News Roundup

Roma women were unlawfully sterilised

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7534.138-d (Published 19 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:138
  1. Katka Krosnar
  1. Prague

    At least 50 Czech women were unlawfully sterilised and should be awarded financial compensation, a report from the country's ombudsman has said. The report follows a year long investigation into complaints filed by 87 mostly Roma women who claimed that they had been coerced into sterilisations (BMJ 2003;326:302).

    In his findings, the ombudsman, Otakar Motejl, said that under Communist rule, social workers often offered a one off payment equal to four times the average monthly salary to persuade Roma women against having more children.

    “Women often did not realise what they were agreeing with their signature,” Mr Motejl said. Even after the law was changed in 1991, doctors continued to persuade Roma women to have sterilisations, he said. He called on the women affected to …

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