Slovak court compensates illegally sterilized Romani woman after 15 years

Slovak court compensates illegally sterilized Romani woman after 15 years


The Regional Court in Košice, Slovakia has upheld an award of compensation to a Romani woman who was illegally sterilized in the fully requested amount of more than EUR 16 000. In 1999, doctors at a hospital in Krompachy sterilized the woman without obtaining her informed consent to the procedure and it has taken her 15 years to achieve justice through the courts.

“It is positive that the domestic courts have finally awarded a woman who has been harmed in this way adequate compensation. However, the entire proceedings lasted an unbelievable 15 years, and the courts made many errors during that time. For that reason, I am convinced that in this case the courts did not manage to actually provide her effective access to justice,” said the legal representative of the injured woman, Vanda Durbáková.

“At the same time, it must be emphasized that the courts do not have to be the only venue for providing redress and may not be the most effective one when there is the suspicion of such a serious, systemic violation of the human rights of minority members as the forced sterilizations of Romani women,” Durbáková added. “Ultimate it is the Government that should take responsibility. It is on the Government’s initiative that an independent commission should be set up to investigate the entire practice of such unlawful sterilizations and compensate the injured women effectively and quickly. Such a solution is also required by the UN Human Rights Committee. Unlike in the courts, such a commission could deal with the entirety of these practices more comprehensively and could better approximate what the overall nature and scope of them has been in our society.”

I had heard absolutely nothing about this story. I’m not sure if after some additional reading, it only affected 2 women or if this was more widespread but obviously, a story worth noting. And why was this not more in the main stream press?? Though, this decision was made to award the plaintiffs compensation in court.

I’d like to know more.

Roma or Romani, I believe are Gypsies but it may well be in the wind that the term “Gypsies” may not be an acceptable word. I saw something brielfly about that. It doesn’t really affect us much but believe it or not, we do have some in the USA.


Roma people in Europe are really mistreated and marginalized even now. Very few people are aware that Roma were even persecuted by nazis and by communist regimes.


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