Czech job centres put an “R” on Gypsy records
For many years, Czech job centres have been marking with an R, coming from Rom (main Gypsy ethnic group in the Czech Republic), the files of Gypsy people who go there looking for a job, as Vladimir Spidla, Minister of the Work and Social Affairs Office, admitted last October the 28th. This revelation is the result of a journalistic investigation and it has raised a great controversy within the Czech Republic after knowing, the week before, that the Czech Airlines were stamping a G on the tickets of those passengers considered as Gypsies by the current employee.
Zdenek Prouza, Director of Ostrava’s job centre (in North Moravia), confirmed that till 1993 there was a requirement to put an “R” on all the unemployed Gypsies for statistical purposes, as it must be done with sex, age or professional level.
According Efe, up to current time, the number of job centres which are still following this method have not been confirmed yet, but it is know that many of these job centres carried on doing that after 1993, when the Czech Republic and Slovakia split up in two States.
The Employment Act which was implemented at the beginning of this month states that the right to work can not be denied to any citizen for issues related to race or ethnic and social origins. However, unemployment specially affects to 300,000 Czech Gypsies and taking into consideration that the national unemployment average is by the 9%, among Gypsies this percentage increases up to 50%, according to the results of surveys.