Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia: NGO reports that LGBT+ Roma face discrimination from their own families as well as majority societies in these EU Member States

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2/6/22

In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, counsellors are helping LGBT+ Roma deal with multiple discrimination, according to research recently published by ARA ART, an NGO that has long focused on LGBT+ Roma in the Czech Republic and works for that community in particular; the study also highlights what it calls a legal vacuum that exists with regard to such people in these countries. According to the authors, an approach based on intersectionality is what new legislation in these countries now has to take into account. LGBT+ Roma are not just victims of discrimination by the majority society and some of its institutions, but also frequently from their own families, for whom the LGBT+ orientation of their members is often difficult to accept. ARA ART is drawing attention to the issue of multiple discrimination with its campaign in the Czech Republic called “I did a terrible thing” and also runs a counseling center called Řeknu.to (“I will say it”). According to estimates by ARA ART representatives, there are currently up to 1.5 million LGBT+ Roma living in Europe as a whole, but no assistance exists for them that would be both expert and targeted. The association has responded to this serious situation with its recently-published study on multiple discrimination against LGBT+ Roma which, according to its authors, is the first of its kind in the European Union. The ARA ART campaign is being led by Monika Mihaličková, a former member of the Czech lower house and Romani activist, who says of such people that: “They are victims of discrimination on the part of the majority society and some institutions, and often also on the part of their own families.” She believes it is important that the ARA ART study is showing that the issue of multiple discrimination is happening in a certain conceptual legal vaccuum.

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