EDITORIAL: CVEK goes back to good tradition of publishing Minority Policy
Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture published Minority Policy in Slovakia quarterly from 2011 to 2014. We regularly addressed the most important changes in the field of minority rights and mutual coexistence. We analysed public policies adopted by the government; we commented on events and we pointed to good examples of quality integration measures.
In 2020, we come back to this activity because we believe Slovakia lacks regular monitoring of minority rights. Even though we have made progress as a country in many areas, we still have a long way to go in the field of respect for human rights and development of inclusion policies. It is our long-term aim at CVEK to contribute to cohesion, so that everyone who lives here can call Slovakia their home. We would like to contribute to reflection of the issue through our expertise and experience with research and to the development of better policies through our recommendations. This newsletter is, therefore, for everyone who is interested in the status of minorities in our society – research teams, journalists, policy makers, students and active citizens.
Minority policy as a reflection of processes in the society
On that account, we will be bringing commentaries and analyses of adopted public policies to you, as well as reflections on the public discourse on the status of minorities bimonthly. We will monitor research, studies and analyses published in the past as they provide a better picture of the current situation of minorities and foreigners in Slovakia. In CVEK, we believe it is important for the members of minorities to have a say in the society. It does not necessarily have to be an expert opinion, so we have decided to create space for people living in Slovakia and having affiliation to a minority to contribute to a more cohesive society. This way, the views of experts will be enriched by the „voices“ of those most affected by minority policy in Slovakia.
What‘s in the first issue – COVID-19 and new government
Year 2020 has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. While the public discourse in February revolved mostly around the upcoming elections, all events were quickly overshadowed by the pandemic. It is given priority also in the first issue of Minority Policy as it has most severely affected vulnerable groups, including minorities, and foreigners. Several experts from CVEK describe how the pandemic was affecting Roma, foreigners and children during the time of distance learning. We also focus on the changes brought about by the elections and the new government. We analyse the Government Policy Statement; we bring articles about the need for a separate minority law and we address the issue of infringement in relation to segregation of Roma children in education. In an interview with the new Plenipotentiary for Roma communities, Andrea Bučková, we discuss how her office was prepared for the pandemic, challenges she will be facing and what changes are needed if we want to have quality integration policies for Roma.
We wish you a good read!