On March 12, 2019, a meeting of Roma activists in Prešov was personally attended by The Public Defender of Rights together with three employees of her office.
This meeting followed up on the meeting of two Roma activists with The Public Defender in November 2018 in Bratislava, at which they talked about securing justice for illegally sterilized Roma women.
We were glad that Mrs. Patakyová (the Slovak Public Defender of Rights) personally accepted our invitation to meet with a whole group of Roma women activists. Thus, all women had the opportunity to talk to her about their meetings and human rights activities, which they had done with us over the years. Some of the women shared their personal stories e.g. about how they faced discrimination of their children in nursery or local primary school.
The Public Defender of Rights and her colleagues presented the powers and activities of their office. Together, we discussed possible intersections in topics that were also addressed by Roma women. The Public Defender appreciated the active approach and courage of Roma women to face discrimination or other violations of their human rights. In particular, after the meeting the women appreciated that the Public Defender of Rights and her colleagues listened with interest to their stories and did not question their experience.