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COVID-19 Lockdown of Roma Settlements in Slovakia

Published time: 02 June 2020

Authors: Ed Holt

Keywords: Covid-19, Global Health, Public Health


The controversial lockdown imposed on Roma settlements in Slovakia to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 sparks accusations of discrimination. Ed Holt reports. The Slovak government has been accused of stigmatising the country’s minority Roma population over a controversial decision to seal off entire communities to stop the spread of COVID-19. Local Roma rights groups said that the measure, which has involved isolating Roma settlements and sending army medics in to carry out testing, has stoked stigma and fear among both the Roma and non-Roma population. “They sent the army in, with helicopters, and Roma were asking ‘why just us?’. It has created fear,” Csaba Horvath, head of the Slovak Roma NGO Opre Roma, told The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

COVID-19 lockdown of Roma settlements in Slovakia



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