Tomáš Ščuka: Brno officials reject that Romani women from Ukraine are war refugees and have no will to help them
Representatives of the Brno municipality reject Roman women and their children flee before the war in Ukraine to look like war refugees. For them, they are only abusers of social benefits and abusers of the social system. Tomáš Ščuka, a member of the Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs, said in an interview with the first Roma internet television ROMEA TV.
He and Petr Erin Kováč and Jiří Daniel convened a meeting at the beginning of May with the Deputy Mayor of Brno, Robert Kerndl, so that the city would start dealing with their catastrophic situation even when the Roma refugees were at the railway station.
“At the meeting, no agreement was reached on a joint procedure, because the city does not view Roma women from Ukraine as war refugees,” Tomáš Ščuka told ROMEA TV. “The city claims that they are abusing the system, they do not speak Russian or Ukrainian, and they are said to be Hungarians,” he added. However, according to Ščuka, there is no data to prove these allegations.
“If you go into negotiations with such a barrier, then you do not want to set up equal cooperation,” said Tomáš Ščuka, adding that the city tried to transfer all responsibility for helping Roma women from Ukraine to non-profit organizations.
“But we refused, because the primary responsibility lies with the state, ie the municipality. Non-profits are not the bearers of asylum policy,” said Tomáš Ščuka in an interview with ROMEA TV.
According to him, some local Roma are also influenced by the rhetoric that appears on social networks or from city officials and take the claim that Roma from Ukraine are only interested in social benefits.
“We try to raise awareness in our community, we tell them that these people very often came with only two plastic bags and they have nowhere to live. And maybe they might remember how we came here from eastern Slovakia after the revolution, that it it was also not easy, “added Tomáš Ščuka, a member of the Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs, in an interview with the first Roma internet television ROMEA TV.
At the end of last week, the Brno City Council moved Romani women and their children, who were fleeing the war in Ukraine, from the railway station, where they had been staying in a small park at Benešova and Koliště Streets in recent weeks. They live here in catastrophic conditions, which is criticized by non-profit organizations and independent initiatives. The area near the station where they were originally, the city had a fence.