The European Court of Human Rights condemned Croatia yesterday (March 16, 2010) for discriminating against Roma schoolchildren by segregating them into Roma-only primary classes, according to Ekathimerini (Greek) website. The ruling is embarrassing for Croatia, because it hopes to join the European Union (EU) this year.
The court ordered Croatia to pay 4,500 euros ($6,167) in damages to each of 15 Roma students who claimed their rights were violated when -- as primary school students in the 1990s -- they were put in separate classes, supposedly to improve their Croatian language skills.
The segregation was based on ethnicity, the court found.
The court also found that Croatia had denied the pupils their right to a speedy trial.