gwendolyn Albert, who was campaigning for the change, said, “This means the wrongdoing committed against all who have been sterilised without their informed consent is acknowledged and can be redressed.”
From 1966 to 2012, several women were forced to undergo the procedure due to coercion, a report by The Guardian said. Threats and incentives were used widely.
There is no specific data to suggest the exact number of affected women, but the campaigners believe there were several hundred victims of this forced sterilisation.
Although the programme ended with communist regime’s collapse in 1989, the women in labour were continued to be misled into signing consent forms before caesarean births. In some cases, they were not even told that they were being sterilised after the delivery.
The compensation claims will be administered by Czech health ministry. It is also yet to announce when the process will begin. The victims will also have to support their claims.
Elena Gorolová, a 51-year-old social worker from Ostrava, said, the move marks a historic win. She was sterilised at the age of 21.
(With inputs from agencies)