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Eugenics in action: Czech government expresses regret for illegal sterilizations of Roma women

On Nov. 22, at the instigation of Czech Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb, the government of the Czech Republic expressed regret over the illegal sterilizations of women that have been performed in the country. Speaking after a cabinet session, Kocáb said a set of measures are being designed to prevent similar cases from recurring with more rigorous standards for assuring informed consent. There are currently no statistics on the number of women who have been harmed by this surgery in the Czech Republic, but activists say dozens of Romani women have undergone forced sterilizations in the Ostrava region. Several institutions have devoted attention to the issue of illegal sterilizations, including Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl, who has received complaints from approximately 80 women, most of them Roma. (Romea, Prague, Nov. 24)
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