The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions
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The political scene in Slovakia; The Romanies and Slovakia’s politicians
The Roma were overwhelmingly scathing about the government in Bratislava, claiming that none of its members ever came to visit them. The minister responsible for ethnic minorities, Pal Csaky, is an ethnic Hungarian and the Roma were quick to point out that is the only minority he cares about. They claimed that the government had ‘stolen’ money given to Slovakia by foreign donors explicitly for Roma projects and, it is hard not to believe that such allegations are mere idle gossip – EU funds have disappeared into the void in both Slovakia and Romania. For example, in 2001 “Roland Toth in charge of development project funding from the EU has been accused of misusing €330 m. in EU taxpayers’ money”. The minister responsible, Pavel Hamzik, was also dismissed. Part of the problem lies in the centralised way the country is governed. Slovakia’s election law treats Slovakia as one constituency meaning that party lists contain few names that mean anything to local voters even with the addition of a handful of preferential votes. By 2004, like many citizens in the former Communist bloc, Slovak voters had tried out most parties from left to right of the spectrum, most of which had failed to improve their lives in any way.