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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 15:49 GMT
Czech Roma triumphs in race case
By Rob Cameron
BBC News, Prague

Vera Dunkova
Mrs Dunkova was refused a job because of her Roma origin
A court in the Czech Republic has ordered a company to pay compensation to a Roma woman after it was found guilty of racial discrimination.

The woman filed a suit after she was turned away for a job as a saleswoman.

Tuesday's high court verdict marks the end of a two-year legal battle for Vera Dunkova, a 36-year-old member of the Roma or Gypsy minority.

Many of the country's 300,000-strong Roma minority complain of endemic racial discrimination.

In March 2003, Mrs Dunkova inquired about a saleswoman's job at a shop in Prague after seeing an advertisement in the window.

Selective approach

On entering the shop, she was told the position was no longer open.

What the shop's manager did not know was that Mrs Dunkova was working with a Czech human rights group.

A few minutes later, a member of the group, this time a non-Roma woman, inquired about the same job. She was given an interview immediately.

The high court in Prague ordered the shop to apologise to Mrs Dunkova and pay her around $1,000 in compensation.

Tuesday's verdict comes just days after the international drug store chain Rossman gave up its appeal in a similar court case, but such verdicts are still few and far between in the Czech Republic.


SEE ALSO:
Blurred history of Gypsy terms
21 Mar 05 |  Politics
Conference examines Roma plight
02 Feb 05 |  Europe
First Roma MEP on a mission
11 Jan 05 |  Europe
A rare celebration of Roma culture
20 Aug 04 |  Politics


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