We are Roma women from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In the past, we have been sterilized in hospitals without informed consent. Sterilization prevented us from having other children. We experienced a lot of pain and health problems too. During the section, the doctors tied our ovaries and did not inform us what they were going to do.

To some of us they gave to sign consent to sterilization right during birth, and told us, if we do not sign it, the mother or child will not survive. Sometimes, in the greatest pain, we had signed some papers and nobody informed us what we were signing. Some of us cannot read or write.

Some of us had been sterilized at a very young age. We wanted to have more children, but sterilization prevented us from having a bigger family. When we see a small child, we cry that we cannot enjoy more of our children.

Have a look at Veronika’s story – one of the forcibly sterilized women